Author: Andy Weir
Series: The Martian #1
Publisher: Ballantine Books
First Published: February 11, 2014
Genres: Hard Science Fiction, Humor, Science Fiction
Source: Blogging for Books
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 and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and 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—and 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?
A lone scientist finds himself left behind on planet Mars with limited supplies and no rescue in sight. Add in a dash of humor and The Martian makes for a perfect science fiction adventure and it is no surprise that this book was wildly popular upon release.
The book does well explaining the science behind many of the things that Watney does to survive, making this a good solid hard science fiction book that would please fans of the genre. Although some of the technical details may be intimidating or a bore for some readers, the humor littered throughout makes this book a lighthearted read. It’s a great introduction to the hard science fiction genre.
While the jokes had me smiling for most of the book, I’ll admit that after a while the constant cracks did get to be just a little bit grating for me personally. At times it was hard to feel the struggle for survival part of Watney’s situation when he’s talking about pirate ninjas and floating through space like iron man, however, it’s also what makes the book really memorable.
It’s the type of book that while it was certainly entertaining, I did not find it to be so engaging that I couldn’t put it down. I could stop reading and not pick the book back up again for a week. While this is not necessarily terrible, this was part of why it took me so long to finish the book, and why I gave it a slightly lower rating. It’s really no surprise to me that the film adaptation became a crowd-pleaser.
“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.”
Trigger Warning: Starvation