The Last Astronaut by David Wellington
Sally Jansen was Mission Commander for the last manned NASA mission. It was supposed to be the first manned mission to Mars but disaster struck and Jansen and her remaining crew returned home in failure. A few decades later a new manned mission is needed to intercept an object on the way to Earth. Jansen, although retired for a couple of decades, is the closest thing to an astronaut NASA has to work with since time is of the essence. And Jansen has always wanted to get back to space and have a chance to redeem herself. What is that thing coming to Earth? Could this be first contact?
Thrillers set in space right now are big because of the Apollo anniversary and it’s interesting that the two I’ve read both have female astronauts as the main characters. Also, zombies are kind of over and alien lifeforms are becoming the new scary thing to hit fiction. And this book hits it hard. I have to admit I didn’t see it coming. This is a completely fresh and frightening take on first contact that any thriller, science or speculative fiction reader will devour. I couldn’t wait to get back to it to figure out what was going on and once I kind of figured that out I wanted to know how the NASA team, and Earth, was going to survive. If you want to think about, and be terrified by, what first contact could look like then look no further.