I just finished Andrew Kessler’s Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission.
This book gives a peppy, irreverent, and informative inside view of the 2008 mission to the polar region of Mars. There are many books out there on space missions. Like those others, Mr Kessler’s book gives a wealth of science information as well as interpersonal exchanges between Phoenix scientists, engineers, journalists, and bureaucrats.
I found his narrative style a bit choppy. The book tends to get bogged down in small details–interesting details certainly, but not always connected to the big picture. The book reads like a series of blog posts. That’s not to say they’re not well-written; they certainly are. It’s just a different style of writing than what I’m accustomed to.
Recommended for Mars fanatics. Otherwise an interesting read, but not absolutely top-shelf.