Thursday, January 18, 2018

ARC Review: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: Unearthed
Series: Unearthed #1
Written by: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Published: January 9, 2018 by Disney Hyperion

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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’ve been excited about this book since I first learned about like a year ago. Not only is it an amazing concept, Lara Croft meets Indiana Jones in space, but it’s written by two authors I love who I am excited are writing together again. And I was not disappointed by this book. It was a thrilling read with a fascinating world and so many surprises.

One of the things that I think Amie and Meagan do so well is plot. This book proved that for sure, because it is a book that is incredibly gripping and full of excitement. That should probably come as no surprise considering the comparison between Lara Croft and Indiana Jones. It definitely has that exploration and adventure story kind of vibe. So many moments had me on the edge of my seat as the characters attempted to escape whatever trap or challenge they had before them. It’s definitely exciting and full of action.

But I think the thing that surprised me most about the book is the amount of mystery. It’s not a mystery in and of itself, but it still had so many mystery elements. It’s not even like there is anything to solve and yet I still wanted to solve everything. I wanted to know everything and figure out everything. About a two-thirds of the way into the book the tone changed a little bit as things started shifting to a new mystery and twist. I often get annoyed at books for changing things so drastically so late but here I think it worked. It added a level of interest and mystery to the book. And holy crap that ending! The way it left off was incredible but seriously so mean! I need book two ASAP.

But I think the most engaging thing about this book was the world. Amie and Meagan do science fiction so well. They have this great way about adding science to the books without getting bogged down in the specifics. I really liked the way that there was a background here too. It wasn’t just about the future, it was about what happened in the past to get to where we are. It grounded the book which I appreciated. The other fantastic thing about this world was the planet they were exploring. It was so interesting. It had a really cool archeology, ancient temples, kind of vibe which I found amazing. But it also gave me flashbacks to the time I did an Escape Room. The puzzles and the way they incorporated all of that in the actual setting was so cool. All of this really combined to draw you into the world and added as much to the plot as it did to the setting.

As for the characters, I did liked but I’m not sure they were exceptional. It’s a book that had multiple perspectives which was fine, it added a layer to the story to be able to see things from different sides and get to know the main characters on a more personal level. But I don’t think it’s a book that needed multiple perspectives. It would have been just fine if we saw things from either Jules or Mia’s P.O.V. I do think they were likable characters though. Both had their own reasons for doing what they were doing and they were motivated by something personal which made them easy to root for. Plus I liked the way they played with gender roles a little bit by making Jules the academic who is slightly helpless and Mia the adventurous and strong one. Plus they did have layers to them and were interesting.

My biggest reservation withy he characters, and honestly the reason I didn’t love them as much as I would think, was the romance. I am very surprised to report that there is an Amie and Meagan unlikely duo that didn’t have me shipping them. Maybe I’m just getting more picky with my romance or maybe it was something else. It just kind of felt like a lust sort of scenario. Throughout the book there kept being moments where the characters talked about how they thought the other person was cute but I just didn’t feel it went any deeper than that. I think they were a great team and seemed to have affection for one another but I’m just not all in when it comes to the romance. I would have preferred it there was more of a built up to something more. But they made the romance part of the plot and characterization and that’s where I think they lost me. But that is completely a personal preference. I’m okay with romance but I don’t really like it to be a plot line.

But all in all this was a fantastic read. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it and I couldn’t put it down. I read this over the weekend as I was just feeling better from being sick and I am so glad I was able to devour it because it was that good. It has a thrilling plot, an engaging world, and complex characters.

I give Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you like science fiction or are looking for a book full of adventure and mystery definitely check this one out. And anyone who was a fan of the Starbound trilogy will love the triumphant return of Amie and Meagan back together. I know I did.

Have you read Unearthed? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I looove science ficton but I'm more into adult SF than YA so I'm worried I won't enjoy it as much. I did love the Illumniae books so maybe I would enjoy this after all? :D

  2. I'm soooo excited about your rating! I just got this and I can't wait to dig in. I loved their other series!