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The Astronaut's Son

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  36 reviews
**Medal Winner - 2018 Book of the Year Awards - Foreword Reviews**

**2019 Connecticut Book of the Year Awards - Finalist**

"Seigel’s solid debut provides an intriguing and plausible variant on moon landing conspiracy theories. . . . Equally strong on plotting and characterization, Seigel does better than many other thriller writers in making his lead’s pain and uncertainty a
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Woodhall Press
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Average rating 3.46  · 
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 compelling stars to The Astronaut’s Son! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Based on true events surrounding NASA and its Nazi scientists and engineers, The Astronaut’s Son is a compelling story from the start.

Jonathan Stein’s father worked for NASA, and he unearths a secret, a cover-up of epic proportions; his father may have been murdered to protect NASA.

Jonathan’s father passed away shortly before the Apollo 18 launch in the 1970s. He was an Israeli astronaut, and his cause of death was a heart attack.

Years la
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
4 gripping provocative stars

Thirty-five years ago, Neil Armstrong placed his foot down on the surface of the moon saying the words that history has passed down to us "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." It was a tremendous achievement for America in the race for space that started years before. Brought about by brilliant scientist, people of courage, ability, and intellect, this achievement set America in the premier position in space exploration. However, there are so
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan Stein, the CEO of Apollo Aeronautics, is the son of Avi Stein, an Israeli pilot specially chosen to command Apollo 18 in 1974, but who suffered a fatal heart attack before launch. Jon is now on course to be the the first person in 30 years to step on the moon. But he becomes aware that disturbing rumors that he and others had considered hoaxes, concerning former moon landings, might actually be true. Did his dad really die of a heart attack or was he murdered? Did NASA collaborate with ...more
Kylie H
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Like many American science fiction fans, I've always been a supporter of NASA. This is the primary reason why I downloaded a Net Galley of The Astronaut's Son which is the first novel of Tom Seigel.

If you were looking for a feel good romanticization of the space program, The Astronaut's Son isn't that book. It's a provocative thriller that addresses a number of significant issues that can make for uncomfortable reading. This is especially true if you have a Jewish background, and the only thing
Christopher Madden
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tom Seigel has crafted a deft and nuanced book about faking-the-moon-landing-conspiracies, NASA, Nazis, and murder. His protagonist is complicated and flawed and more interesting because of it. I found this to be a surprising and complex mystery that pushed against the tropes of the mystery genre in good ways. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Publisher's Blurb:
"On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing comes a novel in which a Jewish astronaut must reassess his moral compass when forced to confront NASA’s early collaboration with Nazis and the role it may have played in his father’s death.
Jonathan Stein, the CEO of Apollo Aeronautics, is an ambitious polymath who has spent a lifetime determined to accomplish two tasks: First, to complete his father’s unfulfilled mission to reach the moon, and second, to forge a relations
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nov-2018
Thank you very much Woodhall Press for a copy of The Astronaut's Son for an honest review.

The Astronaut's Son is an interesting historical fiction looking into the history of NASA and their use of Nazi scientists. Jonathan's father was an astronaut on his way to the moon when he died suddenly days before launch of a heart attack. But was it really natural causes? Now that Jonathan is about to become a father himself and is about to head back to the moon more than 20 years later, he wonders if th
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Astronauts's Son is a complex and elegant mystery. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of nuance in this debut novel. The tension is palpable from the first chapter and builds throughout the book. The characters are well rounded, flawed and surprising, which makes it an interesting read. I also found the space science and Cold War history aspects of it interesting and plausible. The writing made me feel like I was in good hands. Highly recommend!
Amos Lassen
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Seigel, Tom. “The Astronaut’s Son””, Woodhall Press, 2018.

Going Back to Move Forward

Amos Lassen

We never know what we are going to get when we first open a book and many times, it can take a couple of chapters to find our way into what is going on the pages. This is not the case with “The Astronaut’s Son” since it grabbed me the first sentence. I knew I would not be going anywhere for a while and that I was going to sit and read this book from cover to cover. What I discovered is one of the best
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Is this a conspiracy book involving the Apollo Moon Landings that doesn't involve aliens? Okay, I'm game.

In the end, I was pretty disappointed with this book. I didn’t care for the main protagonist (Getting drunk is not an excuse for cheating on your wife). The characters in general felt a bit two dimensional. I would have liked a bit more character development.

The mystery had the potential
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan learns about his heart condition. His dad, Avi Stein suffered a fatal heart attack just before the launch of Apollo 18, the mission in which Avi was chosen to command. Thirty years later, Jonathan reveals his moon mission to the press and the public.

After his father's death, Jonathan tries to keep in touch with Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. But Neil never replies to any of Jonathan's letters. Jonathan has two tasks in his mind - one, to complete his father's
Nicola Weideling
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect when starting this book. Was it going to be a thriller? A paean to the mysteries of space travel? What it turned out to be was something more thought-provoking; what do you do when you have a mystery in your life? Do you accept that you will never know and get on with your life? Or do you fight to learn the truth? And if you learn the truth and it changes everything you know, how do you handle it?

Jonathan Stein, is the CEO of Apollo Aeronautics, and the son of a NAS
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, thriller
The Astronaut's Son is an excellent conspiracy thriller, set around the true fact that NASA used Nazi engineers to further their space program. In this great debut novel, Jonathan Stein is set to be the first astronaut to go to the moon in decades. His father had been the first Jewish astronaut slated to be sent to the moon 30 years earlier, but he had died suddenly of a heart attack before he could go. But was it a heart attack, or was he murdered? Was anti-Semitism as virulent within NASA's en ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am a fan of aviation and historical books. Thus the reason that I was very intrigued and drawn to this book.

When I first started reading, I was into the story. In fact, it was admirable that Jonathan did not take the theory that his father was possibly murdered as just that...a theory. Which I kind of could imagine the theory. At the same time, the theory was a bit far fetched. So, if you can set aside the logical and allow the illogical to play in your head, you may enjoy this book. I could
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Astronaut's Son is an intriguing literary thriller. I can't say that I particularly liked Jonathan Stein, but I definitely wanted to see him find the answers he was seeking regarding both his father's fate and the secrets some NASA scientists may have been hiding at the time of the first moon landing. Saying much more would give too much away, but I can say that The Astronaut's Son is a well-plotted novel with an interesting premise and overall, a very thought-provoking read. 

Thank you to Ne
Kathy Kate
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to read this NASA-family-historical-mystery novel early on, and already anticipate a movie version. Educational to the point of HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS about Nazis and NASA (overlooked American history in same vein as Hidden Figures), exciting page turner, filled with family secrets and conspiracy theories unraveled, The Astronaut's Son is a great story about reaching for the stars with your feet grounded in reality and truth. Well done history lesson that makes me ashamed and ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Jonathan Stein is a NASA astronaut following in his father's (almost) footsteps to the moon, trying to find out what happened then, what happened since, and trying to reconcile himself with what he finds. It is a novel that looks at conspiracy theories, Nazis, ethics, relationships, space training, family dynamics, ambition and much more.

Reading the book description I was expecting some sort of thriller. That isn't what I got. Instead I found a book that was interesting and made me thoughtful an
Linda Quinn
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This debut novel is part thriller, part conspiracy theory and part lunar history. Tom Siegel blends all three to create a very readable adventure that will make you question what you believe about science and where moral lines should be drawn in the pursuit of knowledge.
Matthew Winkler
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had the chance to read an advance copy of this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone searching for a literary thriller that wraps relationships, technology, and mortality around a personal quest for closure and, perhaps, redemption.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
#53 - The Astronauts Son by Tom Seigel. An intriguing debut novel in which the protagonist is about to be on the first trip to the moon in 30 years but is distracted by allegtions that his dad - who was slated to go into space decades earlier but died of heart problems - may have been killed because he was Jewish and some NASA workers were formerly Nazis. 4 out of 5
Interview here:
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
In 2005 Jonathan Stein has two missions to complete. The first one is well on its way: to return to the Moon as the first man back in three decades. The second one is a lot tougher: to uncover what was the real cause of his father's Avi Stein death. Avi was supposed to be the first Israeli astronaut and one of the last men shot to the Moon as Apollo 18 crew in 1974. Was it a heart attack, a natural cause of death?

Jonathan had been writing letters for years to Neil Armstrong, the first man on the
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
he Astronaut's Son by Tom Seigel is inspired by real-life events about the Nazi scientists and the engineers at NASA. Jonathan Stein's father never made it to the moon. He died of a heart attack a few days before the launch. Now it's Jonathan's turn to go to the moon, and everything seems to be going well for him until an online conspiracy website makes him start to wonder if his dad was actually murdered. This new information sends Jonathan spiraling down a path to find out the truth about how ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Jonathan Stein is slated to go to the moon which has been his dream since he was a boy, and his father died right before his NASA trip to the moon. Jonathan starts digging into his father's past and is contacted about a Nazi/NASA conspiracy. He needs to find out what really happened before his trip to the moon...

This book is slow with a choppy plot line. I'm into all things space and like a good conspiracy theory novel, but this book just didn't do it for me. The characters are unrelatable and t
Lisa Bernstein
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a compelling novel. The main character, Jonathan, wants to ascertain once and for all, whether his Israeli astronaut father, Avi, died of natural causes or whether he was murdered, and did the Nazis brought to the US to work for NASA have anything to do with it. The plot moves along quickly, and the mix of actual people and events and fictional events and characters works well. The novel brings to light NASA's use of Nazis, and their horrific research on human victims, to further develo ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. This seemed like such a good idea for a book. I was excited to read it but it fell short and flat. The main character wasn’t likeable, there wasn’t enough emotional connection to anyone. Even if the NASA explanations weren’t hard to follow, I still wouldn’t have really cared. his treatment of his wife during childbirth put the nail in the coffin for me. I couldn’t get to a place where I was following the plot full of holes or where I cared about the outcome.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was decidedly lousy! And this is disappointing, because the premise was solid. Centered on a new moon shot by the son of an Israeli/Jewish astronaut, based in part on the true story of the former Nazi scientists who helped NASA in the early days of manned space flight, and a conspiracy theory about the moon landings ... the book had potential. The dialogue was trite, the ploy choppy, the characters unsympathetic. Thoroughly unenjoyable!
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick and worthwhile read, especially if you are a fan of the space program and moon landing conspiracies. Clever dialogue, clear strong historical research, and a bit of a caper/mystery to tie it together. Will keep you turning pages and interested/entertained. Great effort for a first novel.
Ritika Jain
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
A solid 3 stars from me.

The Astronaut’s Son is a compelling thriller! I was hooked from the beginning, on Jonathan's journey to get the answers he was looking for.
While the plot is a bit complicated and Jonathon is not a sympathetic character, the way the author builds up tension keeps you invested enough to keep going on with this
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to #Netgalley and #Woodhall press for the free review copy of The Astronaut’s Son by Tom Seigel. This story is interesting as it based on true events. I knew that the US government after WWII took in some Nazi’s and Nazi Sympathizers but I never thought about it in context of NASA and how the US used their experiments to further their own agenda.

Jonathan wants to finish what his father started in the 1970s. After a weird night out that includes a tow truck and a conspiracy theorist, Jo
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Tom Seigel was born just months before the Apollo 11 lunar landing. He grew up in rural Warren County, Missouri, where his public school graduating class totaled sixty-four students. (Think the town of Hickory in Hoosiers.) During high school, he studied classical piano at the St. Louis Conservatory and School for the Arts. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Engl ...more

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