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Thanks to NetGalley and Dutton for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: August 3rd, 2021

352 Pages

Synopsis: When evil forces are going unchecked on Earth, a principled astronaut makes a spilt-second decision to try to seek justice in the only place she knows how—the International Space Station.

Walli Beckwith is a model astronaut. She graduated at the top of her class from the Naval Academy, had a successful career flying fighter jets, and has spent more than three hundred days in space. So when she refuses to leave her post aboard the International Space Station following an accident that forces her fellow astronauts to evacuate, her American and Russian colleagues are mystified. For Walli, the matter at hand feels all too clear and terrifying for her to be worried about ruining her career. She is stuck in a race against time to save a part of the world that seems to have been forgotten, and also the life of the person she loves the most. She will go to any length necessary, using the only tool she has, to accomplish what she knows is right. (Goodreads)

Holdout is the first book I’ve read by author/journalist Jeffrey Kluger, and while it’s well meaning (though not very plausible for more than one reason), it’s also obvious he’s written extensively about space. Without going too much into spoilers, I thought this was going to be set mostly in space, but the story mainly seesaws between the International Space Station which Walli has taken over, Brazil and the deforestation of the Amazon, and Washington D.C. Personally speaking I could have done without the political theater which I thought was somewhat overwrought. The way the politicians here are portrayed, veer from the stereotypical greedy, corrupt, and power hungry, to last minute embraces of consciences that just wasn’t believable. The more entertaining passages of the book are when the focus is on Walli and her niece Sonia who’s part of a medical relief agency working with indigenous tribes in the Amazon. Lots of drama here as well, but highly entertaining with more than one twist. The ending was a little too pat for me, but as I liked the characters, overall I was happy with the way things resolved for them. Holdout is a bit bumpy and rough at time, but for the most part it kept my attention and I found it an easy read.