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The Last Astronaut

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  3,625 ratings  ·  561 reviews
Mission Commander Sally Jansen is Earth’s last astronaut–and last hope–in this gripping near-future thriller where a mission to make first contact becomes a terrifying struggle for survival in the depths of space.

Sally Jansen was NASA’s leading astronaut, until a mission to Mars ended in disaster. Haunted by her failure, she lives in quiet anonymity, convinced her days in
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Orbit
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a large alien object is observed hurtling towards Earth, seemingly under its own propulsion, NASA quickly assembles a team to try to intercept it.

The object, which appears to be a spaceship, dubbed 2I, is unresponsive to all attempts at communication, so the experts figure, they'll get a little closer.

What could go wrong?

Sally Jansen, a former NASA astronaut, has been living a quiet life since a failed expedition to Mars left a fellow astronaut dead. Seeing she is the only individual left
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE LAST ASTRONAUT took all my thoughts about "First Contact", (I'm a Trekkie), and turned them on their heads.

This book deserves a better review than I have time available to give right now, so I must keep it brief.

This was science fiction with a bit of humor and a big bunch of tension. It was fast-paced, with well drawn, deep and fascinating characters. I especially loved Sally Jansen. This woman was one of the bravest characters I've ever read about it. She wasn't perfect and everyone knew i
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I quite enjoyed this book. That ending was way cool and sad it’s way!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
David Putnam
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a great deal. Great concept and execution. There is never a dull moment, (with one exception). The author did an excellent job getting across the enormity of space and how it is so difficult to survive out there. I also found my mind getting stretched with many concepts I don't normally think about. The characters are well drawn.
I would have given this book five stars had the style been more intimate, a voice that was closer third person or even first person alternating third.
The Captain
Jun 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there mateys! Unpopular opinion time. This book has been described as Gravity, Alien, and The Martian combined. I should have loved this one but only managed to make it to the 4% mark. I was struggling with the narration style from the beginning. This is certainly a case of wrong book for this particular reader. But give it a shot if it sounds good to ye because the crew loves this one!

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for me honest musings. Grateful for the review copy. So s
Dawn F
May 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Hoo boy, this one soured faster than lactobacilli in a petri dish!

At first I enjoyed the fast-paced, cinematic style where some of the plot was moved forward by recordings of interviews with people relaying what was or had been going on. On audio it was at times confusing, though, because we follow many different voices who all sounded alike (despite the female narrator’s attempt at deep, growling men’s voices, which never does anyone any favors). It would have benefited from a full cast.

Leviathan Libraries
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I fucking loved this book. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year (and possibly better than any I read last year as well). It never went where I was expecting it to go and for someone who reads quite a lot that is such a rarity.

I was completely immersed in David Wellington’s world. The alien object that they encounter was fascinating and different enough from anything I had read (at least that I can remember) that my mind was constantly at work picturing it all. The author does a gre
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good! A nice blend of first contact, exploration, and horror. No jump scares, but there were some scenes where I found myself “eeeeww”-ing from the sheer awfulness the characters were faced with, and liking the tension as the characters made their way through the big, dumb object. The interpersonal dynamics were interesting, though I found it a little predictable who was going to become super paranoid and violent with each new setback/revelation. (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a superb SF Horror book that's aware of what has gone before it in both genres, takes what it needs, but comes up with its own clever take on it all. Think Rendezvous with Rama and Life with healthy does of Alien and any number of astronaut books and movies.

Twenty years ago astronaut Sally Jansen was the central figure in a horrible space accident during the first mission to Mars that was the beginning of the end for the NASA crewed space program. Now, an object similar to Oumuamua, exce
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ground Control to Major T…………OMG, WHAT IS THAT THING????

Lol – so, I admit it. When I started reading this book, the background music in my mind was totally Ground Control to Major Tom. I was digging our space scenes, marveling at the amount of detail and danger that the author put into his book, and, even with some tragic scenes, kind of in a state of zen-enjoyment.

And then. Oh, and then…

The background music changed. Instead of David Bowie, I heard creaks and groans and drips and screams and tha
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
2.5 stars

Hmmm. So all my reading buddies loved this, but I didn't feel...much, really, about it.

The premise is cool, the writing is competent, and there is action pretty much throughout. In fact, this is essentially what I thought about another book I read recently, The Stars Now Unclaimed. But I had the same problem with this book that I had with that one, that is, the story is just not character driven enough for my personal taste.

It's not a bad book, and I know lots of people will love it,
Liz Barnsley
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book, probably one of the most addictive of my year so far, apart from a break when I had to work it was a one sitting read. Once you start you just have to get to the end.
I do love a good first contact tale and this one was a doozy- fast paced action, twists and turns, hugely imaginative throughout and utterly unpredictable. The scene setting is superb, the characters all intriguing and it’s one of those stories you just live the entire time you are reading it.
The science is utt
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, net-galley
The Last Astronaut doesn’t waste too much time getting to the heart of the issue, which I loved. it maintained a pretty quick pace throughout the book, alternating between bouts of action and bouts of discoveries about this alien object. The setting and tone are consistently dark, grim, desolate, and lonely. The image of lights on a space suit cutting through a misty darkness were used repeatedly, which is perfect for this kind of book.

Which is why it baffles me that I didn’t love it more than I
Written in the form of a post-event investigation which includes transcribed audio 'confessionals', video records, assorted information excerpts, and multiple POVs, this is a book that presents First Contact through a vividly personal lens. It aims for reality and for the most part, succeeds. This style keeps it high energy and pacey as hell, for a time at least. The opening section and initial stages were really well done, full of fear and disaster. The whole experience feels like every nightma ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

The Last Astronaut, a science fiction book, was a solid 4 stars.
With a large cast of characters, The Last Astronaut centers around main character Sally Jansen, a retired astronaut that left NASA after disastrous mission. Sally is pulled out of retirement to lead an expedition when a large object is discovered to be heading towards Earth. This isn’t just any large object-it’s “behavior” is unlike any other, showing signs of possible intelligence. Terrifying and creepy stuff that science fiction
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Very cinematic scifi/horror story that will keep you turning the pages :O)

I’m not exactly a fan of horror but I do like it in this context. The beginning reminded me immediately of Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series. A huge ‘object’ is flying into our solar system and steering towards Earth. All the usual questions abound. Going through the narrative, I couldn’t stop making parallels with several films and books, but Wellington, while using those recognisable tropes, still puts together somethin
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/07/22/...

For years there has been a moratorium on manned space flight, and Sally Jensen can’t help but feel she’s responsible, after a decision of hers led to the death of crew mate on her last mission. It didn’t matter that her quick thinking also saved lives, the space programs of the world decided that it was too great a risk. But now, a mysterious object has been sighted entering our solar system, slowing makings its way toward
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m absolutely delighted to be the first person reviewing this book, because it’s awesome and I’ve got great things to say about it. Wellington first came to my attention with his Monster Island trilogy, one of the first zombie books I’ve read and a great story in itself. I mean I still remember the twist from it, that says a lot. But actually my preference has always been toward standalones. When his latest appeared on Netgalley, I requested it without even reading the plot summary. I figured t ...more
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
This book takes all of your preconceived notions about aliens and first contact and throws them right out the window. That's one of the reasons I liked it so much; you never knew what to expect and the author kept you on your toes and guessing throughout the entire mission. It also made me reevaluate my thoughts on our vast universe.

*I received this ARC from Goodreads Firstreads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
3.5 stars

When a horrific incident scrapped her mission to Mars and turned her into the women who lost the second space race, Sally Janson never expected she'd return to space. Until a mysterious object brings NASA back into the forefront of importance and Sally back into a job—because she's the only person on Earth with the skills necessary to lead a mission to a potentially alien spacecraft.

I wasn't expecting this to be straight up horror, but that's exactly what it is. Think Annihilation with
Hunter Shea
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hands down one of the best books I've read in years. The real world slipped into the background as I devoured The Last Astronaut. Taut, compelling and absolutely spellbinding. ...more
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
Video Review: https://youtu.be/XNus6NoO50k

This is the kind of story that would make a fantastic movie. While reading this novel, I kept envisioning the plot as a blockbuster movie with amazing cinematography. The story was fast paced and action packed with a few rather gory scenes that would be visually stunning on the big screen. I would not be surprised if this novel gets adapted in the future.

Unfortunately, the elements that make for an amazing film experience don’t necessarily work
Well, at least I got this for free. Hmm. Okay. Let's see. Trope galore. It has a cinematic feel, but plot wise, a Scifi-horror B movie. However, the thing that irked me was the characters being stupid too many times.

Yet, the world building intrigued me a bit. What would happen if NASA stops sending people to space and let the corporations take the lead in explorations? There should be some exciting plots that could come out from that.
Apr 08, 2022 rated it it was ok
The Last Astronaut started off well and I thought this would be a sure 3 or 4 star book; after all, it combined my two favorite genres (horror and science fiction). Yet, I became more and more disenchanted as the book went on and just about tossed it across the room at the end.

This is set in the relatively near future, around 2055 or so, and after a crewed mission to Mars failed in the 2030s, NASA has basically pulled out of the space game, leaving it to private corporations. The Orion Mars mis
Jul 06, 2019 marked it as dnf-arcs  ·  review of another edition
I found this intriguing at first but my interest began to wane at around 16%, and after skimming some more I wasn't inclined to change my mind. It reminded me a lot of Into the Drowning Deep (which I also started off enjoying, but ended up bored by) and aside from Sally, I wasn't interested in any of the characters.

Review copy via NetGalley.
Barry Cunningham
This is one of the best books I’ve read for quite some time. It never went where I was expecting it to go, surprises all over the place, left me gasping sometimes! This is quite an amazing find and I thoroughly recommend i.

I was completely immersed in it. The alien object that they encounter was fascinating and different enough from anything I can remember, my imagination was constantly at work picturing it all. The author does a great job of not overwhelming the reader, you feel as if you disco
This has such an excellent premise - I love First Contact stories - and I did enjoy parts of it very much. However, I was a little disappointed at the direction that it took, heading into familiar and well-trodden, predictable territory, which is far more horror than science fiction. I was also sorry to see that a main character developed in such a stereotypical way. Nevertheless, an entertaining read. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Would make a good movie. A little predictable here and there but some fun creepy stuff!
Kitten Kisser
Jun 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. When it finally arrives & I start to read, I immediately have my first disappointment. This book is a book written about this book. What this means is the author decided to post comments throughout the entire book, revealing various characters thoughts about particular events in the book. It really took away from the story. Here you are reading & getting into it, then it's like someone interrupts you, "oh yeah, it's just a book" then you get back to ...more
John Boettcher
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Alien meets Big Dumb Object.

The best thing about this book was the cover art, which I am going to say, was really well done. As well as the blurb on the back cover. These two things sold this book to me without me having to think twice.

Once the book started though, the knock-off tropes and blatant rip-off of ideas was just too much.

It also goes off the rails about halfway in. Like "Sunshine" off the rails. And not just off the rails, but off the rails like "Alien" and "Event Horizon". The sec
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SciFi and Fantasy...: "The Last Astronaut" by David Wellington (BR) 10 26 May 12, 2020 07:39AM  

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David Wellington is a contemporary American horror author, best known for his Zombie trilogy as well as his Vampire series and Werewolf series. His books have been translated into eleven langauges and are a global phenomenon.

His career began in 2004 when he started serializing his horror fiction online, posting short chapters of a novel three times a week on a friend’s blog. Response to the projec

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