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…
“Indiana Jones teams up with Lara Croft Tomb Raider, in space.
Seriously! There are futuristic grave robbers and scavengers, ancient booby traps set up in ruins found on a different planet, and alien technology. This is a book whose plot immediately lends itself to a graphic novel format, a movie, or even an audio book format. If you are wary of picking this one up, maybe give the audio book a try first.
Unearthed was a non-stop space adventure, told from two points of view: Amelia Radcliffe (preferably known as Mia) is a young scavenger, set out on a journey to locate advanced technology on Gaia that she hopes she can use to pay back old debts; Jules Addison is a young archaeologist, intent on studying the ruins on Gaia, hopeful that there are lessons to be learned that can potentially save humanity on Earth.
Mia and Jules were delightful characters and I enjoyed the switch between their points of view. While the split POV was well handled, I could have use a little less internal monologue. The internal monologue did not slow the pace of the book, but it occurred enough that I began to get a bit annoyed with it and I skimmed through sections of it.
Mia and Jules have fabulously witty banter, which I loved! The romance was believable, albeit a little distracting at times. Just keep in mind that the two characters are teenagers – their hormones were distracting for both the two of them and me at times!
I also appreciate the difference in skills and personality between Jules and Mia.
I have seen other reviews praising the emotionalism of Jules, and I completely agree. Jules is the furthest thing from toxic masculinity that you will find in a YA book – he is much more emotional and far less physical than Mia. Jules is a scholar and a linguist. To paint the perfect picture of Jules, he is the type who would wake up one morning, decide he will hike Everest, go to his closest REI to buy all of his gear, and then show up to the base of the mountain with hiking boots that have not yet been broken in, along with a full cooking stove and spices for all of the fresh fruit that he packed in his already over-packed backpack.
Mia is hilarious, clever, physical, and an all-around bad-ass. Mia is much more physical that Jules, but she also packs a ton of emotion. Mia is also STEM-oriented: math is one of her strongest skills and interests.
The end of the book will leave you full of anticipation, crying out loud for the sequel! Thankfully, we do not have to wait too long as the sequel, Undying, is set to release in the U.S. on December 4, 2018. (Thank you Disney-Hyperion!)
All-in-all, this was a fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining space adventure! I can’t wait to read the sequel!
Side-note: For those of you who are immediately put off by a book set in space, or if you’re wary or hesitant of a space-set thriller, fear not! The majority of this book takes place in a very small setting: on an isolated and unpopulated planet known as Gaia, whose atmosphere and gravity are very similar to Earth. The biggest difference between Gaia and Earth are the oxygen levels; on Gaia, humans must supplement their oxygen intake for about 8 hours a-day.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (January 9, 2018)
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Aliens, Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Young Adult
Read… on the bus as part of my daily commute while… pretending I was on Gaia instead of a smelly bus.
Purchase your copy here.
Author: Amie Kaufman
Author: Meagan Spooner