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The Last Astronaut

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  102 reviews

A tense and thrilling science fiction adventure of space exploration and first contact, perfect for fans of The Martian, Arrival and Interstellar.

Sally Jansen was NASA's leading astronaut, until a mission to Mars ended in disaster. Haunted by her failure, Jansen now lives in semi-retirement, convinced her days in space are over.

She's wrong.

A huge alien object has entered

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Orbit
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  307 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
David Wellington may be one of the few author's who I would allow to take me into space. I love science fiction in movies and television. In books, eh, not so much! If I have to imagine it, then I guarantee that I will manage to scare the crap outta myself! This book wasn't near as terrifying as I expected. But, this story had heart. Also, the 👽 alien, " s"? was completely unexpected and downright scary without having to have blood and guts. Also, yes there is indeed blood and guts "of a kind!" ...more
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
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
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
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
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Review up soon.

This was freaking fantastic, folks.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.
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
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Jul 06, 2019 marked it as dnf-arcs
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.
Geonn Cannon
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bit of Gravity, a fair bit of Arrival, with the horror of Annihilation and Alien, this book takes the best part of some great scifi movies to make something new, unique, and well worth a read if you (like me) are intrigued by the cover.
I like space science fiction stuff to a certain degree. The Last Astronaut was just a bit too scientific for my taste. Lots of jargon and bits I don't really understand. I get slowed down to a crawl and ready to give up. I forced myself to continue because the idea is good, and going to Mars would be awesome. I was creeped out by some parts of the story. It's thrilling and suspenseful and engaging if you can slog through the science word jungle. I don't think I would read it again, but it's not ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
All Sally Jansen ever wanted to do was to go to Mars, to be the first person to walk its red sand. But a disastrous mid-journey leak forced her to make a split-second decision, and one of her crew died in order to save herself and the rest. The NASA program was moth-balled and the US lost its edge in space exploration, and with it her chance to ever go back into space. Until an inter-stellar object is found entering the solar system, and even altering its trajectory to bring it into a collision ...more
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Last Astronaut.

** Minor spoilers ahead **

Twenty years ago, astronaut Sally Jensen was one of the few female astronauts heading the space race to Mars.

A disaster aboard her ship ended her career and left her demoralized and traumatized.

Now, twenty years later, a scientist working in the private sector has detected something strange in the solar system headed straight for Earth. An alien space craft.

And there is only one woman who can lead the expe
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.
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was great fun, I listened to the audio and thought it was excellent. I was working outdoors and would find myself whipping my head around as the music slinked in, only heightening the suspense. It was creative and different and I loved the ice world as I toiled in 103 degree temps in my garden. Not a scfi fan but this grabbed me in fast as we hurdled towards mars.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, for-review
Wellington's novel is full of suspense, anticipation, intrigue and a drag of filler; a bit less terrifying if one's already familiar with Syfy's Expanse, Scott's Alien, Clarke's Rendevous with Rama, and Lovecraft, but still its own story.

The copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley.
Brooke C.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s like Annihilation, but in space and on crack. First time in a long time that I’ve read a book all in one day.
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 ...more
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
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-and-sf

An action-packed, adventure novel of alien first contact, as well as human social dynamics in space and under stress. The beginning starts off slowly, but the pace picks up. Some of the characters I loved, others I felt needed to be shoved out the nearest airlock. The alien was very alien and also (in the end), not so very strange. The ending was poignant.

The one thing I wasn't particularly thrilled about was the format of the book. The imaginary author is writing an in-world book about events a
Nicholas Kaufmann
An excellent, well-crafted novel that mixes science fiction and horror with masterful results, THE LAST ASTRONAUT is full of adventure, mystery, and terror. In some ways, it reminds me of Jeff VanderMeer's ANNIHILATION, with its human characters trying to make sense of completely alien surroundings, and in other ways it reminds me of a haunted house story, where the farther our characters explore, the more its secrets are revealed -- sometimes terrible, sometimes awe-inspiring, and sometimes ine ...more
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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