Thursday, February 8, 2018

ARC Review: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: Unearthed (Unearthed #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 284
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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...

Jules and Amelia have come to Gaia for very different reasons. They have opposing opinions, histories, and mindsets, yet they find themselves stranded on Gaia with only each other to rely upon. They must navigate an Undying temple, trying to decipher the message left for humans by an ancient alien race. Their lives, and the lives of everyone on earth, are in jeopardy as Jules and Amelia discover a horrifying secret.

Gah, I wanted to love this book so much. I was in a super sci-fi mood when I picked it up, and there has been a ton of hype surrounding this book, so I was really hopeful. Unfortunately, it let me down for a couple different reasons.

First of all, there was absolutely HORRIBLE instalove in this book. [Insert scream of frustration here.] Jules and Amelia were stuck on a different planet in another galaxy, with a limited supply of oxygen that would probably run out before they could get rescued, while being chased by a group of hired guns through an Indiana Jones-style temple full of deadly booby traps. Oh, and the entire human race might be destroyed if they fail. But what are they thinking about? How dreamy the other person is. Ugh. I could maybe have gotten past some of their attraction if it had been just that - ATTRACTION - but they were practically obsessed with each other after only one day. Some of the things they thought about each other were absolutely cringe-worthy. I was constantly rolling my eyes.

Another thing that bothered me is something that I really don't think should have been an issue. The story was told in alternating perspectives of Jules and Amelia. I don't know for certain, but I am assuming that each character was written by one of the authors. I know that is the way they handled the writing in their other series. But I could not tell the perspectives apart! That sounds absurd because they were written by different people, but there were multiple times when I had to flip back to the beginning of a chapter to remember who's perspective I was reading. There is no way that should have happened when the writing was coming from two different people.

The one thing that I really did enjoy about this book was the alien plot line. Despite the problems I was having as I was reading, I was determined to press on because I really wanted to learn more about the Undying. And I have to say, I am so glad I finished this book. It will not be one of my top reads of the year, but it definitely wins an award for a really interesting story. I was really impressed with the Undying race and the revelations that developed towards the end of the book.

If you are interested in sci-fi, and particularly in stories with aliens, I would suggest giving this book a try. If you don't mind some romantic distractions in your books, you might not have as many issues as I did. I was quite disappointed with how a lot of the book was handled, but I am glad that I read it. I haven't decided yet if I will continue on with the series. I might wait until a synopsis for book two is out to make my decision. For now, I would give this book about 2.75 stars. It wasn't a bad read, but it was lacking a few things that would have made it a true 3 star read for me.