I received this book for free from ALAAC17 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Unearthed by amie kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 9th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
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When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.
For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Mia and Jules' different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.
In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...
I’m sad that this one didn’t grab me as much as I had hoped. I feel like when I read These Broken Stars, I just couldn’t put the book down. But that is not at all how this one was for me. The pacing was really off because it was continuously broken up by these insanely long passages of the characters just thinking about stuff. And mostly it was stuff they’d already thought about. The beginning was especially repetitive with these moments. I really wanted to feel like I was experiencing this adventure alongside the characters but I never ended up being sucked in enough to feel like that and I’m still sad about it.
I did like the two main characters and wish we could have seen more of their lives from beforehand instead of just the few memories they kept telling us about. I feel like there was so much telling in this book and not enough seeing. There also didn’t seem to be a lot of world building or much explanation as to what had happened on Earth to lead people to need Gaia and how Jules’ and Mia’s worlds were so different, especially when he said he really didn’t have much money. Why was there so much difference between the Earth that Mia knew in LA and Chicago and the Earth Jules experienced in London? I’m not really clear on that. Though I could honestly have just spaced out during one of their inner monologues that explained it all. I also liked the archaeology aspect and the idea that the problems were based on math and languages rather than strength or physcial abilities. It gives us the chance to see less typical action movie hero types in the lead and I really liked how both Jules and Mia used their strengths to work with each other through the puzzles.
Also, the end was insanely frustrating. I hate cliffhanger endings and this one had a huge one. I’ve always hated them but felt they were sort of going away recently in YA, which was making me really happy. But then this one came and I knew it was going to be a cliffhanger when it started getting closer to the end and there was still NO explanation for anything. It almost feels like an incomplete book rather than a cliffhanger. And I hate that so much. I just feel like we as readers deserve some sort of explanation or conclusion after spending time with the authors’ words and characters. But we don’t really get much here.
I’m honestly not sure if I’ll continue this series or not. If the writing continues similarly in the next one, I probably won’t. I want something that’s described as “Indiana Jones in space” to be more exciting and suspenseful with adventures that readers can participate in rather than just wait as the MC decodes some message and then moves through. I want something with more thrills that keeps me turning the pages not a lot of paragraphs explaining how they feel about the situation they’re in. Again. I feel horrible writing this review but I don’t think I could hide my disappointment in this book, nor do I want to. I was really looking forward to this one. I really wanted to love it but in the end, it was just lacking. We see too little of the world they exist in, the suspense and danger isn’t used to their full abilities, and we still end up with no real answers in the end. If you guys get the chance to read this, I really hope you’ll love it more than I did.