Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Release Date: February 11, 2014 (originally published 2011)
Publisher: Crown
Source: Library
Author Links: Goodreads | Website

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Has anyone not heard of this book yet?
I see one hand up there towards the back! Yes, you! The one next to the potted fern. Ok. Well, then this review is for you. Everyone else, feel free to hit the buffet!
Pile your plate high! I've been trying to get rid of that seafood salad for a few days...

Does The Martian really need one more glowing review?
No. No, it does not.
But I'm going to do it anyway. Because even though I'm the last person on the planet to read this one, I still feel the need to put in my two cents worth.

So this is set in the very near future, when manned missions to mars are somewhat commonplace, but not all futuristic and cool. The technology is much like moon landings...just farther away. Nobody watches the launches anymore, and nobody remembers who the crew members are anymore.
But everything changes when a freak accident strands astronaut Mark Watney on Mars.
In a crazy-bad storm on the surface, Watney gets stabbed with flying debris, knocked away from his crew, and his suit's vital readings flatline. They're forced by the storm to abandon the mission, and head home weighed down with the knowledge that their friend and crew member was dead.
The memorial service on Earth for Mark was lovely.

Except he's not dead. Due some sciency mumbo-jumbo, his suit sealed itself around his coagulating blood, and he wakes up all alone on a planet that's determined to kill him.
However, he's a really smart boy with a good sense of humor, and those two things carry him through the rest of the story. He knows that another mission is scheduled to land several years down the road, and after getting to (relative) safety inside this dome/tent/trailer-thingy, he starts hatching ways to survive until they can arrive.

Ok. Science isn't my strong suit. I'm not even going to pretend to tell you I understood much of anything Mark did to survive. And the downside of someone like me reading a book like this, is that there's A LOT of it that blew over my head.
Garble-mumble molecule + Mumble-garble molecule = Fizzy-pop molecule
Which means Mark survives for another day!

Between the science (damn you, smart people!) and the diary/log entry way that most of this story is written, you'd think I would've hated this sucker. But I didn't! And part of the reason may have been because it's not an overly long book. I picked it up, was hooked by the first few pages, and ended up finishing it in 2 days. Watney is an accessible character that made me giggle, and I was rooting for him for his entire journey.
So, yeah, I'd recommend this one.
It's a smarty-pants book even us dummies can read & love!
Plus, he uses duct tape. Proving, once again, there's nothing you can't do as long as you have that stuff.


Litha Nelle said...

Ah, duct tape... I must admit I patched a hole in my ceiling with the stuff.
I haven't read this yet, but I can tell from your review I need to read it soon. I've been in a bit of a slump lately.
Excellent review!
~Litha Nelle

Melanie Simmons (mlsimmons) said...

This is such a great book. I never would've read it if TheBookaholicCat hadn't forced it upon me. I'm so glad she did. I listened to the audio, which is great. I'm so excited for the movie. I think Matt Damon will do a great job as Mark Watney. Great review.

Olivia-Savannah said...

I have heard a lot of great things about this book. After reading 172 hours on the moon and also watching the movie Gravity -- both of which I hated -- I promised myself that I would never watch or read anymore space stories. However, I just HAVE to try this one now, so I am going to break that promise lol. I think the technical things will fly right over my head as well, but all the rest sounds promising.

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