Monday, December 22, 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir

Just six Mars days (sols) after landing on the Red Planet, the Ares 3 mission is brought to a violent end. A massive storm causes the crew to immediately evacuate and abandon what was to be a month-long mission. Mark Watney is left behind, presumed dead. 

And yet Watney miraculously survived. Well, maybe not miraculously. After being almost run through with an antenna, the combination of his suit and the Mars atmosphere turned out to be a blessing. But now Mark is stranded. On Mars. And everyone believes he's dead. 

There's been a ton of buzz about The Martian and though I'm definitely late coming to it, I can wholeheartedly swear to the fact that it's earned every ounce of praise!

This is science fiction for the non science fiction reader. Oh, it's perfectly suitable for sci-fi fans, but for those of us who find the genre a bit overwhelming and/or intimidating this is the perfect book. It's very science based, but Weir - through Watney - takes the time to explain it in a way that makes sense and is easy to swallow. Amazingly this doesn't hang up the narration at all. It's incorporated quite smoothly into the story as a whole. Part of this, and definitely one of the things that makes the book stand out, is the way the book is written: much of The Martian is set up as being Mark Watney's log of his experiences on Mars - explaining everything for anyone who might come across his report at some later date.

Mark is a FUN character. I mean, really fun. Considering it's already been announced that Matt Damon will play him in the upcoming movie (due out next year and directed by Ridley Scott!), I did automatically picture the character as the actor. But I think it's totally suited.

The Martian has the pacing and action of a thriller - even though it's mainly driven by one man on an abandoned planet. It's highly entertaining and actually pretty funny at times. It really is just a great read overall and one that will appeal to a very wide range of readers - if they'll chance a sci-fi book. Serious, I recommended this book to a teen looking for a good read. He read it, loved it, and passed it onto his classmates. After I finished it, I passed it onto my husband who also loved it and we've both been talking it up ever since.

Rating: 5/5

Per Blogging for Books requirements: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.


As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I just posted my review of this one a couple of days ago. LIke you, I thought it was a lot of FUN, and while I might have grown a bit weary of facing a life-threatening situation every 10 pages or so, it was, overall, quite well done.

I tried not to envision Damon as I was reading, and I was successful for the most part, but when I did, it was with a combination of Damon from Good Will Hunting + Jason Bourne.

Becky LeJeune said...

Have you seen INTERSTELLAR, Emily? I found this one extra fun after seeing that :)