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3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,287 ratings  ·  277 reviews
An astronaut returns to Earth after losing her entire crew to an inexplicable disaster, but is her version of what happened in space the truth? Or is there more to the story…. A tense, psychological thriller perfect for fans of Dark Matter and The Martian.

After Catherine Wells’s ship experiences a deadly incident in deep space and loses contact with NASA, the entire world
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books/Alloy Entertainment
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Jeff So far. The author states that she would like to revisit but her publisher may have other plans which I think is sad. She should be able to write what…moreSo far. The author states that she would like to revisit but her publisher may have other plans which I think is sad. She should be able to write what she wants.(less)

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Average rating 3.47  · 
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Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I’m a sucker for space novels and The Vessel certainly delivered-a solid 4.5 stars. The astronauts on the Sagittarius are presumed dead, that is until NASA astronaut Catherine Wells shows back up after being in space for over a decade. She is the lone survivor of the crew and NASA is desperate for answers-especially with the impending launch of the Sagittarius II.
Catherine’s readjustment back to Earth has been a difficult one, though hailed as a hero upon her return-her daughter is now a teenag
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Confession: I took a few vacation hours and drove to a coffee place in the next town so I could finish listening to this book. I enjoyed this story about a woman who returns home from a multi-year space journey, without her crew and without any memories of what happened. I like how the audiobook has two narrators. This story is just as much about the relationships and situation back home as it is about what happened in space, so if you're not interested in the people side of space exploration, t ...more
I think, this book could make a VERY good science fiction movie, because even if the idea not totally new, it is still fascinating in many ways, at least for me.

A spaceship that started 9 years ago to some far-away planet disappeared from all radars 6 years ago, the Earth just lost all contacts to the crew and declared all six crew members dead. And suddenly, after all this long time period, NASA gets a signal from the lost spaceship. The only alive person on board is Catherine Wells, she is in
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
Video Review:

This is the kind of science fiction novel that I would recommend to readers that do not normally read the genre. Despite the marketing, this reads more like a contemporary with light science fiction elements. Even though the story involves astronauts and interstellar travel, there is very little technology, science or futuristic world building in this novel. Instead, this is very much a character focused book that just happens to be set in a nea
Mel (Epic Reading)
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
This is The Martian for readers who don’t want all the science and technical jargon. Largely character driven; and fairly predictable if you’ve read a good chunk of sci-fi books (which I have); and yet I really loved how fast, suspenseful and well written it is. The average science fiction reader will likely dislike this; but anyone who likes a bestselling thriller and likes an astronaut being the lead character is probably going to love this.

For a debut novel Lisa A. Nichols has done a
Scott  Hitchcock
Very predictable and read like YA.
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
You know how some books give you that anticipatory itch within a few pages of starting them? It’s like your bookworm senses start to tingle and you just know that a really good story is in your hands. That’s how I felt with Vessel. I just knew this was a book that I was going to blast through in one sitting. I was right.

While Vessel didn’t end up being a book that thrilled me from start to finish, it was a nevertheless a very engrossing read. The pacing was excellent, the dialogue felt real exc
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was so in the mood for science fiction and this one, auspiciously and, as it turns out, incorrectly hailed as the next great thing and inevitably compared to the last great thing in the genre be it Martian or something similar. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was also The Arrival and some other really terrific movies. All of those are far superior to Vessel. To be fair there’s a very good chance Vessel might make a good movie, but as a book it left a lot to be desired. In fact the entire thing ki ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was Sword and Laser's July pick. Catherine Wells comes home from a presumed-lost space mission to planet TRAPPIST-1F with no memory of her time there or why her former crewmates are no longer with her. Hmmm. If you're at all familiar with SF tropes, the central mystery isn't hard to figure out. I guessed it within the first couple chapters. (view spoiler). Soon she's losing time, and NASA wunderkind Cal Morganson will stop at ...more
Executive Summary: I thought this book started slow and ended fast. The middle was good, but overall it made for a so-so book.

Full Review
I'm not sure if this is a book I would have picked up myself. I hadn't heard of it before it was chosen as the July pick for Sword & Laser, and the blurb didn't really excite me much.

I'm not a hard sci-fi person by any means, but I do like for the science to be explained in a way I can follow and doesn't distract me. That is probably harder in a near-future
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - Incredible. I really loved it.

The perfect amount of science to make it fascinating without having to trudge through an“info-dump” or so technical that you cross into eyes glazed over territory. An incredibly thoughtful and suspenseful novel that begs to be discussed with others.
Favorite Quote: Sometimes the only way Cal could see the line was when he looked behind him to see if he’d crossed it.

First Sentence: Houston, this is Acting Command
My predictions during the first few chapters all came true. What I didn’t predict was that this book wouldn’t have an ending. It just stops.

Some people have criticized the tech in this book, and that’s fair. It presents as hard-nosed Science Fiction, but really it’s just Space Fantasy along the lines of Star Trek. Instant communications across vast distances of space, invisible aliens, psychic powers... yeah, this isn’t Hard SF in the slightest.

I don’t know why this has a slight alternate histor
Jun 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well that’s not what I expected.

When I was a teenager and young adult I strictly read hard sci fi only. I’ve branched out since then, but still can’t resist any book that has an astronaut on the cover. I’m reading it.

This is a science fiction thriller with a domestic twist. I think it will be hard to find a market for this book because die hard sci fi fans will probably be put off by some of the “fluffy stuff”. And the “domestic twist” the author refers to is simply the drama that would be expe
Adah Udechukwu
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved Vessel. I am definitely going to read Book 2 when it is released.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
While I liked the plot of this book and I think the book did a decent job presenting it and laying enough crumbs for the readers to get there, the main character of the book was unlikable and how the people around her reacted to them was unbelievable, so that dynamic didn’t work for me . I can’t say more because I would ruin the plot but how did we get to that last page ...there is no enough plot development to get there and the dreaded “insta love” killed it for me.
Oleksandr Zholud
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hn-2020-longlist
This is a SF novel about a person returned from a mission to another planet with amnesia.

Catherine Wells was on a second mission sent via a wormhole near Mars, which led to another Solar system. She with her team were presumed dead when a communication halted a decade earlier. Now she returns without any memory about what happened to the rest of the team. She is questioned by NASA while the third mission is planning to visit the same planet and a single man supposes that she lies about her amnes
Once again, we have a science fiction book where the execution completely fails the concept. The concept isn't a new one (I'm not going to say what it is, because that doesn't come out until the end of the book), but it doesn't do very well to explore it in a new way. Hell, it doesn't even do a very good job at exploring it in a barely adequate way. Everything that was important was glossed over, and it irked me.

But what bothered me the most was just the sheer stupidity of both the PoV character
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
To set the record straight, I think this book should be marketed more as thriller than a Sci-fi book. I found the marketing of the book highly misleading in a way that does it a disservice. There is no science trivia and resourcefulness like in Andy Weir's The Martian, nor the high octane action of Blake Crouch's Dark Matter. The bulk of the story is psychological tension with character riven drama, over the family ties and work relationships and how they intersect.
Catherine an astronaut is a
Kayla | kaylagetsread
I'm pretty picky about sci-fi, but when astronauts are involved I need it! VESSEL gave me goosebumps and I didn't want it to end, plus it reads like a thriller so I was sold from the start. Please tell me there is more Catherine Wells in my future?

I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Not a popular opinion - but this dragged a lot for me. I wasn't particularly fond of the main character either. I guessed pretty quickly what was going on, but it seemed to take it's time getting there. Honestly it was kind of depressing the way Catherine handles her problems by self-medicating and talking to no one. Seems like an astronaut ought to have been way smarter than that. Plus if she had talked to her husband things might have gone differently. I didn't have a good emotional response t ...more
Meh. I didn't have high hopes for the book when I read the description. The hopes continued to dwindle in the first chapter. It gets 5/5 stars for the relationships. 1/5 stars for everything else. As soon as the "antagonist" was introduced, I guessed where the story was going. I was not wrong. Eminently forgettable. And skippable.
John Lacey
Jul 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
Utter tripe, how this got published is beyond me.
Stephen Richter
This was okay, nothing groundbreaking. A very familiar main plot that you could see what is going to befall the main characters a mile away. Some of the sub-plots were also nice but reminded me of the old Afternoon Specials targeted toward teenagers. There was only one time when I thought "If this happened it would have added a another star."
An astronaut comes back from space after 10 years. How she came back? Where are the other crew members? Why is only she alive? Is she hiding something?

Cath doesn’t remember anything. She just ....comes back. Here on earth many things have changed. Like her daughter is no longer a child. Her husband got in a relationship with her friend.

The writing was dull. I went into this thinking that it would be like the Martian, but unfortunately it wasn’t. I kept losing interest while reading this. And als
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Vessel works pretty well, when it comes to reflect how the relationships between couples, and among relatives, are put to the test by the situation that presents the sci-fi part of the book.

That sci-fi part of the book, however, is duller than the more character-driven part of the book. I guess that the fact that I read the amazing Children of Time before Vessel, has a lot to do with this feeling, though.

I'd also like to mention that both voice actors for the audiobook version are great.

All in
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Vessel is a chilling thriller suspense story. Imagine returning to Earth ten years after you were declared dead. For the protagonist, that's exactly what happens. She returns a decade after an accident killed her entire crew with no memory of what happened or why she survived. Her child has grown up. Her husband has moved on with one of her friends. It's a shocking introduction back to reality. What about NASA's involvement? What really happened out there? It's a story of suspicion and questions ...more
Nancy McFarlane
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am not normally a Sci-Fi fan but I loved the Martian so decided to give Vessel a try, and boy am I glad I did. It was an amazing look at NASA and the space program including protocols and hardships, and the lives and personal struggles of astronauts. Commander Catherine Wells was on a 6 year mission to a newly discovered planet that was believed to be able to support life when things went horribly wrong. Contact was lost and eventually all were assumed dead. Nine years after the mission was la ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I got an hour into this, but this feels too lightweight on both the scifi and the literary scale. A lost astronaut unexpectedly returns to earth, no one knows what happened to her. Not even her, but she's got a secret she's not sharing, which is annoying because we are experiencing the story from her perspective. Also she just called her NASA investigative operative "cute", so I will stop this now.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Wow. This was bad. The main character was ridiculously emotionally immature, especially for someone who was apparently a test-flight pilot and an astronaut who must have passed the psych screening to go on a multi-year mission. I was flabergasted with her reactions to things throughout the book. Also, the stakes in this book could *not* have been lower. There was absolutely no payoff at the end, which was pretty ridiculous anyway. Would not recommend at all to anyone.
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Lisa A. Nichols has been a storyteller her entire life. The very first movie she fell in love with was Star Wars, and the very first books she read were the Little House books, so perhaps it’s inevitable that she’d wind up writing science fiction with a domestic twist. She lives in Michigan with a tiny ridiculous dog, too many cats, and a crush on Luke Skywalker that she should’ve outgrown thirty ...more

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