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Vessel

A Novel
Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

An astronaut returns to Earth after losing her entire crew to an inexplicable disaster, but is her version of what happened in space the truth? Or is there more to the story....

A tense, psychological thriller perfect for fans of Dark Matter and The Martian. 

After Catherine Wells’ ship experiences a deadly incident in deep space and loses contact with NASA, the entire world believes her dead. Miraculously - and mysteriously - she survived, but with little memory of what happened. 

Her reentry after a decade away is a turbulent one: Her husband has moved on with another woman, and the young daughter she left behind has grown into a teenager she barely recognizes. Catherine, too, is different. The long years alone changed her, and as she readjusts to being home, sometimes she feels disconnected and even, at times, deep rage toward her family and colleagues. There are periods of time she can’t account for, too, and she begins waking up in increasingly strange and worrisome locations, like restricted areas of NASA. 

Suddenly, she’s questioning everything that happened up in space: how her crewmates died, how she survived, and now, what’s happening to her back on Earth. 

Smart, gripping, and compelling, this pause-resisting sci-fi thriller will leave you breathless. 

©2019 Lisa A. Nichols (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew
  • Matthew
  • 14-06-19

A solid, if not perfect, offering...

This offering is not nearly "bad" as some other reviewers have stated IMHO. The editing, story arc, and performances are solid, workmanlike, and digestible. Some of the characters are sketched lightly, and others are rather predictable. The research is not complete, but, overall, I round this to be a light, entertaining and, at times, engaging free standing offering. Modest yes, but nonetheless worth a credit for sci-fi fans.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa Davidson
  • 25-05-19

Depressing, Derivative, & Where's the Conclusion?

Losing six years of your life is tragic (have you read _Six Years_?). What happens when you come back unexpectedly and your partner is with someone else (_One True Loves_)? How do you recover from traumatic amnesia (insert title here)? What if the government agency you work for can't be trusted...and may in fact prefer that you disappear rather than know the truth (_The Chemist_)? What if you encounter alien life and it is more like fungal spores with telepathy than recognizable organisms (_Rosewater_)? Meanwhile your remaining parent is dying of Alzheimer's (insert title here).

What's a newly returned astronaut to do? (Maybe take ideas from about twenty recent bestsellers and run them through a blender?) But honestly, after the lies and abuse and betrayals, is she really going to sign up for a six-year space rescue (this time with a new young lover, while her daughter is about to start MIT and her mother still lives--and her divorce isn't final yet)? We don't know, but apparently so, because that's where this book ends...and if this is supposed to be a setup for a series, please... just don't!!

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 03-06-19

How NOT to write Sci-Fi

This book is a mess ! The author had a good idea for a compelling story ( lost astronaut suddenly returns with amnesia on the fate of her mission ) but totally squandered it with family drama, NASA cover-ups, and characters that were unsympathetic and unrealistic. Sample dialogue - (daughter to her astronaut mom) "Mom, Cal's right. You're the only one who can do this. It sucks. I just got you back, but this is bigger than me, or you, or our family. This is world changing stuff. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have out there like, representing all of humanity, than my mom." Even good narrators can't make that sappy dialogue convincing. The open ending of the book leaves room for a sequel....a very bad idea.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sith_Happens
  • 10-07-19

Sci-fi tale that differs from the norm

I found both the journey and the destination quite interesting. I would highly recommend it

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  • Bruce
  • 01-07-19

No surprises

the book was structured like there was a huge reveal three-quarters of the way through the book, but we already knew what it was going to be so half the book was just tedious waiting for the author to catch up with us.

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  • Brian
  • 26-06-19

Hooked Me From The Start

4.5 out of 5 stars

Vessel was one of those books that I just knew I was going to like. From a dual narration to the synopsis – I just had a feeling. I’m glad I was right – I enjoyed the heck out of Vessel. Lisa A. Nichols was able to create a world that not only felt believable but I feel like it’s almost a premonition into the world that we may be in soon.

Nichols book tells about an astronaut who returns home after a mission where it was assumed that everyone died. She comes home to a different world, it’s only been 6 or so years but so much has changed. Her marriage isn’t what she thought it was, her daughter is ready to go to college now, and she cannot remember anything from their touchdown on the

In the synopsis, it says “A tense, psychological thriller perfect for fans of Dark Matter and The Martian.” I can honestly see that. I have not read Dark Matter but it’s been recommended to me numerous times. I feel like I should do that now. It also reminded me a bit of One Way by SJ Morden another fantastic audiobook I read a year or so ago.

I couldn’t put Vessel down. I had a feeling I knew how it was going to end but I wasn’t completely right. I had a feeling that I understood some of the foreshadowings that Nichols was employing and I was partially right there as well. An intriguing book that kept me guessing but also kept things comfortable enough that I really needed to know what was coming next.

A great sci-fi novel that was improved with the dual narration of Lisa Flanagan and George Newbern. I thought they did a great job and really added to the story with their storytelling abilities.

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  • Paul
  • 06-06-19

Wrong Airport - Emergency Landing

Not much "science" in this etiolated work of a wannabe romance novel that staged an emergency landing in the science fiction section of Audible. The plot line, initially interesting and attenuated by just the right number of mysterious hints, eventually was suffocated by lengthy, overwrought and clichéd lectures on gender roles, work-life balance and high school-ish groping on a futuristic interstellar spacecraft. Unlike the spaceship, the story never landed and frustration built as it became obvious the hard work of researching technical and scientific data to support the plot was deferred in preference for the less challenging path of juvenile heartbreak, relationship stress and a barrage of tropes and armchair commentary on trendy issues.

Disappointing and not worth the time or trouble. Lot's of other good SF work out there. Try Richard K Morgan if you are in the mood for a good SF experience.

Lisa and George did a fine job reading the work, giving much life to a cast of characters of different ages, temperaments and heritages.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt F.
  • 07-06-19

Started intriguing enough but ultimately fizzled.

I was interested in the story at first, astronaut wakes up in a ship on the way home, missing crew, missing memories, classic sci Fi.

As the story progresses the characters and their reactions just don't seem realistic and I began to loose interest pretty quick.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C Gattis
  • 06-06-19

Science Fiction with Human Interest

Vessel was a great story from start to finish! I do not usually read Science Fiction, but this caught my interest. Overall, this book is a realistic vision of human responses to potential hazards of space exploration. The main characters relationships and her responses to the situations she was placed in were genuine and relatable. I found myself thinking about the story and trying to work out the ending while looking forward to my next opportunity to continue listening. This audiobook is well narated by two voices. Their performances helped to develop the "movie" in my mind.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful