Title: Unearthed (Unearthed #1)
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: January 9, 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
Audio Book Length: 12 hours, 44 mins
Narrators: Alex McKenna and Steve West
Synopsis: Amelia is a scavenger on Gaia to find parts to salvage for money. Jules Addison is the son of the man who translated the transmissions from the Undying, a dead alien race that had sent messages to Earth. With Earth dying, Jules wants to discover more answers from the Undying technology. These two unexpectedly band together to face the temple on Gaia, one that the government doesn’t watch, to uncover more answers.
Happy Friday everyone! Sorry this post is kinda late today; I worked earlier and got stuff done before work that needed attention. But I’m really excited to share this review with you guys today! When heard that this had elements of Indiana Jones in space, and that Steve West was one of the narrators, I immediately got this on Audible the day it came out. I didn’t any expectations going into this and I genuinely think the less you know about the plot, you’ll get the best experience with this story. Here’s five reasons why you should listen to this book:
1. Narration: Right off the bat, I loved these two narrators! Steve West does the chapters from Jules POV and Alex McKenna does Amelia’s POV. Both their voices transition really well together and also offer great contrast to the characters. Since Jules is British, it’s fitting that West does this narration. He’s smooth voice offers a good range of anger, discovery, softness and a genuine personality. Alex McKenna’s raspy voice shows the rough edges around Amelia, but her softer side creates more emotion for this scavenger. Even her high, almost squeak of a voice in moments of shock and danger was great to hear; I hadn’t many narrators take their voice through a surprised voice like that. Also, with listening to both narrators back to back, the chemistry they have is amazing and they need to do more audio books together.
2. Plot: The pacing of this plot was great the whole way through! I liked how Jules and Amelia meet up in the beginning and their chemistry and their expectations of one another offer great moments and keep the story going. Through both their POV’s, you see references to Earth’s conditions, the Undying transmissions and also great moments while they’re in the temple finding answers. Both characters are more science minded, so it was cool to see how they saw math, archaeology and history all woven together as they continue to evade danger as well as travel deeper into this temple. But then…I got to that wicked finale and while I was right about predicting something, I’m totally okay with it because I felt smart for guessing right. Kaufman and Spooner really kick things up a new notches and the plot just unfolded into a sci-fi action movie that made me desperate for the sequel
3. Characters: First, let’s talk about Amelia. She kinda reminded me of Rey from Star Wars; at first, she’s looking to survive in her circumstances and doesn’t trust people right away. I liked how she deciphered many situations and made herself useful, even if she wasn’t sure what to do at first. Her personal back story added a bit more depth to her and I found it touching; although it’s a small part of her character, the stuff you do get from her past enough to make her more human. I also loved how she didn’t always let her attraction to Jules get in the way; her banter with him was genius!
Jules was my favorite of the two though. Being the son of the man who translated many of the Undying transmissions, he’s grown up around this big mystery his whole life. I love seeing the bits of the relationship with his dad in the past and he really grew into his own person, with his own motivations as he continues going deeper into the temple with Amelia. Jules is also a person color, so those looking for a diverse read will find this a good one to check out. The chemistry of both these characters was great to see unfold as they continued being surprised by the other; things aren’t always what they seem and I think both authors truly show what it’s like to be surprised by someone, feel attraction as you get to be around someone and other interesting personal traits.
4. Seamless Writing: Since I never read anything by these two authors together before, I was wondering what it would like to experience a co-authored book. To me, the writing was seamless. I’m guessing that they might have taken one character each to write their POV’s, but you can’t tell it’s written by two authors; while the two characters have their own unique voice, the writing doesn’t seem like it’s written by two authors and I think that’s how it should be. The writing for one half should feel and read the same as the second half. I definitely want to read more by this team, now that this book had a great flow to it.
5. Pacing: This counts for both the audio book and the actual book itself. Both narrators give just enough in their voices to pick up the action and they give the ominous feeling that something is going happen or be revealed. The book also hardly slows down. You see the alien planet Gaia, the flashbacks that talk about Earth, the temple Jules and Amelia explore and everything crazy that happens in between. There’s only enough time to slow down enough to get a few quiet moments between Jules and Amelia, some of the back story and while they figure out the temple. Other than, it felt like a sci-fi action movie that needs to be on the screen.
If you’re interested in listening to a sample of this audio book, here’s the link for Audible’s website:
Overall: This was an unexpectedly flirty, action packed and fantastic series opener! This is a space science fiction that felt fun and even kinda believable without suspending your belief too much. The romance even reminded me of the early Indiana Jones films too and I need more chemistry like Jules and Amelia 🙂 If you already like this duo, you should love this one and start waiting (rather impatiently) the sequel.
Have you read this book yet? Does the audio book interest you? If you read their first trilogy, which book was your favorite?