It has been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon. And now they are going to do it again. In order to grab some attention and a fair share of funding, they launch a historic lottery. Three lucky teenagers can win a weeklong trip to moon-base DARLAH 2. Millions of teenagers sign up. It is as though the world spins out of control that spring, and once again the moon is on everyone’s lips. The three whose numbers are chosen come from very different places: Paris, Tokyo and Norway. Their names are Midori, Antoine and Mia, and they may have only one thing in common: they aren’t particularly interested in space travel.
Just before the scheduled launch, all three experience strange and unexplainable events. At the same time, NASA announces that they will be traveling in a copy of the old rocket used in 1969. The veteran astronauts are shocked. And in a Miami nursing home there sits an old, senile janitor who once worked for the American military. He barely remembers his own name. The only thing that he is certain of is that no one can be permitted to return to the moon. A new expedition would be the end of everything. But the countdown has already begun…
Darlah - 172 hours on the moon (Darlah - 172 timer på månen) is the story of three young people searching for something else, something new. But it is also a thriller set in space. And a story of secret connections hidden in places like New York, Normandie, Tokyo or the moon.
This is Johan Harstad's first novel for young adults. It earned him the prestigious Brage Prize 2008 in Norway. It was also nominated to the Norwegian Uprize 2009, the French Salon du Livre Prize for best YA novel in 2013, the French Prix Utopiales for best science fiction novel for young People in 2013, and for the American YALSA's Teens' Top Ten Award 2013. In 2014 it was named Best Norwegian Book for Young Readers through All Times by a jury of critics and ubok.no.
Darlah has been published in 16 countries.
'Well-written moony suspense … impossible to sleep before knowing how it ends. The chills won’t go away … a powerful reading experience.’
‘A real page-tuner.’
‘Harstad comes out an avid lot maker, that make even the grown ups feel the chill.‘
‘… will make the hair on your whole body rise … If this book had been a film, it would have gotten an R-rating—it’s that scary.’
‘... so exciting that it’s almost unbearable. ... likely to be read far beyond the borders of Norway.’
‘… not for the faint of heart.’
‘This irresistible premise is often intoxicating and occasionally downright terrifying.... pretty darn effective.’
‘Imaginative.... Well-crafted suspense.... Interesting and original.’
Kirkus Reviews, US
‘Harstad combines the perfectly paced creepiness of classic Twilight Zone episodes with Battlestar Galactica's chilling portrayal of the vast, unknowable emptiness of space.’
Romantic Times, US
‘Creepy and bleak, Harstad's story is both psychologically and atmospherically disturbing.’
Publishers Weekly, US
‘Original, creepy, intense... 172 Hours is page-turning sci-fi that will stay with readers long after the shocking and heartbreaking conclusion.’
School Library Journal, US
‘A high-quality piece of meticulously research and realistic sci-fi/horror. This near-future tale falls within the blurry walls of young adult fiction but there's nothing to deter older readers. There are no punches pulled when it comes to offing major characters all the way through, and the final twist is satisfyingly merciless.’
The Sun, UK
‘A new masterproof of probably the most talented author in Scandinavian literature. [172 Hours] is addictable, frightening, touching, intelligent and utterly well written.’
Standaard der Letteren, Belgium