Author: Meg Howrey
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Summary: Beautifully written, character-driven, introspective, and a joy to read.
“In four years Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshi Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they’re the crew for the job by spending seventeen months in the most realistic simulation every created. Retired from NASA, Helen had not trained for irrelevance. It is nobody’s fault that the best of her exists in space, but her daughter can’t help placing blame. The MarsNOW mission is Helen’s last chance to return to the only place she’s ever truly felt at home. For Yoshi, it’s an opportunity to prove himself worthy of the wife he has loved absolutely, if not quite rightly. Sergei is willing to spend seventeen months in a tin can if it means travelling to Mars. He will at least be tested past the point of exhaustion, and this is the example he will set for his sons.” (source)
First of all, I have to say that I loved this book! It was beautifully written and the author had a lot of things to say about human nature that rang true to me. I hate to make this overused comparison, but it reminded me very much of Station Eleven. Both are science fiction, both have some action, but both are primarily character driven. I would describe the writing in both as ‘literary’, by which I mean beautiful, extremely good, and often insightful or clever.
At the end, there is some ambiguity about a major plot point. In most cases, I think this would drive me crazy, but I actually liked that about this book. It emphasized that what mattered were the people, their internal struggles and their relationships. I find myself wanting to say something else superlative here to convince you to read this, but I fear I can’t do it justice. I’m sure this wouldn’t be for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for a character-driven story with beautiful writing you can savor, I can’t recommend this highly enough.