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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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?
- Authors: Meagan Spooner, Amie Kaufman
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Publication date: January 9, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.