The Fifth Man Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Fifth Man

John B. Olson, Randall Ingermanson
Bethany House, 2002, 361 pp.
ISBN: 0764227327
Click here to see the rest of this review

The crew has reached Mars after a harrowing near death space trip from earth (see OXYGEN). Now a new survival test begins with the crew trying to live on a planet that makes Antarctica seem like a sauna and no rescue flight possible. Nothing should be able to survive in this frozen inhabitant.

The four member crew struggles with the harshness of life while trying to meet NASA's detailed expectations in which every nanosecond is booked. Meanwhile, deeply religious microbial ecologist Dr. Valkerie Jansen finds proof that life once existed on the angry red planet, but swears she has also seen a “fifth man” sabotaging their mission. No one else has seen this ET so Commander Dr. Bob Kaganovski worries that she is cracking up under the strain. Illness has hit the team too in what seems like a War of the Worlds reversal. Martian madness grips the crew, but is that why Bob cannot stop looking at Valkerie while they wonder if infected, can they go home?

The second book in John B. Olson, and Randall Ingermanson marvelous Martian mission, THE FIFTH MAN, is a Christian science fiction thriller that enables the audience to feel they are living on the frozen tundra along with the crew.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Fifth Man

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   fighting a disease/illness affecting everyone    -   surviving natural elements on planet Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Religious overtones?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's


Which planet?    -   Mars Not Earth, in Solar System?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Fifth Man

John B. Olson and Randall Ingermanson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian