Sunday, November 26, 2017

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: Unearthed
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Allen & Unwin

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 ...
Review by Nara

I think if you liked the duo's Starbound series, you're almost definitely going to like Unearthed. It has the same adventure and scifi combination that kept the Starbound series fast-paced and compelling. The series is a duology, and pitched as "Lara Croft in space". I must admit, I don't know a lot about Lara Croft, but from what I do know about that character, the description seems pretty apt.

I loved the characterisation of Mia and Jules, with both characters having interesting and sympathetic backstories. While they were sort of heading towards different goals, you could understand the motivations between both goals. I did think the romance was a bit speedy, and interestingly the progression seemed pretty similar to These Broken Stars. I thought Jules especially was an excellent character, although his swearing in Latin was definitely slightly pretentious haha.

The plot itself felt perhaps a bit unrealistic at times, in terms of how quickly some of the puzzles in the temples were solved, or how easily the bad guys caught up with the main characters, but I thought overall that the plot was well thought out and very nicely paced. This is definitely the sort of book that can be read in a single setting as the story keeps rolling forwards.

Overall, highly recommended. To be honest, this duo seems like a winning combination, and I'd be quite interested to see if they ever branch out of science fiction because the potentials are infinite!

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 2/5