The Martian by Andy Weir

August 24, 2014
The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian by Andy Weir
Also by this author: Artemis
Published by Crown Publishing Group on February 11th, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC

Thanks to Crown Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button

four-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 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

If Bill Nye the Science Guy and McGyver could devise a way to create a love child (and keep in mind, it Bill Nye the SCIENCE GUY AND McGYVER!! They would totally find away), well then that love child would be Mark Watney. He is faced with a constant barrage of problems, and continually finds some way (usually  unconventional way, but sometimes very McGyver, throw some duct tape on it way) to beat the odds and to defeat Mars with his fight to survive. They are most assuredly almost never anything NASA would approve of. But hey, when you’re stuck on a planet all alone, and it’s your life on the line? Guess what? You get to call the shots.

A little background about Mark, he’s a botanist/mechanical engineer/astronaut. His latest mission made him the 17th person to set foot on Mars. But after  some quite unfortunate events, his crew needs to evacuate and indications led them to believe Watney was killed in an accident, there’s really no choice. They have to leave him behind. He’s dead anyway, right? And if they don’t leave immediately, they’ll get to join them as the 2nd – 6th person to die on Mars.

Well, it’s not hard to guess, Mark is not dead (this is not a spoiler! It’s the entire premise of the book and in the blurb. :P) So, this means he is left on Mars, completely alone. Without provisions to last long enough until the next planned Mars mission. And with no other way to leave, Mark struggles to survive against this planet that is constantly trying to kill him (his words, pretty much).

His attitude is sarcastic and at times irreverent. He’s the type of person that uses humor to alleviate stress, and being left on a frozen, inhospitable, airless desert planet? Completely alone? Well, yeah, needless to say, we get to see a good bit of his stress humor. A random example, is that he assumes people back on earth have convened to watch him via satellite at http://watch-mark-watney-die.com.

Watney’s sections of the book are told as journal entries letting us see the time progression. We also get sections from NASA back here on earth as everyone scrambles to try and find a way to save him. And we get a bit of his crew. I actually liked getting the bits from NASA mixed in. It helped break the book up, gave us a little different perspective.

Quite a fun read. The Martian, while full of stress and humor, is also full of hope and pursuit of survival despite the seeming futility of the effort. And, did I mention, it’s fun?

four-stars

13 Comments

  • Danya @ Fine Print August 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Irreverent humor is pretty much the only way to stay sane in a trapped-alone-on-Mars scenario, in my opinion. Good on ya, Watney! I’d probably just sit down somewhere and become catatonic. Just one of the many reasons I’ll never be an astronaut. 😉
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick SwensonMy Profile

  • Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum August 24, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    I loved this, probably one of my top reads this year so far. And lol, I wish they did more with that watch-mark-watney-die website (I actually clicked it!) Missed opportunity for an Alternate Reality Game/viral marketing for this book!
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Sunday MusingsMy Profile

  • Lynn August 25, 2014 at 6:57 am

    ‘Quite a fun read. The Martian, while full of stress and humor, is also full of hope and pursuit of survival despite the seeming futility of the effort. And, did I mention, it’s fun?’ I think that hits the nail on the head. I really enjoyed this. Luckily Mark was a very easy character to like with his brand of humour.
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…Age of Iron by Angus WatsonMy Profile

  • Carmel @ Rabid Reads August 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Aliens aren’t really my cup of tea, but if I were to read a SciFi book, I’d want it to be funny because it’s hard to dislike a story that keeps you laughing from cover to cover. I’ve enjoyed the journal entries format in the past, and I like when characters solve problems McGyver-style. So, if I were to give the green men genre a try, I’d probably start with this novel. Wonderful review!
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…A Stompin’ Good Excerpt From Tricia Skinner + Giveaway #StompvsRompMy Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) August 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      This is not an alien book at all (no appearances or threat of green men), it’s just one mans quest for survival on an inhospitable planet that he was accidentally abandoned on. 🙂
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…The Martian by Andy WeirMy Profile

  • Tabitha (Not Yet Read) August 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    You make it sound so good and tempting and everyone has been on me to read this but I just have the gumption to yet. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh whyyyy it does sound great. I like that he has a great sounding sense of humor.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi AlsaidMy Profile

  • Anya August 25, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Yey, I just finished this one as well 😀 So much fun! I agree about the parts with NASA. I had thought the whole thing was his log entries, so it was a pleasant surprise to find out what was going on at home and I totally felt like I was really watching NASA try to save someone, so realistic! 😀
    Anya recently posted…Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke eARC {5 Stars}My Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) August 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if it were purely journal entries. Really helped to get a glimpse of everything else, especially NASA.
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…The Martian by Andy WeirMy Profile