From the New York Times best-selling author duo Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner comes a "literally breathtaking" new sci-fi series about a death-defying mission on an alien planet.
When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution humanity has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and their message leads to the planet Gaia, a treasure trove waiting to be explored.
For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an ancient alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Despite their opposing reasons for smuggling themselves onto the alien planet's surface, they're both desperate to uncover the riches hidden in the Undying temples. Beset by rival scavenger gangs, Jules and Mia form a fragile alliance... but both are keeping secrets that make trust nearly impossible.
As they race to decode the ancient messages, Jules and Mia must navigate the traps and trials within the Undying temples and stay one step ahead of the scavvers on their heels. They came to Gaia certain that they had far more to fear from their fellow humans than the ancient beings whose mysteries they're trying to unravel. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more Jules and Mia start to feel like their presence in the temple is part of a grand designone that could spell the end of the human race...
About the Author
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina. Amie, who is the co-author of The Illuminae Files, lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts. You can find them on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner.
Read an Excerpt
This is really, really not going the way I'd planned.
The two scavengers below are talking to each other in Spanish, laughing and joking about something I can't understand. Lying facedown against the rock, I wriggle forward just enough to see the tops of their heads over the edge of the overhang. One of them is taller, bulky in the shoulders. He's around thirty or thirty-five, and easily twice my size. The other one's smaller, a woman, I'm guessing, by the way she stands — but even she'd have the edge on me if they knew I was here.
You were right, Mink, I should've taken that gun. At the time, it felt good to surprise the Contractor — to make her eyebrows shoot up underneath her bangs and stay there. "I don't need a gun," Id scoffed, not bothering to add that I wouldn't know what to do with one anyway. "No one will ever even see me down there." Because if I were home, if I were scavenging a city on Earth, that would be true.
But studying the topographic surveys and satellite images of Gaia's surface didn't prepare me for just how barren this landscape is. This isn't like the ruins of Chicago, full of sewer tunnels and half-collapsed skyscrapers, with infinite places to hide and move around unseen. There aren't even any plants on this lifeless world, no shrubs for cover or trees to hide in. The scans scientists took from orbit didn't show so much as a microbe. Not surprising, given that something about Gaia's two suns gives off a flare every generation like clockwork and nukes the whole planet. There's just open desert on either side of the canyon, and I'm screwed.
The raiders are filling up their canteens at the little spring under the overhang, the same spring marked on our pirated maps, which drew me to this spot. Though I can't understand their language, I don't need to know the words to tell that they're grumbling about the dusty, sandy quality of the water in the pool. Like they don't get how lucky they are that there's water on this planet in the first place. That there's air we can breathe — sort of — and the right temperature and gravity, though the solar flares dashed all hope of a permanent colony here.
It's still the closest thing we've ever found to a habitable planet, besides Earth and Centauri. And one of those is rapidly dying, the other far beyond the reach of our technology.
We only found Gaia because we followed the instructions left by ancient creatures long dead. There's no telling when we'll find another world like it, unless we find more coordinates in the ruins left by the Undying. Ironic that the aliens called themselves that in the very broadcast describing the way they wiped themselves out.
I hold my breath, hoping that the scavengers don't look around while crouching to replenish their water. My pack isn't exactly well-hidden, since I wasn't expecting company, but they haven't noticed it yet. Idiots. But I'm an even bigger idiot, because I broke my cardinal rule — I let go of my stuff. I put it down because I wanted to see what was over this ridge. The desert is marked by groupings of immense rock formations stretching up toward the sky, swept into shape by the wind, and by water that's long gone now. I'm going to end up marooned a billion light-years from home with no supplies because I wanted to admire the damned scenery. Just a few chunks of red-gray rock stand between the raiding duo and my only hope at survival in this terrain.
Not only does the pack contain my food rations, my climbing gear, my water, my sleeping mat, and everything else I need to live out here — it contains my breather. The atmosphere here's got just a little more nitrogen than Earth's. Eight hours a day or so, you need to strap on a breather and suck in oxygen-enriched air, or you stop being able to think straight, and then your body shuts down. And my breather — my lifeline — is in the bag a meter or two from a pair of raiders.
The man lifts his head and I jerk back, rolling over and gazing up at the empty blue sky. The light of the binary suns is harsh on my face even through the protection of the kerchief, but I don't move. If I don't get my stuff back, I'm dead. I won't even be alive when they come to get me in three weeks, much less carrying enough loot from the temples to pay my exit fee.
My mind scrambles for a solution. I could call Mink — except my sat-phone is in my pack, and the comms satellite won't be over this part of the planet for another six hours anyway. And even if I did find a way to signal her, she made it clear when she dropped me on this rock that I was only getting a ride back off the ground again if I had something to make it worth her while. It costs big to smuggle scavengers back and forth on official supply shuttles through the portal to Gaia, a shimmering gateway in space patrolled and guarded by International Alliance ships. She's not going to bother getting me back through to Earth unless I can pay.
I have to get that pack.
"Tengo que hacer pis," says the man, making his partner groan and walk off a few steps.
I hear the sound of a zipper and then a grunt, and then — after half a second — the sound of something trickling into the spring water.
Oh, for the love of — very nice, asshole. Like you're the only ones on this planet who might've wanted to use that spring.
"Ugh," protests the woman, echoing my sentiments exactly. "En serio, Hugo?"
I tip my head just enough to get a glimpse of the guy standing, feet apart, over the spring, with his hands cupped around his groin — then I clamp my eyes shut again before I can see any more. I so didn't need to see that.
I ought to try to get the jump on them while he's busy peeing, but my hands are shaking, and not from lack of O2. I put up a good front with Mink, and even with the other scavengers I beat out for this job when Mink quietly put out word she was looking. A few knew me from the fences in Chicago, others had come from farther away and only met me while we all scrabbled to get hired. The kid, the little girl, the one who's going down all by herself to raid the temples. What a badass, they said, laughing. What a punk. But in Chicago, no one ever saw me.
The reason I was so good, the reason I convinced Mink to let me work for her, was because no one ever saw me. I never had to fight over turf. I never had to run anyone off. I never had to hold off two experienced and probably armed raiders while I retrieved my gear.
I try to breathe, sucking in air through the kerchief and making it clamp against my chapped lips. I feel for a moment like I'm suffocating, like someone's put a plastic bag over my head — I have to remind myself that it's only cloth, that I can breathe fine, that I don't need that extra oxygen dose for hours and I'm just scared. Just wait, I tell myself. They haven't seen your pack yet. You're fine.
But like that thought was a jinx, the very next sound I hear is the woman's voice, sharp with surprise, summoning her partner. The guy's fly zips back up and booted footsteps crunch across the loose stones and sand — heading toward the boulder half-concealing my pack.
"¿Esto pertenece al grupo?" A boot connects with fabric, and something hard beneath it. They're kicking at my pack.
But that's not what makes my heart sink. Because while I don't understand what they're saying, I do know one of those words. Some of the gangs in Chicago spoke Spanish. Grupo means "group." These two aren't here alone. Mink warned me there were other contractors using this supply and survey mission to smuggle raiders down to Gaia's surface, but I assumed theyd be in ones and twos, like me.
Which means I either get my stuff back now, or they take it back to the rest of their gang, and I have to try to take it back from half a dozen looters instead of two.
I move before I can talk myself out of it and roll over to drop off the edge of the overhang, only a few meters from the scavengers.
The woman jerks backward, half-stumbling in her surprise. "Qué chingados!" she blurts, hand going to her waist, where something in a holster glints in the light.
The guy's less jumpy, though, and merely tenses, watching me suspiciously — and standing between me and my gear.
"I just want my stuff," I say, deepening my voice until it makes my throat ache. I can't make myself look any bigger, but with all my gear on it's not blatantly obvious I'm a girl. Maybe if they think I'm just a short man, they'll think I'm less of a target. I point at the pack. "My stuff," I repeat, more loudly, glancing between them.
I'm wishing I'd paid more attention in Languages before I dropped out — maybe I'd speak more than a few words of Spanish. The only A I ever got was in math, and though it might be the universal language — the Undying broadcast proved that — it doesn't do me much good right now.
"Who the hell are you?" asks the man. Though he speaks with an accent, he tosses the English at me easily. Well, at least that's something.
"Amelio," I shoot back. Not exactly true, but close enough. "And I'm here same reason you are. Just give me my stuff and I'll be on my way."
The woman is recovering from her shock, and straightening as she comes to stand beside her cohort. She's in her mid-forties, I'd guess, with a sun-weathered face. The layer of dust coating her features lightens her skin by a few shades — the dust splits as she grins. "Just a kid."
The guy grunts agreement, and in an easy motion, pushes his coat back so he can hook his thumb into his pants pocket — and, coincidentally, I'm sure, reveal the pistol resting in the holster at his side. "Maybe we take your stuff, enjoy the extra O2, and you run back to Mamá, kid."
I suck in a lungful of air, waiting until I'm sure that frustration won't make my voice rise. "My 'mamá' isn't back for weeks, just like yours. Give me my stuff. Trespassing's bad enough, you really want to add murder? You're not gonna shoot me. I'm one of Mink's raiders. Cross her and you'll wake up dead once you get back to the station." It's a bluff — true, Mink's my backer, but I'm pretty sure she wouldn't give a damn if not all her crew came back from Gaia's surface.
The man, who's easily a head and a half taller than I am, rubs at his chin. There's a few days' worth of stubble there, and the movement rasps audibly through the dry air. "Nobody gonna find you here," he replies. "No body, no crime, eh?" "Hugo," the woman breaks in, squinting at me. "No es niño, es niña."
Shit. I know enough Spanish to understand that. So much for trying to look less like an easy mark.
"Take off your helmet," the man orders.
My heart, slamming in my rib cage, takes over from my brain. "No."
The guy takes a step forward, hand still lingering at his waist by his gun. "Take off your helmet or take off your shirt, your pick."
Instinct tries to make me reach for my knife, but I know it'd be a death sentence. I'm outnumbered and outgunned. Trying to figure out if I'm a young man or a girl isn't going to keep him occupied for much longer, and the truth is these guys won't care I'm only sixteen. They won't care that they'd be killing a minor. They've already broken the IA's planetary embargo just by landing on Gaia, and that's a life sentence all by itself.
The International Alliance doesn't mess around when it comes to off-world law, not after it lost the project that brought Earth's nations together in the first place. Three hundred people boarded that ship headed for Alpha Centauri, the star system closest to ours in the vast emptiness of the cosmos, trying to reach the only potentially Earth-like planet we've ever found. Maybe the reason they failed, the reason they were left to drift and die in space, is because people like this managed to con their way onboard and mutiny. The only way these two got here is the same way I did — by breaking the law — and breaking one more law isn't going to bother them.
I swallow hard, gritting my teeth. Millions of light-years from home, standing on the surface of an alien planet, it never truly hit me until now that the biggest thing I'd have to fear here would be another human being.
Tension sings through my body, the effort of staying put threatening to knock me down — half of me wants to run, the other half to fight, and caught between the impulses I just stand there, frozen. Waiting.
And then a new voice breaks into the conversation. "Oh, thank goodness, I thought everyone might have left!" The words cut through the tension like scissors through a rubber band, and all our heads go snapping toward the source.
A boy not much older than me appears over the lip of the overhang and then comes sliding down the slope of loose scree, laden with a pack so large I could fit inside it with room to spare. He drops it to the ground with a thud, straightening with a groan and rubbing at the small of his back. He's got brown skin and black hair in tight curls cut close to his head, and a broad smile that looks like it could charm the rocks right out of the ground.
His clothes scream "money," with matching khaki cargo pants and vest, a spotless button-down shirt, and boots so new they're still shiny on the toes through their fine coating of dust. He's tall and lanky, with that slight stoop to the shoulders that comes from hours spent poring over tablet screens and keyboards.
Academic, my mind sneers. His type would show up occasionally in Chicago, studying the weather and the climate and whatever else contributed to the mass exodus, and theyd almost always get chased off by a scavenger gang. What the hell are you doing here? The IA doesn't even have the surface open for research crews yet. Hence us bad guys taking advantage of the empty space while we've got it.
He glances between the three of us, brow furrowing. "Where are the others?" he asks, the vowels elongated and the R's softened — English or something, like someone on TV. When he gets no reply, he tries again. "Da jia zai na li? Waar is almal? Wo sind alle? No?" He jumps from one language to another without skipping a beat.
Silence sweeps in to follow him, his smile dimming a few degrees in confusion. It hangs in the air, thickening and thickening until finally the woman snaps. "Who the hell are you?"
The boy's smile flashes back into brilliance at this, and as though he'd gotten the politest of greetings, he steps forward to hold out his hand. "Jules Thomas," he says, inclining his torso a little. He's bowing. He's actually bowing, what the hell? "It's a pleasure to meet you all. If you'd be so good as to direct me to the expedition leader, I can present my credentials and —"
He's cut off by the click of the safety coming off a pistol, as the woman pulls it out of her holster and levels it at the boy.
Jules stops short, smile fading and hand lowering. His eyes flick from the gun to the face of the woman holding it, then to the other raider, and then, finally, to me. And whatever he sees written on my face — fear, exhaustion, general what-the-actual-hell-is-goingon panic — makes his smile vanish.
"Oh," he says.
Well, this could certainly be going better. "I'm the linguistics and archaeology expert," I say, slowly and clearly, lifting both my hands to show them I mean no harm. "I was hired by Charlotte Stapleton — you're with the expedition from Global Energy Solutions, aren't you?" "Global Energy," the woman echoes, gripping the gun like she'd really appreciate the opportunity to use it, if I'd just be so kind as to step a little bit closer.
Mehercule. It's all I can do not to utter the epithet out loud. I knew when I signed on with Global Energy Solutions's not-so-legal plan to bypass the law that the crew I'd be joining was rough around the edges, but I expected to live through my first five minutes of the expedition.
At least they've got decent security, I suppose. That'll be an advantage, once we've sorted this out.
"I'm Jules Thomas," I say again, in case it helps. It's not my real surname, of course. I didn't need my contact Charlotte's repeated warnings not to reveal my true identity. I know better than to let anyone in this crew aside from its leader know who my father is.
Excerpted from "Unearthed"
Copyright © 2018 Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.
Excerpted by permission of Disney Book Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
hard to put down. lots of action and heart. interesting concept too. cant wait to read the next one!
The beginning was kinda slow, but it picked up a lot in the second half and while parts of the ending were a little predictable, there were a couple of things that had my jaw dropping and had me debating throwing the book at a wall at 4 in the morning because WHAT THE ****? And now I'm dying for the sequel and cannot BELIEVE I have to wait until 2019 this is some kind of CONSPIRACY. A+ for banter and for a tricky romance and survival and basically being Indiana Jones in space with bonus politics.
A better-than-average YA book that, for some reason, I just couldn’t get into. It might be that science fiction is my favorite genre, but I found myself a bit bored and confused and not having a lot of desire to pick the book back up. I loved the premise of the story, which is basically Raiders of The Lost Ark in Space with a dash of Lovecraft. I liked Jules and Amelia and they’re both witty and clever and have a great relationship together. At times however, their love got a bit too mushy and was inappropriate for the moment. I also thought these writers’ styles blended seamlessly throughout the narrative. However, characters repeat information or their motivations over and over and over again and it got very frustrating. This book also heavily relies on the reader being able to imagine how the ancient tomb and symbols and booby traps work and this is not my strong suit, so I struggled. Overall, better than your usual YA fare. The characters are fun, the world is lush and I can’t wait to explore more in a later sequel. I just struggled with the repetitiveness of character monologues and visualizing the surroundings.
Aliens secrets in ancient temples? Puzzles reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie that must be unlocked to continue exploring? Traps that left members of the first International Alliance exploration team dead? A scholar and a scavver who have opposing reasons for coming to Gaia but must work together to survive? YES PLEASE! Unearthed is full of conflict and action from page one. It’s a quick read. And its promise of alien mysteries and suspicion about their motives don’t disappoint. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more hard science in the space travel and communication. Travel times from Earth to Gaia seemed rather short even with a portal left behind by the aliens to help things along. But the richness of this book is in the two teens, each on Gaia for something they desperately need and with opposing goals. A slow burn romance as Jules and Mia learn they must work together facing the highest stakes propels the story forward as much as the action. Highly recommended!
When Earth receives a message from an alien race scholars and scavengers both react with joy. The scholars for obvious reasons. An alien race exists and their planet may have the resources to save Earth. Scavengers, or scavvers as they are called in this novel, are also rubbing their hands with greed over these same resources that could save Earth, but they see the profit they could make. Mia, a scavver, and Jules, a scholar, meet each other on the Undying’s planet of Gaia. He to observe and learn, she to scavenge and sell items to free her sister from slavery. They are essentially abandoned on this planet with only each other to turn to against other less savory scavvers. Do they trust each other? No. However, as time goes on they come to see that they only have each other to help get themselves off this planet. Unearthed was an Indiana Jones meets Star Trek action adventure science fiction novel. As Mia and Jules traverse across this planet trying to outsmart other unsavory characters they form a bond that is unbreakable. Mia, although uneducated, uses her street smarts, while Jules uses his education in all things Undying, able to read their glyphs. Both skills making them equals on this adventure. Mia’s character was as bright as her two toned hair. Sassy and energetic, she was driven by the need to save her sister. Jules’s nerdy prep school smarts made him her complete opposite, yet he had that same drive to succeed, but his need was to restore his father’s honor. I really liked the detail and descriptions the authors wove into the story. This alien race in technology was light years ahead of the human race, and these two kids were able to crack the code of their existence on this planet, and why they were reaching out to Earth. The puzzles were detailed and Mia and Jules’ teamwork gave this novel great energy, moving the plot forward quickly. Kaufman who also co-authored Illuminae and Gemina with Jay Kristoff, has a deft hand at imbuing teens with adult attributes. As with other great Young Adult novels, I forgot I was reading about a couple of seventeen year old’s maneuvering through these traps and triggers. This novel was great fun and ended way to quickly.
This was good, but I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. I’m giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Thanks to Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program for providing me a copy in exchange for a honest review. It’s been a while since I read a sci-fi book, and I honestly haven’t read that many. But this one sounded great based on the summary, and people seemed to love it from early reviews, so I thought why not? It ended up being a semi-slow read for me, probably because of the content. I loved the main characters (Amelia and Jules) for the most part. She’s kind of a snarky, no-holds-barred kind of girl, and he’s like her exact opposite…which is very much due to their different upbringings. But they ended up complimenting each other so well. However, I didn’t love the insta-like that was going on. It felt too quick at the beginning, but thankfully seemed more realistic as the book progressed. I mean, I get it. They’re risking their lives on this alien planet, and it can make reaching out to someone necessary; both to keep their sanity, and to know they’re not alone. Jules is super adorable (bonus points for being smart), so he’s going on my book boyfriend list. For how lengthy the book is, the time-frame isn’t that long. It’s a little slow going sometimes, but some of the action is super intense. I didn’t want to put the book down at times because I needed to know what would happen next. If you love the sci-fi genre, I definitely recommend you check this book out. The ending is a cliffhanger. If you’re super invested in the book, you’ll want to know what happens next ASAP. Goodreads says this is a duology, and book two won’t be out until 2019, so you’ll be waiting for the conclusion a while.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner Book One of the Unearthed series Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Publication Date: January 9, 2018 Rating: 3 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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... What I Liked: I'm going to be completely honest - I had a really hard time reading this book. I struggled to get through it, which is something I usually don't have a problem with. It took me nearly a week to finish the book, which is seven times longer than it would usually take me to finish the book. I recognize and acknowledge how well the story was put together, but the first half of the book was extremely dull, and it almost seemed like the authors were trying to include too many mysteries and puzzles and half-truths here and there. In the end, I want to read the next book, but I won't forget how much I struggled with this first book. Jules Addison has landed on Gaia to explore an unknown temple that could contain a wealth of information that could change the future of Earth. There is technology that the Undying left behind on Gaia, and Jules is determined to find it. Mia has also just landed on Gaia, having been smuggled in, in order to find artifacts to bring back to Earth to sell. She is a scavenger in desperate need of money; he is a scholar with a thirst for knowledge. Their paths collide, and they have no choice but to work together to find a way off the planet. But the farther they go into the hidden temple, the more they learn about the Undying... there is more to the temple than advanced technology, and the discovery could change the future of Earth forever. I struggled with the first half of the book, and the second half of the book was still a bit of a struggle, but definitely more interesting. I think I really only started to try and get invested when Jules and Mia were deep in the temple, and they realized that they were not alone. From that point on, I started to at least care more. But everything before that - Jules and Mia meeting, their bargain with each other, actually finding the temple, starting to explore the temple - meh. Once Jules and Mia started to feel more pressure and danger, AND started to realize that there was more to the temple than old rocks and symbols, I started to care more. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018. I was really looking forward to it, I couldn’t wait to get started. But there are a lot of problems with this book that I couldn’t get over. And when I say problems, please remember it’s my opinion. Some readers may enjoy what I found wrong with the book. Unearthed follows two main characters and alternates POV between them as the story unfolds. One character is a scavenger, uneducated yet street smart and quick thinking, and on Gaia to make fast cash to save an illegal sister. The other is a scholar, an academic who breaks the law to uncover the truth and dangers awaiting the society on the newly discovered planet Gaia. In theory this all sounds intriguing, yet it didn’t play out that way. The two characters were so stereotyped that it’s laughable. I don’t even have to say names or differentiate between them because all you need to know is in their stereotypes. It’s kind of sad. Jules, the scholar, and Mia, the scavenger, meet up by chance on Gaia’s surface and their relationship is built on a mutual need for survival and lies. Yet somehow these two fall in love? Sorry, I’m not buying it. Jules flat out lies to Mia about his identity and why he wants to travel to a smaller temple. Mia lies about….well just about everything. It’s her job. The romance felt forced and fell flat on the pages. I didn’t buy any romantic chemistry between them, but when they were antagonizing each other that was believable. And then there’s the plot. For about the first three quarters of the book, the plot moved at a snail’s pace. There was a lot of repetition that wasn’t needed, and mostly it was Mia and Jules exploring this temple of the Undying on Gaia. Now I’ll admit I was really curious and intrigued by the Undying and how humans discovered and traveled to their dead planet. But all of that is skipped over in favor of solving some grand puzzle the Undying left for only those that were “worthy.” Again that was intriguing, yet like the romance it fell flat on the pages. I found myself skimming most of the book and just wanting to reach the end. However the last quarter of the book picks up with a rather intriguing and horrifying revelation. I couldn’t read this last section fast enough and honestly it is the book’s saving grace. I don’t want to say too much about it because SPOILERS but I will say that if you have started the book and are feeling how I felt the majority of the book to stick with it because it pays off in the end. Overall, Unearthed was just an okay read for me. I could have lived without reading it, but the ending redeemed the slow pace and has me itching to get my hands on the second book. I think one of the things that intrigued me most about the book is the dystopian element hinted on by Mia and Jules. It doesn’t play out in this book, but I’d like to learn more about Earth during their time and what humans have done to make society collapse. If you enjoy sci-fi and puzzles, I think you’ll enjoy this book. Just be sure to read to the end.
As I write this review, two days after finishing UNEARTHED, I am still 100% reeling from that ending. I have to say, I'm a sucker for a book that can slay me with the final sentence, and this one definitely accomplished that. It's a little funny, how much I loved this book. I say that, because I don't like Indiana Jones, and I don't like the Tomb Raider movie(s? Is there another one?). So, given that I keep seeing comparisons to those two, you'd think this book wouldn't have been for me. BUT. What I do love is Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Writing books. Together. Amie and Meagan just seem to have this magical ability to write beautifully together. I liked their Starbound trilogy, but Unearthed is even better. While slow in places, I was never bored reading Unearthed. There were a lot of inner monologues that seemed to throw off the pace a little, and many details about the plot seemed to be repeated unnecessarily often. But other than that, I thought this book was really well done. Ya'll know I love characters the best. Oh boy, these characters are to die for. Mia and Jules are both so wonderful and squishy and witty and I just wanted to go into the book and save them myself. Their interactions and dialogue were just SO GOOD. They're really what brought Unearthed to life and made it shine for me. The story itself was really fun. I loved the setting, though I could have gone for a bit more world-building on the planet of Gaia to really help me visualize it better. The twists were great, and where I saw some things coming, others I didn't at all, and I love a good surprise. There there was that cliffhanger of an ending that I mentioned earlier. Whew. It was one of those moments where I had to double-check to make sure my book wasn't missing pages, because WOW what a beautifully cruel way to end a book. I definitely recommend UNEARTHED, especially to fans of the sci-fi genre looking for something fun with strong characters. And don't be scared off by the fact that this one has a cliffhanger, I promise you won't regret picking it up. Onward, if you dare. (I dare you.)
When I heard that Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner had teamed up for another sci-fi series after their much loved Starbound series, I was IN! And these amazing ladies did not disappoint with Unearthed! In Unearthed we have our home planet, Earth, no longer being sustainable, which forces exploration to find new habitable worlds. Instead the non-livable world of Gaia is found, along with ancient archeological finds and some amazing high tech which can help the Earth's environmental problems. Enter Mia and Jules who are on Gaia for completely different reasons and are complete opposites. They are thrown together into crazy Indiana Jones-like adventures and the action and new discoveries never stop. I love sci-fi and new worlds, and likeable protaganists, and really great bad guys. And I really love big twists. Unearthed had it all! And, ohmy, that ending!! I was one of those that didn't see it coming so was stunned! Loved this book and the cover art, so will need a hardcover copy for my personal library collection. I can't wait to see what Amie and Meagan throw at us in book 2! *Thank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the advanced copy!!*
THIS WAS AMAZING!! Love love love Mia and Jules. She smart and sassy and he’s a British scholar and together they’re adorable. I love getting dual POV and each of them were charismatic characters who were easy to root for. Plus there’s some kissing and deliciously long glances when the other one isn’t looking. Plot wise, it’s like a scavenger hunt x a million. There’s so much on the line for Mia and Jules, that it really made for some excellent tension. The story starts off with a bang and doesn’t let go. It’s fast paced and captivating, with a few reveals and one heck of an ending. As always, Amie and Meagan have written a fabulous story. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. **Huge thanks to Disney Hyperion for providing the arc free of charge**