Unearthed – Review (spoiler free)


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…

Title: Unearthed

Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Pages: 328

Release: January 9, 2018

Genre: sci-fi, young adult

Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
Link to buy book here. 

Buy: Dymocks, Booktopia, Book Depository

My thoughts

Mia and Jules CAPTURED MY HEART. Amie and Meagan are masters of the slow-burning intensity that a YA romance requires. That said, I picked this amazing shiny book up because it was pitched to me as Indiana Jones, but in SPACE.

Heck, this book delivered. I reread the last line of the book and stared at it the way you stare when you know that glass is about to fall off a table but you’re too mesmerised to stop it. THAT AWE AND ANTICIPATION. And slight fear, too.

Initially Unearthed took me a little while to sink my teeth into. The premise with Jules the scholar and Mia the scavver was brilliant. The pace just felt like it ambled along, but when the second half hit, I understood the depth of its character growth. That second half did NOT stop moving! 

As someone who’s never seen an Indiana Jones movie (please keep tomato throwing until the end of the review!!!) I was thoroughly captured by the puzzles Mia and Jules had to survive through! Getting stuck underground is terrifying, but their minds work incredibly fast and they’re such a brilliant duo. I don’t have a point of comparison to the Indiana Jones films but Unearthed definitely raised my heart-rate as I read!

There were two twists in this book and I was completely blindsided by both and I LOVED IT. It’s not often that a YA book pulls the rug out from under me but Unearthed did, its characters did, and I’m 100% invested in book 2 for that reason.

Oh, and something small about the characters… they were simply teens. With their innocent, unique motivations. When it came down to it, injuries were injuries. They didn’t soldier on into battle as though nothing was wrong. (I know if I had an injury I’d complain about it for days, not bandage it up and pick up a sword.) They suffered, felt pain, and when faced with death they shied from it rather than pulled the trigger. This realness only tethered my heart to Mia and Jules even more.

Unearthed is a story of two teens, on two separate missions, that are bound together by the random need for survival on a foreign planet. There’s so much humour, intensity, anticipation, and humour. Whilst the beginning took a while to lift off (in terms of action sequences only), I grew to adore this story and can’t believe I have to wait a YEAR for more, because that ending was stellar.


4 / 5 stars

A huge thank you to Allen & Unwin for sending me the ARC copy (pictured) in exchange for a review! 

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