By: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Narrated by: Steve West and Alex McKenna
Published by Brilliance Audio 1/09/2018
12 hrs and 44 mins
Unearthed Audiobook Sample
A message from an alien race, a race to find and decipher artifacts from that race through a booby-trapped alien temple, dangerous artifact scavengers, and… that’s only the first leg of this race for humanity.
Unearthed was not much like I was expecting. Not that I’m complaining. There was a bit more Indiana Jones going on, lots of action/survivor elements, and some twists that all kept me riveted. For all its excitement, this was also a layered slow-burn thriller that leads to a king of a cliffhanger.
The beginning introduces an earth a little into our future that is just limping by- population restrictions, few resources to share among many, a knowledge that in only a few generations, they will be extinct. A message through a portal that leads to another world after one failed attempt to send a colony ship out seems like a godsend and people aren’t willing to look a gift horse in the mouth, save one man, and he’s ignored because he’s not telling people what they want to hear.
The story is told from two teenage perspectives. This unlikely pair of adventurers are as opposite as it gets. They are enemies and a canyon separates their ideology in many ways, but its amazing how the race for survival and survival of their race strips back the differences and leaves them surprisingly out for the same end.
Jules Addison is brilliant, highly-educated, pampered and somewhat naive, but he is convinced his scholarly father is right about the dangers of rushing in and accepting the Undying Race’s message as a no strings attached gift. Jules makes himself an authority on the Undying Race. He has a love for learning and gaining knowledge, but also a determination to prove his father right or at least finish his work to keep people safe from an unknown alien threat.
On the other side of the coin is Amelia Radcliffe, school dropout, scavenging the abandoned city desert of Chicago for her very existence, and on a mission to secure enough alien artifacts to earn her sister’s release from slavery and worse. She’s street savvy and toughened by life. She’s a pragmatist by necessity and doesn’t have the luxury of lofty reasons to be on a treasure-stealing expedition that might very well get her killed, but she’s more than she seems just as the stuck-up stuffy Oxford boy is more than he seemed to her, as well.
There is an ongoing action-adventure vibe that still manages to have some slow points. I got why the slow points are there, but I still felt the drag a little. Its the time when Jules and Mia are being tested and coming into their own in preparation for what comes afterward. There is character and relationship development going on during a desperate situation that the authors cleverly twist even tighter as the book progresses.
The twists were pretty good though I saw them coming. This didn’t make the book bore me because knowing the surprises didn’t mean I knew how Mia and Jules would get out of a dangerous corner they were backed into. I loved seeing them get out on ingenuity and not just dumb luck. Jules is really smart, but Mia is quick and clever so they worked wonderfully well.
The romance was slow build as a result of the whole enemies to lovers situation. The pair both have secrets and agendas and get into situations that make trust difficult so I was glad it was rather wary allies most of the book with hints of attraction and growing understanding.
The end left things at a very dire moment, but a good stopping point before plunging headlong into a new, thrilling situation.
In summary, I was expecting a different story, but I was more than pleased with what I got. I am eager to see this story through and I’m fully engaged with the characters. It’s a well-drawn futuristic alien world, complex plot, and personable flawed characters. Young Adult sci-fi and/or action-adventure fans should definitely grab this up.
Unearthed Audiobook Narration
This was a dual narration book with Steve West and Alex McKenna as the narrators. Both were new to me, but I thought they were a great fit for Jules and Mia and for the story as a whole. Both did accents well as well as had good command of the sizable cast of characters. They handled the emotional and dramatic moments well.
Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.
New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in play writing, and has spent several years since then living in Australia.
She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes. She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there. She’s the author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling Hunted.
Steve West is an international actor who has starred on London’s prestigious West End stage, including productions of Mamma Mia! and Oh, What a Night! He is widely known for his television and film work in both the UK and US. He has performed for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and currently hosts his own television show for the UK live from Los Angeles