Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


The basics

Title: Unearthed

Author: and

Series: Unearthed #1

- Unearthed (2018)
- Untitled (2019)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Mia and Jules' different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...

in short

Jules and Mia travel (separately) to Gaia, an alien planet that is said to have temples full of alien technology. Humans need this technology to save Earth, which is currently dying. Mia is there to get the tech and sell it to buy her sister, Evie, back. Jules is there because his father was the professor who worked on translating and analysing the alien transmission. Jules’ father was convinced that there was a second message hidden in the first which warned of catastrophe, but he was arrested by the IA. Jules wants to figure out the truth behind this message and clear his father’s name.

Jules and Mia crack the codes and puzzles in the temple and step through a portal to the south pole. A group of IA soldiers are there, led by Charlotte/Mink. They come across a spaceship, and Jules gets it running and it goes through a portal to Earth. As the spaceship sits in the Earth’s orbit, the “aliens” arrive through portals. Jules and Mia hear them say that they want to “take Earth back”. They’re human.

what went down

  • Mia is about to be attacked by scavvers but Jules bumps into them and it throws them off. Jules and Mia decide to travel together.
  • Jules convinces Mia to go with him to another temple – one that the other scavvers don’t know about. He tells her there will be tech there that she can sell to save Evie.
  • We learn about a previous exhibition to Centuri, which went horribly wrong eight years into the journey. The crew on this team sent out a distress signal and Earth couldn’t (or wouldn’t) help them. The crew vanished.
  • Jules mentions that the aliens from Gaia sent a message to Earth about how to create a portal and get to Gaia to get the alien technology to save Earth. His father, Dr. Elliott Addison, translated the message and also realised that there was a second message hidden in the first. This second message warned about death and catastrophe and the end of the world. Addison tried to warn the IA but they wouldn’t listen to him and people headed to Gaia anyway.
  • The first puzzle has Jules and Mia tune the holes to make a song. They solve this quite easily.
  • Mia realises that Jules is the son of Dr. Elliott Addison. Jules tells her that he doesn’t actually think there’s alien tech in this temple. Mia gets mad because she needs money to buy Evie back.
  • Liz and her scavver team find Mia and Jules in the temple. Liz is also working for Mink but she ties Mia and Jules up anyway.
  • Mia tells Liz who Jules is, and that the story about her sister is fake. Mia joins Liz’s crew. And Jules gets mad.
  • When they get the chance, Mia and Jules escape from Liz and her crew. They cause a cave in and separate themselves from the group.
  • Jules’ breather is still with Liz though, which isn’t good. Mia shares hers with him.
  • The two of them enter the final room of the temple and get trapped inside. At least, they think they’re trapped but they manage to solve the final puzzle. Writing in various different languages – all from Earth – appears on the walls. They manage to open a portal and they go through.
  • They appear at the south pole of Gaia. They find somewhere to hide before Liz and her team follow them through.
  • They wonder how human languages got to be on the walls when the aliens were meant to have built the temples thousands of years ago.
  • Mia and Jules find a spaceship.
  • They realise that the Undying lied to them and they could have broadcast the message in English.
  • The IA arrive at the south pole.
  • Liz approaches the group of IA people and is killed.
  • Javier finds Jules and Mia. They tell him that Liz has been shot and Javier agrees to help them get the hell off the planet. He takes them back to their base camp to get Hansen.
  • Jules realises that the spirals come together to make an image of the spaceship.
  • The IA arrives and they’re being led by Charlotte/Mink, the person who employed both Mia and Jules. TWIST. IT’S THE SAME PERSON.
  • It turns out that Charlotte put a tracker on Jules, and that’s how she found him so quickly.
  • Charlotte tells Jules to find a way inside the ship. She threatens Mia and locks her up with Javier and Hansen.
  • Jules finds the control panel and Charlotte tells him to turn the ship on.
  • Mia escapes captivity.
  • Hansen is shot.
  • Charlotte orders her team to evacuate the ship before she powers it up to be sent to Earth.
  • Mia and Jules freak out because they could be leading the aliens there.
  • No shit, guys.

how did it end?

Jules goes back into the ship to try to turn it off. Mia goes with him, of course. The ship goes through the portal and ends up in the Earth’s orbit. Jules decides against blowing up the ship because that would also damage the planet. They figure that the ship is actually a Trojan horse. The portals on the ship turn on. The Undying are using the ship as a gateway. Two figures step through the portal as Mia and Jules hide. More of the Undying come through the portals. They speak English. One of them takes off their helmet and it turns out that she is human. “Ready to take Earth back?” THEN IT ENDED. FML.

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