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...
As I write this review, two days after finishing UNEARTHED, I am still 100% reeling from that ending. I have to say, I'm a sucker for a book that can slay me with the final sentence, and this one definitely accomplished that.
It's a little funny, how much I loved this book. I say that, because I don't like Indiana Jones, and I don't like the Tomb Raider movie(s? Is there another one?). So, given that I keep seeing comparisons to those two, you'd think this book wouldn't have been for me. BUT. What I do love is Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Writing books. Together.
Amie and Meagan just seem to have this magical ability to write beautifully together. I liked their Starbound trilogy, but Unearthed is even better.
While slow in places, I was never bored reading Unearthed. There were a lot of inner monologues that seemed to throw off the pace a little, and many details about the plot seemed to be repeated unnecessarily often. But other than that, I thought this book was really well done.
Ya'll know I love characters the best. Oh boy, these characters are to die for. Mia and Jules are both so wonderful and squishy and witty and I just wanted to go into the book and save them myself. Their interactions and dialogue were just SO GOOD. They're really what brought Unearthed to life and made it shine for me.
The story itself was really fun. I loved the setting, though I could have gone for a bit more world-building on the planet of Gaia to really help me visualize it better. The twists were great, and where I saw some things coming, others I didn't at all, and I love a good surprise. There there was that cliffhanger of an ending that I mentioned earlier. Whew. It was one of those moments where I had to double-check to make sure my book wasn't missing pages, because WOW what a beautifully cruel way to end a book.
I definitely recommend UNEARTHED, especially to fans of the sci-fi genre looking for something fun with strong characters. And don't be scared off by the fact that this one has a cliffhanger, I promise you won't regret picking it up.
Onward, if you dare. (I dare you.)