Thursday, December 28, 2017

Review: Unearthed (Unearthed #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Firstly, thanks to Allen & Unwin for this review copy <3

Date Read: September 30 - October 9 2017
Date Released: December 1st 2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Sci-fi
My Rating:

"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..."


If there’s one thing Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (from here on out referred to A&M for Amie and Meg) can do well, it’s writing a high stakes space opera. Fast spaced, action-packed and romantic, Unearthed is one book that had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Amelia may only be 16 but she’s lived a hard life. She’s basically a scavenger and relies on this lifestyle to get by. She’s quick to act and not naïve. I liked her untrusting personality and cynical nature which gave a realistic impression of her world. Her street smarts gave her an edge on Gaia and showed that being book smart isn’t everything (although she’s a great logistician too).

Jules was a harder one for me to like. I couldn’t fathom how a guy who is so learned could be so sheltered as to not realise how badly Earth was falling apart? Like here’s a guy who plays water polo and is surprised when many of the luxuries he’s experienced are unknown to Mia. It was like something on the back of his mind while he studied at Oxford and lived his privileged life that the majority of the United States had no electricity or clean drinking water. He’s on this mission to basically save Earth yet it hasn’t kicked in for him that Earth really needed saving from what I gathered. To him, his research purposes were far more important. Thus, he definitely annoyed me when he used his ‘moral standing’ to justify the need to do things for research. I was like duuuude get off your high horse and get your nose out of the book because your book smarts, while theoretically great are going to get you killed because you can’t think fast on your feet *eye roll* Ok Jules rant over sorry. He does have his good side though. Naïve from one perspective but innocent and pure from another. He’s really sweet and kind and so loveable, kind of like a cinnamon roll.

There’s a cast of sub characters that add to the chase but in a fashion similar to Starbound, the story is really about Mia and Jules. I mean I kind of cared for a few but let’s be honest, we all know I was in it for Mia and Jules.

The plot definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. The story is a series of puzzles to solve with one overarching mystery tying it all together and I loved the way Mia and Jules came together to solve them. The puzzles get more bizarre as they kind of get more and more… familiar? That’s the most I can say without spoilers. I thought it was extremely clever how A&M came up with these puzzles and how everything comes together because plots like this are just asking for plot holes. I couldn’t spot any though! I really think they had their bases covered.

I’m not going to say the plot overall was particularly ground-breaking for me. The mystery was something I’d already figured out early on in the story – within the first 3 chapters-ish – so reading on was to see it all unravel and how everything came together by the end. It was definitely cool and most of my questions were answered although the ending – what a cliffhanger! Typical A&M let’s be honest.

I’m definitely excited for Unnamed/the next book to see how this gets wrapped up. Unearthed is a great high stakes chase novel with a mystery that kept me turning the pages throughout. There’s sass, romance, puzzles til the end and it was just so fun!

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