Content warning Spoilers ahead!
This book is way more action-packed than the first one. It feels more sci-fy-ish with a great deal of ordinary human life details. And that makes the story and the characters feel alive. Underneath the astronaut's objective problem-solving attitude we get a glimpse of their inner world with flaws, fears, and anxiety. I emphasized with every character, even Parker ( who we all know from the first book is kind of a jerk). And it's an epic adventure: ships going on a 3-year mission to start a colony in Mars. I used my suspension of disbelief on how they created microgravity in some areas of the ship and how they could cultivate plants while on space travel. I mean, it was the 60s, could we really have come up with a ship capable of journeying for 3 years with humans inside? I like to think that we could, but deep inside it feels improbable. After I bought the idea that, yes, we could go to Mars with the technology available in the 60's, it's an amazing tale of how that trip would go. Elma York is a great character and I felt right by her side while reading. She is smart, goal-driven and extremely curious. (view spoiler) Diversity, racism and human rights discussions are intertwined with the story. There is even a Brazilian astronaut that curses in Portuguese. Anyway, highly recommended as an entertaining and exciting soft sci-fi read!