Lianne Burwell's Reviews > Gravity

Gravity by Tess Gerritsen
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's review
Jul 24, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: thriller
Read from July 24, 2011 to May 23, 2012

Gravity is one of Tess Gerritsen's older books, back before the Jane Rizzoli series, when she was writing medical thrillers. This one has the twist of being set on the International Space Station.

Emma Watson is a doctor and an astronaut, assigned to an upcoming mission. Her husband, Jack McCallum is also a doctor, but left the astronaught corps after a kidney stone guaranteed that he would never go into space (if it happens once, it's more likely to happen again, and micro-gravity creates higher chances of kidney stones as well). This has pulled them apart, and even though they do still love each other, they are in the process of divorcing.

Then, a car accident kills the wife of an astronaut at the ISS, and Emma is sent up early to replace him. And in the confusion before she gets there, an mouse from one experiment is exposed to a 'contaminated' sample from a different experiment, creating a deadly disease. When one of the astronauts is killed by this (as yet unsuspected) infection, a shuttle is sent up to get him to a hospital, but ends up bringing back his body. However, the crew is infected and the shuttle crashes, and before NASA personnel can get to it, the military moves in.

After this, things go from bad to worse. There's conspiracy, there's medical mystery, there's romance (as much as there can be when one is on Earth and the other is in orbit), there's science fiction.

Considering how early in Ms Gerritsen's career this was, it's not that surprising that the writing isn't as good as her later books

One interesting thing reading the book now is the repeated mentions to the Challenger disaster, but not the Columbia. The reason for this is simple: the book was published before that event. Still, it caught me off-guard a few times. And considering the recent shuttting down of the shuttle program, seeing one crash in this book was saddening.

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