Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crew-mates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.
First of all, I want to apologise to any and all Cannonball reviewers if I’m in any way repeating things they have already said in their own reviews. I have very deliberately avoided reading them, so my review wouldn’t be influenced by them. I would also like to apologise to all of my readers, because I probably don’t remember all that much about this book, having finished it in February (a month after it was a book club selection for my fantasy/sci-fi book club – I even skipped the meeting so as not to get spoiled for the ending).
It’s been way too long for me (seven years, in fact) to be able to make accurate comparisons between this book and Andy Weir’s first runaway success, The Martian. I would not be surprised to discover that the adaptation rights for this book were sold before the book was even published, as it’s also about a wise-cracking astronaut stuck in space, so Ryland Grace and Mark Wattney probably share a lot of similar traits. The situations the two are in are generally pretty different, though, although so as not to spoil too much of the plot of the novel – why is Grace the sole survivor in a small spacecraft? Why is his mission so crucial for the survival of Earth and humanity? Why does he seem to suffer from complete amnesia when he wakes up? All of these questions are a lot more interesting if you discover them as you read.
Full review on my blog.