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In the not-so-distant future, humans are watching Earth die around them with no solution to fix it. That is, until they receive a broadcast from the Undying, a mysterious and long-extinct alien race far beyond Earth’s galaxy. Hidden beneath their language are clues about their home planet, Gaia, a place full of advanced technology that could possibly turn all of Earth’s problems around.

For scavengers like Amelia, it is the perfect place to loot for Earth-saving goods and sell them before the government has a chance to get them first. But for scholars like Jules, it holds a world of possibilities to uncover and questions to answer, one of them being whether or not the Undying want to help or hurt the humans. As soon as Amelia and Jules meet, their different motivations for smuggling themselves onto the planet put them at odds, but nevertheless, they are thrown together as a team to enter an Undying temple, solve the puzzles left for them and find out the secrets it contains. However, Amelia and Jules quickly discover that the more they learn, the more secrets there are to be uncovered, including the possible end of the human race.

"The characters are to die for and the suspense makes the book a true page turner....Full of mystery and plot twists, UNEARTHED is a novel that will make you want to start counting down days until the sequel...."

At many points, UNEARTHED felt like a love song to older adventure stories and games. Given the fact that the two main characters are trying to uncover the mysteries of the Undying in a temple, there were lots of puzzles and traps and secrets to solve. This element of problem solving was one of the highlights of the book for me and the entire time, I felt like I was right next to Mia and Jules, trying to help them solve the problem like it was a video game and I was an avatar. Even when there were not literal puzzles in a temple to be solved, there were always more questions to ask. The Undying alien race was a mystery the entire time that the characters (and myself) were dying to uncover. I spent the entire book questioning the Undying’s actions, who they were and what the purpose was. The entire book felt like putting together a big puzzle, each page contained more pieces but it was not until the end that it all clicked together. With plenty of plot twists and suspense, UNEARTHED was a fascinating and mysterious adventure story from start to finish.

What makes UNEARTHED so special among other books of its kind is the way that the plot is weaved together. As with Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s previous books in the Starbound trilogy, the plot never gives the reader a second to pause. While it is not necessarily constant action, the book always had me on my feet and thinking about what could come next. I was always thinking, questioning and theorizing how the book would end. The duo mastered the art of a good plot twist, always making sure to leave the reader with more questions than answers.

Not only was the mystery and suspense amazing but the characters were wonderful to read about. The main characters Amelia and Jules were both so intelligent, funny and caring. They were both complete opposites but watching them come together warmed my heart. Their banter was spot-on the entire time which not only made the characters more lovable but also illustrated the strength of Kaufman and Spooner’s co-authorship (if that’s a word.) Watching Jules and Amelia grow closer was my favorite part of the book by far. I eventually got so attached to them that one or two scenes made me cry like a baby. Just like in the authors’ other works, the characters and their relationships are strong.

I recommend this book to any fans of the Starboard trilogy and Indiana Jones, given that UNEARTHED combines the best elements from both and throws them together. The characters are to die for and the suspense makes the book a true page turner, making the book a fun and enjoyable read that I could not put down. Full of mystery and plot twists, UNEARTHED is a novel that will make you want to start counting down days until the sequel as soon as you finish.

Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member on February 16, 2018

by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner