Ian Sales seems to know a lot about NASA space flight. An awful lot. He seems to be able to write heaps and heaps of gorgeous techie data about the subject. So that's what he does in this series of books.
Masses of glorious techie detail.
This is NOT BAD THING. It adds so much depth to the stories, so much realism. You can put yourself in a Lander Module, you can see the switches, the gauges, feel the cramped conditions, everything!
The characters in these stories are ordinary folks, just doing their jobs. They have feelings and emotions just like the rest of us. Feelings and emotions that I defy any reader not to identify with.
This story is split into two constantly juxtaposing positions. In one part, the first man to land on Mars. In the second a man undertakes a mission to another planet. Two intertwined stories about the life and work of an astronaut, doing their jobs, pushing the boundaries for humanity.
Just like his earlier Apollo Quartet story, Adrift on The Sea Of Rains, the story is intensely engaging and totally unputdownable!
If you enjoyed 'Adrift', then you'll love this. Also look for one of his other books, 'Wonderwaffe' - another alternate history in a completely different vein.