Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes (2022)
An interstellar salvage crew comes across the Aurora, a luxury space liner that disappeared during its first voyage, and they soon find out that something terrible happened to the crew and passengers. This was a fun read! Books that take place in space always freak me out a little bit, and this was no exception. The story is told in a now-and-then format, with part taking place as Claire and her crew investigate the ship and part taking place in present day, after Claire is recovered from the "wreckage." It does get a bit gory at times, as Claire describes her findings, but the author definitely paints a very vivid picture of the luxury ship. When we finally discover the reason behind what happened, at first I was a little disappointed, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it and actually thought it was disturbingly plausible. Claire is a bit of an unreliable narrator, and the many callbacks to her childhood got a bit dull. Overall, though, a creepy, very tense sci-fi story! 4 stars
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield (2015)
After watching the first lunar landing as a child, Chris Hadfield knew he wanted to be an astronaut. Although he knew it was a near-impossible dream, Col. Hadfield's drive and determination led him to space three times, and in this memoir, he recounts what it took to get there and what he learned along the way. This was a really interesting read! If you have even a passing interest in space and astronauts, you'll probably enjoy this one. Hadfield describes his training and missions in a way that is easily understandable while never being dismissive of the intensity of either. For example, Hadfield would practice for months on Earth to complete one particular task in space. He has a unique perspective on life and lives by certain mantras that may seem counterintuitive to most people - it's important to worry about the small things (be prepared) and don't let your success always be determined by the end product (he wanted to be an astronaut but knowing how slim the chances of actually making it to space are, he wouldn't let it affect his self-worth). 4 stars
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