Wednesday, January 3, 2018

ARC Review: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Unearthed
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Series: Unearthed
Publication: Disney-Hyperion (January 9, 2018)

Description: 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 design--one that could spell the end of the human race...

My Thoughts: This was an engaging science fiction story told from two viewpoints.

Amelia is a scavver, she searches the abandoned cities on Earth to find tech that can be used as is or stripped for parts. She left school at thirteen because she needed to make money to rescue her sister from indentured servitude. They dream of being able to escape to Los Angeles where an alien invention provides power and clean water. When she is given a chance to go to Gaia, she sees the possibility of riches if she can find some of the tech the Undying left behind.

Jules Addison has a different reason for wanting to go to Gaia. His father was the one who first translated the messages from the Undying but came to believe that it would be dangerous for Earth to explore Gaia to find and use the alien tech. Jules is on the hunt for a mystery buried in the message that he hopes will prove his father right and free him from prison.

These two kids have very different goals but band together because they are not the only ones on the hunt for alien tech. They need to elude a group of scavvers who would be more than willing to steal their stuff and leave them for dead.

Together they travel to an obscure temple that Jules hopes will have the answers he needs. He lies to Amelia about a hidden tech cache there but feels guilty when he learns why she needs to tech. Together they solve clues that let them travel into the heart of the temple. But the scavvers on their trail haven't given up and capture them again.

This story had great world building. I liked the relationship that grows between Jules and Amelia. I liked the mystery of the Undying and the way Jules and Amelia have to combine their skills to solve the puzzles that the Undying have left.

This story has betrayal and romance. It has adventure and discovery. It has an ending that comes as quite a surprise and makes me very eager for the next book in this series.

Favorite Quote:
Our whole lives, the International Alliance has been a group of bickering, petty politicians more concerned with buying votes then helping mankind -- but there was a time, long ago, when they were Earth's best hope. When all the nations of the world turned their eyes toward the stars and worked together to reach out toward Alpha Centauri. Toward the future.

It's when we stop looking up that we fall apart.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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