Series: Unearthed #1
Published by Disney Hyperion (11.22.2017)
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook, 384 pages
Length: 12 hours, 44 minutes
Narrator: Steve West, Alex McKenna
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 don’t know why I waited so long to read this book, it was so fun! It was kind of a mash up of The 100 (season 7 specifically), Skyrim, and Tomb Raider. I loved the setting being on another planet in an alien temple full of puzzles. So cool! Those scenes made me want to play Skyrim! The world was absolutely my favorite part of this book and I had no problem picturing it all in my head.
I love space books and alien books, and I found the Undying and their tech fascinating. It all seemed completely plausible, too – the Earth was dying, oxygen and water are scarce sources, so humanity struck out to find another inhabitable planet. I loved the setting of Gaia, too, because it’s a desert world due to recurring solar flares destroying all life on the planet every couple of years (or however long the regular intervals were).
I liked the two main characters but didn’t love them. I wish I had connected to them a bit better. They did both have pretty distinct personalities. Jules was pragmatic and pedantic, and Amelia was fierce and resourceful. They came from very different backgrounds – Jules was a rich boy and the son of a famous scholar, and Amelia was kind of a street rat that had to steal and scrape to get by. The romance was sweet, even if it didn’t do much for me. I felt pretty meh about them together. It was endearing that Amelia’s driving force was saving her sister, but just like with the romance, I never felt that emotion behind it.
The narration was fantastic! Jules is narrated by Steve West (one of my faves); and Amelia’s narrator, Alex McKenna, was new to me. I liked her voice because it was different – she’s got kind of a scratchy voice, but not in an unenjoyable way.
There were a couple surprises along the way. I found the big twist at the end to be predictable, but I still enjoyed the journey in discovering the answers. View Spoiler »I was shocked by the fact that Jules’ and Amelia’s bosses were the same person. That was a great little twist. I pegged the Undying as being humans that made the tech pretty early on – but I was kind of thinking that it was a time travel situation. (I guess maybe it still could be!) I’m super interested to see what the “Undying” humans at the end meant when they said they were going to take the Earth back! « Hide Spoiler THAT LAST LINE OMG. That was just rude. What an ending!!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5
Undying by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Unearthed #2
Published by Disney Hyperion (11.28.2018)
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook, 308 pages
Length: 11 hours, 19 minutes
Narrator: Steve West, Alex McKenna, Vikas Adam
Trapped aboard the Undying's ancient spaceship and reeling from what they've learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity's greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth, and leave them breathless until the last page.
The earth's fate rests in Mia and Jules's hands in the epic conclusion to New York Times best-selling authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's tomb-raiding sci-fi duology.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about the sequel. I didn’t like it *quite* as much as the first book (I miss the puzzles and temple raiding!), but it was a fun and fast-paced sci-fi. I’m going to be honest, though, even after just finishing it I can’t tell you much about what actually happened for the entire book. Lots of things happened, but I don’t feel like there was much of a plot going on besides “save humanity from the Undying.” Mostly it was just running, and escaping; followed by some more running and escaping (seriously, the adults in this book are incompetent, wtf).
Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, because I still did! The narration was fantastic once again. Steve West and Alex McKenna brought the characters to life, and the accents were spot on! I also enjoyed the addition of Dex’s POV there at the end, with his own narrator. The Undying’s language was pretty cool View Spoiler »(it would make sense that they’d have different slang after being separated from regular humanity for 300 years) « Hide Spoiler and so was their technology. I enjoyed Dex’s character a lot and was intrigued by him. I like Jules and Mia both as characters, but never felt particularly invested in their romance.
The explanation of the Undying was interesting, but maybe a bit convoluted and hard to grasp. View Spoiler »Okay, so it’s the humans from the Centauri mission. That was cool. They had an accidental time shift, causing them to literally get lost in space and time (so it was time travel, CALLED IT *shimmy*). Also cool. But even after 300 years, how has their vision of their predecessors become so distorted to the point that they think they are subhuman and not worthy of living?! That part didn’t make sense to me. The Undying viewed “protos” (regular humans) as basically Neanderthals. Bruh, it’s been 3 centuries, not 3 millennia. You’re not THAT far advanced, geesh. I found the timeline to be confusing too (regarding how they went way back in time to build the “alien” temple). « Hide Spoiler That was my main gripe. My second gripe was that I really didn’t feel much while reading. There was a certain part toward the end that prrrrooobably should have made me feel something and it straight up didn’t. View Spoiler »Jules got SHOT and was legit bleeding TF out and I didn’t bat an eyelash. I knew he wouldn’t die, so the overly dramatic “death” scene had me rolling my eyes. Dude it’s Kaufman, not Kristoff, everyone is totally safe lmaoooo. « Hide Spoiler I guess I just never felt like there were any real stakes involved, so it never felt like the danger was real.
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 3/5
Overall Series Rating