The Astronaut’s Son by Tom Seigel is an interesting book that tackles man’s yearning to return to space, a personal quest and connection to the moon, and intertwines it with enough conspiracy theory and intrigue to keep the reader interested and engaged.
Jonathan Stein is the son of Apollo astronaut Avi, whose fatal heart attack just before launch prevented him from completing his mission to the moon in 1974. Years later, Jonathan is the CEO of a successful aeronautics company and is planning his own mission to the moon in an attempt to complete his father’s unfulfilled goal.
As Jonathan embarks on this quest he is faced with the truth of Nazi involvement in early NASA missions, coupled with the enigmatic role of Neil Armstrong, and conspiracy theories concerning his father’s death.
The Astronaut’s Son offers readers an interesting plot that keeps you guessing and wondering. While most of the book moves at a steady pace, keeping you involved and turning pages, there were some areas that lagged a bit too much and felt unnecessary. The diversions seemed exactly like that, diversions and not necessary parts of the story.
Jonathan is posed as the “flawed hero.” However, the hero aspect never is fully reached and his character does fall a bit flat for me. He falls back too heavily on the “flawed” and “error in judgement” aspects for him to be likable. This is an interesting combination. I found myself wanting Jonathan to succeed in his quest and uncover the truth, but really disliked him as a character and felt he was not “good enough” for the good people around him. His intentions, at times, seem over zealous and obsessed. However, his zealousness helps to move the plot forward and uncover certain secrets.
Despite Jonathan’s flat and flawed character, the book is a great read and definitely worth the time. If you are a space nerd and the idea of returning to anywhere beyond Earth orbit intrigues you, but like to mix in a little mystery and intrigue, this is a book you should read.