Unearthed (Unearthed, #1)

by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman

3.58 of 5 stars 12 ratings • 12 reviews • 42 shelved
Book cover for Unearthed

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Unearthed (Unearthed, #1)

by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman

3.58 of 5 stars 12 ratings • 12 reviews • 42 shelved

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution humanity has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and their message leads to the planet Gaia, a treasure trove waiting to be explored.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an ancient alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Despite their opposing reasons for smuggling themselves onto the alien planet’s surface, they’re both desperate to uncover the riches hidden in the Undying temples. Beset by rival scavenger gangs, Jules and Mia form a fragile alliance… but both are keeping secrets that make trust nearly impossible.

As they race to decode the ancient messages, Jules and Mia must navigate the traps and trials within the Undying temples and stay one step ahead of the scavvers on their heels. They came to Gaia certain that they had far more to fear from their fellow humans than the ancient beings whose mysteries they’re trying to unravel. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more Jules and Mia start to feel like their presence in the temple is part of a grand design–one that could spell the end of the human race…

  • ISBN10 1484799836
  • ISBN13 9781484799833
  • Publish Date 4 December 2018 (first published 9 January 2018)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country US
  • Imprint Hyperion
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 336
  • Language English


Avatar for simplyadrift

Jordon 2 of 5 stars
I wanted to like this so badly. A teenage Indiana Jones? Hell yeah!

Unfortunately for me, I found the story rather dull. The story focused too heavily on the budding romance between the two characters, and it appears it is actually quite hard to portray the urgency and danger when solving puzzles, through words... It didn’t help that I felt no connection to the characters, and therefore was not interested in their safety.

The first 25-30% has more info dumping than action, I nearly DNFed it but pushed through because everyone said the ending was worth it. There was a lot of repetition of information which bored me, I could tell they were trying to hit home how each character had important things on the line and the stakes were high. But it slowed the story right down.

After that ending though, I feel like the whole point of the story was contradictory. The high stakes also feels like they were unnecessary.

I really wish I liked this! I love both of the authors and their other works, but this story was not that exciting...

I probably won’t read the sequel.

Avatar for emruth13

emruth13 5 of 5 stars
THIS BOOK! First, it felt like coming home reading a book by these two authors. I love their first series together so much and this book gave me all those feels. But then, it had its own kind of feels! And that ending was INSANE!!! I can't wait for the next book and wish we didn't have to wait so long for sequels!

Avatar for littleread1

littleread1 4 of 5 stars
See this and more reviews at Little Read Riding Hood.

Having loved the series these two authors previously wrote together, These Broken Stars (Starbound Series #1), I knew I have to check this out as soon as I heard about it. I had very few doubts that I would like it, so not only did I jump all over the chance to get an audio CD of Unearthed from the publisher, I pre-ordered the hardcover too. Even though I had both versions, I exclusively listened to this on the CD.

General thoughts:

I really enjoyed the dystopian world built but Kaufman and Spooner. It is certainly something I could see happening to us in the not so distant future. I also really liked how we (the readers) are just thrown into the story and the details are all brought to light in such a way that there is no big info dump like sometimes happens in sci-fi stories. There is very little I didn't like, but the one thing that really bothered me was the ending. I don't mind cliffhangers, but this one made the story just seem ... unfinished?

More detailed thoughts :

I love dual narration. I also love when the narrators make an effort to get the same accent when they are reading the same characters, just from a different POV. I also really like how seamlessly Kaufman's and Spooner's writing styles come together without a hitch. I think each author took a different POV, but I would be lying if I said I knew that for a fact just by reading/listening. I also really love how they make these younger characters believable in the situations they find themselves in. Some YA stories you just can't ever figure out HOW this character got into the position they find themselves in, but that isn't an issue here. At first, maybe, but you come to see how Jules and Mia find themselves on another planet, and the circumstances just make sense. 

Jules and Mia ... I was able to relate to them both on some level, even though they are basically opposites. And even though from start to finish they only know each other a matter of days, they go through a lot together, which lends the blossoming romance an air of credibility. The whole trauma bringing people together thing is in full force in Unearthed. There were several instances where I was just nodding along, thinking, "Yeah, I'd probably do/say/think the same thing in their shoes." 

But the ending ... Not that it was bad per se, it just seemed like it could have ended either a few pages earlier or another couple of pages could have wrapped it up. I am NOT going to even hint about what happens, just that I think we were told a bit too much right there at the end. It would have made more sense to me to leave us questioning a few more things. I mean, if you had paid attention at all, there were enough clues dropped that had things not been confirmed you probably would have guessed anyway, however the wondering 'what if' in the interim would have been fun. The theories and discussions we could have been having during the wait for book 2 are basically gone. And then it just ENDS. 

Did I love this as much as I thought I would? Almost. Was I disappointed in the story? Not at all, just where they chose to end it. Will I snatch up book 2 whenever the time comes? You bet!

Avatar for zerisse

Ezrah 3 of 5 stars
I FINALLY read it! Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner was… enjoyable. Well, it didn’t blow me away as I expected it to, but it wasn’t bad. It was OKAY.

Let me explain. Unearthed had a lot of world building to establish. They needed to establish Gaia and of course the Earth during that time.

Unearthed also introduced the main players in this adventure and why they were on Gaia in the first place. Which is why there was a lot of telling and not much doing, especially with regards to the world building.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it was a tad bit boring. In fact, if I wasn’t listening to the audiobook, this would have been a DNF or at least, a book that would take me months to finish.

This book is pitched as Indian Jones in space. And I could see why because the temple scenes reminded me of Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. From the first puzzle to the second puzzle. It really felt LIKE an exact copy of the scenes. I know because I watched The Last Crusade over 100 times! And this was immediately the image that popped into my head: Harrison Ford jumping from square to square looking at his dad’s notebook. See?! And of course, the invisible bridge!

While that made me think of Indian Jones, it also made me think of the game Elder Scrolls. I guess it’s because of the puzzles?

I am glad that I stuck through until the end because -  OMG THAT TWIST IN THE END!

I am not a fan of cliffhangers and this one had A BIG ONE! However, I am pretty sure if this book didn’t have a cliffhanger, I probably wouldn’t even want to read the sequel. But now I WANT THE BOOK LIKE YESTERDAY!

I recommend listening to this book, instead. The narrators Alex McKenna & Steve West are amazing and actually made me enjoy the adventure even more.

Unearthed is also written in dual POVs and I love it! Also, please tell me that Ellie, Mia’s sister, is going to be in the second book!This review first appread on I Heart Romance & YA

Avatar for sa090

sa090 4 of 5 stars
Wow, 3 very entertaining books in a row?!! Either it’s preparation for a disaster on the way or I’m getting better at choosing my reads... No idea lol but I’m hoping it’s the second one 😅


I feel like it’s been a very long time since I enjoyed a sci-fi book this much, given that it’s also the first time I read any books for these co-authors, I’ll gladly be checking out other writings as well, they had an excerpt of “These Broken Stars” and tbh, it was a little too exciting for what I expected from the cover and I might check it out at some point this year if I can squeeze it in somewhere. Anyways the talk going on about a Lara Croft meets Indiana Jones made me super excited, Tomb Raider is one of my all time favourite games and concepts. So while I don’t really enjoy the idea of “aliens” all that much, that alone sold me on starting this duology. Was it worth it? Hell yeah! It was fast paced, dangerous, with interesting characters and an insanely interesting world that I just got sucked into it!

The whole thing with the Undying, Gaia, the message they sent, the temples and especially the puzzles made this world so interesting that I really wished that I could see it in full details. I’m confident in my imaginary world building skills but there are just some worlds out there where imagining it is simply not enough, if that makes any sense (best part? There’s apparently a film in the works for this!!). I think the fact that Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner included a somewhat long journey in this book is what made it interesting, for instance, without this journey I wouldn’t have actually seen what people living in that timeframe use for communication, for breathing, transportation, food, tech and of course pseudo learned more about the inner dynamics of the rules on the futuristic Earth they journeyed from.

Like I mentioned earlier, the characters were interesting. I really enjoyed the depth of their resolve if you will, since finding out what led each of them to actually take this journey was a nicely added bonus although it’s of course not groundbreaking, but it honestly doesn’t need to be for me. The growing friendship of Jules and Mia was a pleasant read overall but it had a few hiccups for me, first and foremost the insta-lovey situation of theirs wasn’t fun to read about. It made me feel like I’m reading about animals instead of actual human beings, I don’t know how to explain it without coming of as condescending (I apologize if Im offensive) but this is how it went to me “She’s a girl”, “He’s a boy”, “My hormones are getting in the way and I cant think straight”, a couple of days pass and then boom “We’re in love”. I didn’t enjoy it, I’m not a big fan of a focus on romance to begin with but since the characters do work with each other for once, I hoped for something slower that would actually make it meaningful in a way, maybe at the end of the journey and not in the first couple of days of it would’ve been great.

The second reason was the blame game going on, I’m not going to get into details, but there is no reason for it. Not to this extent anyway, which ultimately was just a result of the above point, therefore giving me a second reason why I didn’t enjoy reason one so much. Other than that and of course Jules’s usage of unnecessary vocabulary, I enjoyed their personalities a lot. The way they’re so different when compared to each other in both the way they grew up and what they brought into the story was fun to read about. The way their personalities clashed into each other without one of them being a brooding edgy teen for the entire book was refreshing and a joy to read about. The best thing about them is that neither was useless, no one hogged the spotlight, they had their strengths and the authors made a very good show of that in the book. One more added bonus here is how seamless the writing was, honestly didn’t feel like there was more than one author which I applaud once again.

While I’m reading the book and how the languages play into it, I started building my own explanations to how these Undying worked out their temples. The big reveal in the end was something I surprisingly actually had in one of my possible thoughts in a way because of the very cleverly hidden Easter egg which I will not be posting here for fear of spoiling anyone but I assure you, it’s oh so clever and I tip my hat to both for having it there IF it was intentional which it most likely was. Lastly, that ending was just awesome, I have no idea how they’re ending the story next time (Meagan Spooner is saying this is a duology so...) but I’m definitely interested to know way more about Gaia, the Undying and whatever else they would like to throw at me because I’m very ready to be impressed.

Final rating: 4/5

Avatar for amber

Amber 4 of 5 stars
Unearthed was sooooooo good! I went into it knowing next to nothing, only that I was in a sci-fi mood and I needed something action packed. This book delivered so hard. It’s set on another planet, and the two main characters basically have to go into an temple and try to find the secrets within. It sounds cliché, but it’s brilliant. The Uncharted/Tomb Raider vibes were real.

I really liked both of the main characters, which hardly ever happens. Mia was a badass, and Jules was an adorable nerd. I loved that they were both on this planet to help their families. When it comes to books with dual points of view, I tend to gravitate towards the female but in this book I loved both of them and I really enjoyed reading from both of their perspectives. Occasionally, the points of view sounded and felt very similar, but I rarely got confused about whose POV I was reading from.

As for the romance, I didn’t actually mind it! Either this means I’m growing as a person (yeah, right), or that it was written quite well. I don’t think there needed to be any kissing this early on in the series (it’s a duology) and I would have preferred a longer build up because I think that leads to the best tension, but it didn’t put me off the book or disgust me like it often does.

Unearthed ends on the BEST cliffhanger I’ve read in ages. Like, I can’t remember the last time I read a cliffhanger this good. The ending was incredibly well done and I’m dying to read the second (and last) book in the series. I need to get my hands on it NOW. Somehow. With a time machine. I was left with so many theories that I need it right now to see if I’m right!

I’d highly recommend Unearthed, even if you didn’t like the authors’ previous work. It’s much stronger than These Broken Stars and the sequels, both in terms of writing and in pacing. Plus, there’s no instalove. Woo!

Avatar for biblioholicbeth

Beth C. 4 of 5 stars
Definitely YA, though thankfully the romance isn't of the annoyingly unnecessary or overeager variety. The story is fun and fast-paced, and quite intriguing. The plot twist was a major twist (to me) - totally didn't see it coming. Huge downside? Cliffhanger. Not even a "half-off but scrambling up" cliffhanger with some sort of resolution, but a "barely hanging on by a single fingernail and one big toe" kind of ending.

Having said that - I did enjoy the story, and this will make it on to my shortlist of sequels to read ASAP.

Avatar for divaboooknerd

Kelly 4 of 5 stars
The Earth is no longer environmentally sustainable, humanity has depleted nonrenewable resources, communities abandoned and surviving through impoverished environments. The Undying are a former ancient archaic civilisation of Gaia, a technologically advanced species in distress. Gaia is now an abandoned and desolate planet, archaeologists believing the survival of Earth depends upon Gaia and the Undying technology.

Amelia Radcliffe is an illegal scavenger upon the surface of Gaia, an unauthorised visitor exploring the ancient temples of the Undying for artefacts to be illicitly traded by her benefactor. Amelia is an intelligent and perceptive young woman who appears invincible, her vulnerability and compassion compelled by the freedom of her enslaved sister.

The expedition on Gaia is an opportunity for Jules Addison to explore the temples of the Undying, journeying to the sacred ruins. His father once a world renowned xenoarchaeologist now imprisoned and accused of sabotage. Seventeen year old Jules will continue his father's vocation from the temples of Gaia, determined to decipher the concealed message within the distress signal. Jules is overwhelmed by the magnitude of Gaia and proposes an alliance. Amelia will assist Jules in reaching the temple and consequently, Jules will appraise ancient Undying artefacts despite his disdain. Neither anticipated company.

On their delightfully adventurous escapade, Amelia and Jules collaborate to decipher the mysteries of the Undying, each temple chamber challenging the young explorers while avoiding capture. Although Gaia was ambiguous, the Undying temples and hieroglyphic language were elaborately illustrated. Characteristically, the romantic elements are incredibly charming, still allowing both Amelia and Jules to flourish as individuals and I also enjoyed the subtle reference to the Starbound Trilogy and the Gaia hypothesis.

Thoroughly enjoyed it.