Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Astronaut” as Want to Read:
The Last Astronaut
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Astronaut

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,980 ratings  ·  352 reviews
Sally Jansen was once NASA's leading astronaut, but her final mission ended in disaster. Haunted by her failure, Jansen now lives in semi-retirement, convinced her days in space are over.

She's wrong.

A large alien object has entered the solar system and is now poised above the Earth. It has made no attempt at communication and has ignored all incomi
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Orbit
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Astronaut, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jon Norimann It's the book. The weird or downright stupid inner life of the main characters is one of few downsides to this mostly excellent book. My advice is to …moreIt's the book. The weird or downright stupid inner life of the main characters is one of few downsides to this mostly excellent book. My advice is to ignore it and keep reading!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,980 ratings  ·  352 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Last Astronaut
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
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a large alien object is identified hurtling toward Earth, seemingly under its own propulsion, NASA quickly assembles a team to try to intercept it.

The object, apparently a space ship, 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, that left a fellow astronaut dead. Seeing she is the only individual left w
David Putnam
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
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
Liz Barnsley
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it

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
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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 [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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

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
Dawn C
May 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
Video Review:

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
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!
Glenn Rolfe
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was, at times, as page-turning as The Martian. That was when it was hitting on all cylinders. I loved the characters and the mystery leading up to the reveal. The science stuff wasn't too much, Wellington did a great job not drowning us in space jargon choosing to keep us locked in with the characters and their experiences and thoughts.

It felt like the story got kind of lost in a couple of spots, but it eventually found its way back. It was during those spaces that I thought the book
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
4.5 stars.

As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

When I first read the blurb for The Last Astronaut the classic movie Event Horizon immediately came to mind. I hoped that I wouldn’t be in for just a science fiction book but a book that straddled the line into horror territory too. So, when things take a dark turn in the story and it does stray sublimely into horror I was immensely pleased!

Orion 6 had travelled further th
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.
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.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sally Jansen, NASA’s top astronaut, was the Mission Commander for space mission Orbit 6, which was going to make her one of the first humans to walk on Mars. Her dreams come crashing down when the mission results in the death of one of her colleagues/direct reports. While no one directly blamed Jansen, she left NASA anyways.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and Dr. Sunny Stevens of KSpace approaches NASA with sensitive data that suggests the discovery of an alien spaceship not too far outside of
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
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.
Kitten Kisser
Jun 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Salvation Day
  • Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate #1)
  • Cold Storage
  • Providence
  • Vessel
  • The Light Brigade
  • The Cruel Stars (The Cruel Stars, #1)
  • The Last Human
  • Goldilocks
  • Cage of Souls
  • The Outside
  • Walking to Aldebaran
  • Chaos Vector (The Protectorate, #2)
  • Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre
  • The Luminous Dead
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate
  • World Engines: Destroyer
  • Space Station Down
See similar books…
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

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
6 likes · 3 comments