Book Review: The Martian

20829029The Martian by Andy Weir

Published by Broadway Books on October 28, 2014

Genres: Science Fiction, Adventure, Thriller, Fiction

Pages: 387 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

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?

Andy Weir’s The Martian follows Mark Watney as he gets left behind on Mars and attempts to survive a relentless environment as well as his own human failings while the rest of the Ares 3 crew and NASA try desperately to reach him in time. It’s a story of survival. In space! What more could you ask for?

I’ll say this right out of the gate: I absolutely loved this book! It was gripping, just the right level of seriousness and humor. Andy Weir does not talk down to you. The science is all laid out for the reader and is very straight forward. From what I read online the science is pretty darn factual. It might have slowed me at the start but it still grabbed my attention. The perfect balance of fact and fiction.

A survival story is meant to keep the reader on the edge of their seat and The Martian succeeds on all levels. There were moments when things were going smoothly and I knew something bad was going to happen, but I couldn’t do anything to stop it. It was kind of fun to guess what was going to happen next. It made for a much more enjoyable read.

Mark Watney is a fighter. Stubborn, resourceful, and inventive with just enough sarcasm, nerd cred, and tell it like it is demeanor to carry this story on his own. The supporting cast all play their part from the heads at NASA to Commander Lewis and the rest of the Ares 3 crew. Even Mars felt like a character from the way Watney interacts with the landscape. Each person seems to jump off the page and that is what makes the story great!

Overall I adored The Martian by Andy Weir. I laughed out loud and it rattled my nerves. I feared for the characters and most of all just really wanted a space mission to Mars; maybe not one so catastrophic though. I have been telling everyone I know to read this book and I cannot hype it enough. It was so good. I could definitely see myself reading this one again and I am super excited for the movie!

Favorite Quotes

  1. Venkat was silent for a moment. “Jack, I’m going to buy your whole team autographed Star Trek memorabilia.”                                                          “I prefer Star Wars,” he said, turning to leave. “The original trilogy only, of course.”
  2. It got past the flame, and went on it’s merry way. Damn it, Jim, I’m a botanist, not a chemist!
  3. I got my undergrad degree at the University of Chicago. Half the people who studied botany were hippies who thought they could return to some natural world system. Somehow feeding seven billion people through pure gathering. They spent most of their time working out better ways to grow pot. I didn’t like them. I’ve always been in it for the science, not for any New World Order bullshit.
  4. “Yup,” Venkat said. “It would be safer to leave the Ares 4 crew in Hermes and only send the pilot down with the MDV. But that would mean giving up the mission, and they’d rather risk death.”                        “They’re astronauts,” Teddy said.                                                   “They’re astronauts,” Venkat confirmed.
  5. He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”      Log Entry: Sol 61: How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.

Have you read The Martian? Planning on seeing the movie in October? More importantly, why are we not on Mars yet?

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