In 2008, DARLAH which was written by Norwegian author Johan Harstad was published. In 2012 (incidentally, also the same year the story takes place), DARLAH was translated into English and that’s how we got 172 Hours On the Moon.
I didn’t know about this until after I finished reading the book, but apparently as part of their marketing campaign for 172 Hours On The Moon, the publishers created an actual website for the lotto (where visitors were prompted to submit their e-mail for a chance to win), social media accounts (twitter, facebook) for Mia, Midori and Antoine, and some lost-footage style videos on YouTube, which I thought was pretty cool so I figured I’d share some of it with you guys!
There’s a reason NASA stopped sending people back to the moon in the seventies… NASA discovered something sinister up there. In 2012 (decades since the last trip to the moon) NASA wants to go back but they lack funding and support (people don’t trust NASA anymore). So to garner enough publicity and funding, NASA decides to hold a world-wide lotto to pick 3 teenagers at random “for the opportunity of a lifetime”. The winners are Mia from Norway, Midori from Japan, and Antoine from France. They each have their own reasons for going (Mia to garner attention for her band so… fame, Midori for an opportunity to escape rigid and reserved life in Japan so… freedom, and Antoine just wants to get over an ex-girlfriend). They get a little bit of training and testing and eventually head out with the crew to the moon. Once they all get to the moon, things go sideways pretty quickly!
Mia from Norway
Midori from Japan
Antoine from France
I actually enjoyed reading 172 Hours On The Moon even though it was a bit cheesy. The characters weren’t complex or even relatable as I found them to embody every single stereotype from their country of origin. The story was outlandish (heehee) but I was hoping for a bit more of a conspiracy. However, once you got past the first few introductory chapters, things picked up and kept going, gaining momentum, down to the ending! It was fun for what it was, a quick and easy read. I mean, you gotta’ be prepared to suspend your beliefs, because why the heck would NASA ever send anyone with minimal training up to the moon, and teens at that (hormones, anyone?) but I swallowed it with Armageddon (loved that movie, granted they weren’t teens) so why not this book? In fact, I enjoyed 172 Hours On The Moon so much that I’d love to see them turn it into a movie (just not played by the people they cast in the videos above… because their acting is atrocious… no offense, guys)! In fact, I can already imagine Rammstein – Sonne blaring onscreen during the final events of the story!