Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Unearthed Book Poster Image
Teens explore alien ruins in pulse-pounding sci-fi thriller.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Unearthed is a fast-moving sci-fi adventure. Its approach to science isn't rigorous. However, it raises questions about loyalty and self-sacrifice.

Positive Messages

Loyalty to family is a powerful force. It's better to study a situation thoroughly before thoughtlessly blundering into it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jules and Mia are very different individuals, but their personalities complement each other. He's scholarly and deliberate; she's action-oriented and somewhat impulsive. Over the course of the book, they learn to trust and rely on each other.


A handful of violent scenes, mostly involving guns. Good guys and villains are fatally hit, but each death is significant, rather than just the usual cannon fodder. Mia is pistol-whipped and suffers a realistic concussion.


Mia and Jules are strongly attracted to each other. They snuggle up to keep warm, but they don't share a passionate kiss until late in the book.


Characters under great stress occasionally swear. "Hell," "damn," "goddamn," "s--t," and "bulls--t" used a handful of times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Unearthed is a science fiction adventure novel from the writing team of Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Set on a mysterious abandoned planet, it follows teens Jules and Mia as they search for alien artifacts that might save a nearly destroyed Earth. Violent scenes are generally understated and thoughtfully presented, with real regret for the loss of life. There's occasional swearing, with a few instances of "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "s--t," and "bulls--t." Sexual content is limited to Jules and Mia snuggling up to stay warm and eventually sharing a passionate kiss.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKiwi12 September 9, 2018

Good then bad

This book stared out awesome! Bit then it says GD twice in the same sentence. So I didn't finish it. :( with out that stupid word I would have finished it.... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

As UNEARTHED opens, two teens explore the ancient ruins left behind on the planet Gaia by the Undying: extinct aliens with advanced technology that may be the answers to a dying Earth's prayers. Scholarly Jules wants to prove that his disgraced father was right about Gaia all along, that its contents should be used with extreme caution. Impulsive Mia wants to grab the most valuable items and rescue her younger sister back on Earth. Together Jules and Mia must solve puzzles in which a wrong answer is a death sentence, and stay a step ahead of the scavengers who want to kidnap or kill them.

Is it any good?

A race against time is a sturdy framework on which to build a thriller, and this sci-fi adventure keeps the action revved high from first page to last. Unearthed authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spoon create likable and compelling characters in Jules and Mia, giving them plenty of sharp dialogue and insightful development. If some of the puzzle-solving seems a little too abstract, there's never much time before the next deadly threat or unsuspected plot twist. The book ends in a pulse-pounding cliffhanger that upends everything that came before. Fans of sci-fi with a hint of romance will be primed for the second installment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the puzzles the plot presents in Unearthed. How are secret codes used today to keep information hidden from prying eyes?

  • How is violence used in Unearthed? Does popular culture make killing seem easier than it actually is in real life?

  • Unearthed takes place in a time after Earth's environment has been nearly destroyed. What are the present-day effects of climate change? How can some of them be corrected?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

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