Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian
by Andy Weir

Published: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
Available: Amazon

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?


The Martian is not my typical type of read. I love a good romance; The Martian had none (discounting the mention of romance between two secondary characters). I love happily-ever afters, and The Martian had no guarantee of one. The only thing compelling me to pick it up was the trailer for the movie. I'm glad I did.

The Martian was amazing. The first few pages had me wondering if the science of it all was going to bore me to death, but Weir does an awesome job of bringing Mark Watney to life. Watney has a strong, outgoing personality and his resilience and good humored nature is peppered throughout the story, breaking the ice during some of the most serious, and devastating moments he faces. It's Watney's character that kept me turning the pages despite the science I didn't understand.

Don't get me wrong about the science aspect. Weir seems to understand his readers aren't as knowledgeable about physics, chemistry, biology, botany, and every other science involved in space travel. The majority of the book is written as journal entries by Watney, and Watney speaks to the reader as if, despite our adequate intelligence, we don't understand. Things are explained, defined, and given examples in a humorous, simple way.

I will admit that although I have yet to see the movie, I did spend much of the book visualizing Matt Damon as Watney. Having the images of the movie trailer to give me a bit of reference as to the Hab and the MAV helped me make sense of the setting.

I'm looking forward to reading Weir's next book and I can't wait to see whether Matt Damon and the movie does The Martian justice.