Book Review: The Martian

An astronaut is stuck in Mars – can he survive until the rescue team comes back for him? 543 days later??

I highly recommend The Martian by Andy Weir to anyone interested in science fiction/space. It’s a nerdy read, but you don’t really need to remember much of your high school science to follow along, although that’ll help 😛

book cover

The Martian book cover

If you know anything about my reading habits, you’ll know that I dig thrillers and mystery fiction novels. I love the suspense and feeling HOOKED by words. This book had me hooked from the very beginning, and made it hard for me to put down! Now, I didn’t read this book in one sitting like some people I know, but if I had 8 free hours to do nothing but read, oh yeah, I may have finished it, too.

This is a book about man vs nature, the Martian kind. I read elsewhere of this being compared to Robinson Crusoe, saying this is like being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Except, you have nothing to survive on. Well. Hardly anything. Just gotta make water out of thin air, ya know? Literally, thin air.

I feel like this book was thoroughly researched and extremely believable. I think I understood most of the science behind what Mark Watney (main character) was doing, and, honestly, that made me feel smart.

Through all the unknowns and uncertainty, I loved that Mark is a personable character. He seems like the kind of social guy that you meet once, chat a little, and instantly become good friends. Weir created a character that I was genuinely rooting for, from the beginning of his adventure to the very end. He does this by giving some breathing room for character development. It’s not all, “OMG, problem solve! Problem solve! Think, Watney, think!” Goodness, what does Mark do in solitude waiting for rescue? He watches 70’s TV shows! He works on whatever problem he has in front of him (like how to find enough food to survive), solves it (or think he does), then gets back to some TV watching normalcy before another problem arises. Sure, this cycle did get a little repetitive, but if you have to wait over a year for rescue, this is probably what will be happening! I didn’t mind that too much. In the short moments of normal “chill” time, Mark is just a regular guy and extremely relatable. His optimism is contagious, and readers naturally root for him to survive. When the whole world comes together to rescue this guy, oh man, faith in humanity – restored!

Oh, do yourself a favor, and DON’T watch the trailer for the upcoming move! Spoilers galore…

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