Whenever I read a sci-fi book by Amie Kaufman and/or Meagan Spooner, it is somehow the best space opera I’ve ever read. First These Broken Stars (Amie & Meagan), then Illuminae (Amie & Jay Kristoff) and now this one. At this point, they’ve made it onto my must-read authors list. I will read anything they publish in the future, and plan to read all the other books they already published.
Since Unearthed will not be published until January 2018, this review will remain spoiler free.
Years ago Earth intercepted a transmission from a group called the Undying. The message led Earth to find the planet Gaia, and with that discovery, new technology and hope for the slowly dying human race. Jules and Mia have different reasons for going to Gaia. One hopes to preserve the planet and find further meaning to the message sent by the Undying, and the other wants to scavenge the planet for profit. Though these goals juxtapose each other, Jules and Mia become reluctant allies. What follows is an Indiana Jones-like archeological adventure, full of twists I never saw coming.
Unearthed is a master of showing instead of telling. Since the sci-fi genre always dives into worlds similar, but not quite like our own, world building and historical backstory is necessary. Unearthed not only had the right amount of both, but it also revealed it little bits at a time. I didn’t have to wade through an infodump to get to the heart of the story.
At the heart of Unearthed you have a few elements: adventure, mystery and, of course, romance. The adventure involved Mia and Jules entering a trap-ridden temple to uncover a hidden message in the Undying’s original transmission. The puzzles were dangerous, but also controlled by math and linguistics. Though I didn’t study linguistics in school, the subject is of enough interest that any discussion of linguistics in a fictional book (or movie) is thrilling. Language is key to solving the book’s mystery, so I was happy.
The romance, though more instantaneous than I usually like, was genuine. The events of the book, and the connection made between Mia and Jules, occurs over a few days. It, however, feels like a lifetime passes between the beginning and end. A few days is not usually enough time to follow in love, but this book earns the romantic connection.
I loved the book throughout, but the ultimate kicker was the ending. Unearthed has, hands down, one of the best cliffhanger endings I’ve read ever. I will not say anymore than that, but I am very, very excited for the sequels to come.
If you want a romantic, linguistics-filled, trap-ridden adventure sci-fi, this is the book for you. Look for this book in 2018.
I received this book because I had a winning bid in the #PubforPR auction. I received this ARC and had a lovely phone interview with Disney-Hyperion editors Laura Schreiber and Rotem Moscovich. Thank you to Publishers for Puerto Rico for this opportunity, and to Laura & Rotem for our awesome conversation!