Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review: "The Martian" by Andy Weir

"The Martian" by Andy Weir
First published in 2014
369 pages
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

(image source)

Detailing the struggle for survival by one astronaut stranded on Mars, this riveting novel is totally different from anything else you'll read this year.

While evacuating from Mars because of a dangerous dust storm, botanist and mechanical engineer Mark Watney is impaled by an antenna and thought dead by his crewmates. By sheer luck, Watney survives the injury -- but when he wakes up he's completely and totally alone on the Red Planet. He has limited food and water, no way to contact NASA and infinitesimal hope for rescue.

But Mark refuses to give up, and with a combination of intelligence, ingenuity, creativity, guts and luck he surmounts obstacle after obstacle. I guarantee you'll be rooting for Mark all the way. Not only is he ridiculously smart, he's also funny, sarcastic and self-deprecating -- one of the most easy-to-like main characters I've encountered in a long while.

The tale is told both through Watney's journal entries and from the perspectives of a handful of NASA employees working day and night to put together a rescue plan and Mark's fellow astronauts from the Ares 3 mission.

The only reason I didn't give "The Martian" a full 5 stars is because it can be a tad too science-y at times for a regular joe reader who has only minimal knowledge of chemistry, physics and space travel. But, by the same token, I learned a hell of a lot from "The Martian" while being wholly entertained.

I totally enjoyed the book, but the whole time I was reading I kept thinking about what an awesome movie it'd make. I guess I wasn't the only one, because it's slated to come to the big screen in November 2015!

I highly recommend picking up this survivalist/space thriller. It's an easy and unique read that'll keep you turning pages, anxious to learn the fate of your favorite Martian astronaut.

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