Gravity by Tess Gerritsen
Genre: Mystery, Science Fiction
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★
Synopsis: An experiment on micro-organisms conducted in space goes wrong. The cells begin to infect the crew with deadly results. Emma Watson struggles to contain the deadly microbe while her husband and NASA try to retrieve her from space, before it’s too late.
I picked this up when I was in a reading slump. Usually when I’m in a slump, I resort to re-reading some of my favorite books. But I didn’t really feel like doing that either! So I decided to use a completely different tactic this time: read from genres I don’t often read. This book had been on my shelf for a while, and I used to love Tess Gerritsen’s murder mysteries. This is a mystery and thriller, but also a science fiction read. So I decided to give it a go. Man, am I happy I did!
I was hooked from the first chapter. I saw some Goodreads reviews saying that they had a hard time getting into it at first. I was the complete opposite: captivated from the first page. I felt like the pacing was great. I read it in one day I think (or maybe 2) because I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what would happen next. Which development would arise now? What horrible thing would happen to the astronauts now?
So this story plays out partly in space, and partly on Earth. We follow Emma and her ex-husband (Jake?). They have both been dreaming of being in space for as long as they can remember. But Jack will never be able to be an astronaut. Why? A kidneystone was discovered. While not harmful in itself, it could be more dangerous in space. So while Jack can’t fulfill the dream, Emma can. That’s a giant strain on a marriage, which is why they are getting divorced.
At the start, Emma is training for a space mission in a few months. However, an accident happens to the wife of an astronaut currently in the ISS (International Space Station). So NASA decides to get said astronaut back, and send Emma in his place. That’s where it all starts going wrong. One of the astronauts gets sick. Really, really sick. And then he dies. What do you do with a decomposing body in a space station?
I loved that we got to follow the virus from the first moment. Because you know that astronauts will start dying, you can spot the moment the danger first arrives. That’s when you think: “uh oh”. And the dread settles in your stomach. Afterwards, you follow each new development with growing dread. It was amazing. I was flipping pages like crazy!
I have to admit that I didn’t see the twist at the end coming. Well, either of the two big twists. They were both a complete surprise to me, which is great!
I grew to like so many of the characters, not just Jack and Emma. Because an astronaut is really never alone in space, you get attached to the entire crew. And the crew on the ground as well. I loved how they fought for their astronauts, for their well being and safety. There was really only one perspective I didn’t care for, but that person only got like 2 mini chapters. I understood why the chapters were necessary, but I still didn’t care for them.
Emma is such an amazing person! She’s caring, but smart as well. When the virus starts spreading, she knows what has to be done. It may not be pretty, but it’s reality. In that moment, you have to shut off the emotions and be a scientist instead. She was an amazing main character.
At first, I didn’t like Jack at all. But he really grew on me. It was obvious that he cared for Emma. And I can imagine how losing your life long dream can be devastating. Yet he fought for the astronauts as well. He’s a doctor after all, so when things start going wrong medically, he knows he needs to help.
Overall, I’d highly recommend this book! Even if you don’t often read science fiction or mysteries, this is a great place to start. I’m so glad I decided to pick it up after all!