The Martian by Andy Weir
Genres: Science Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
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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?
Wow, what an exciting read!
I couldn’t put The Martian down. It kept me constantly wondering what would happen next, although by halfway through it got to be rather predictable when something bad was about to occur. Still, I was so looking forward to seeing what the bad thing would be! How grim.
I loved the realism of Mars exploration. Rather than going super Sci-Fi and terraforming the planet or setting up a colony, Weir settled for Apollo-like missions that were short-term and scientifically minded. You know, the way Mars missions will probably ACTUALLY be. He used technology that is slightly beyond us right now, but that seems like it might be reasonable for us to have in another ten or twenty years.
I also loved the characters, who were almost too realistic. Mark Watney’s sense of humor especially appealed to me, and I found myself literally laughing out loud at times. While there was a little too much swearing for my taste, it simply added to the sense of realism. You would probably swear a lot if you were stuck on Mars with no way home too. Or if it was your job to get a guy stuck on Mars home… Speaking of which, when the point of view started changing about a third of the way through the book, it took me completely by surprise. But it was flawlessly done and added immensely to the book.
I loved The Martian and have recommended it to several people. Now I just have to convince my husband to actually pick up a book… He would love this one.
Edit for 2017: My husband did listen to someone, though not me, and read this book. And he did love it. 5 stars from him.