After being accidentally left behind on Mars during an evacuation, astronaut Mark Watney has to figure out how to survive until help can pick him up. But, the problem is that everyone believes him dead, so help might not be coming.
Why this book?: I was sitting in the movie theater when I saw the preview for this movie! I was so intrigued that I had to go and buy the book just to see the movie.
When all else fails – sarcasm is the way to go
Mark Watney was probably the most entertaining character I’ve run into for quite a long while. Even faced with impossible odds, he turns things into a joke in attempts to cheer himself up. This book made me laugh out loud so many times that I was confusing a lot of people-they thought this book would be full of science, and not humor! And, while it is full of mind-numbing math and science, I felt that it was explained well enough for my education to understand it pretty well.
I felt like this book held so many relatable characters-everyone was making sarcastic side notes that may or may not have been overheard, and it was just beautiful seeing this type of book laden with so much of this type of humor.
I especially enjoyed how it flipped between Mark’s POV to other characters, like Mark’s teammates and the NASA team down on Earth trying to help them. While sometimes it would be confusing switching back and forth, it was very helpful to see both sides. If it had only been Watney’s POV, then there would have been problems.
Odd time-skips between unbelievable feats
It was one after another after another. It kind of felt like there was an equation (yea, I know, more math) to this book that the author went a little overboard with. First Watney would come up with an idea, and he would go through everything that would make it happen, or make it explode. Then, it would either happen or explode. If it exploded, though, he would eventually make it happen. It would just take longer.
The things Watney did to survive was amazing, albeit, probably impossible in real life. I found it a little surprising (but heart-warming) the lengths that NASA and other corporations would go to get one man back from Mars, even if it cost a lot of money. It put a little extra faith into humanity, for me, even if this was fictional.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
This book was a refreshing dive into the sci-fi genre, which I don’t get to read that often. I found the characters enjoyable, and this book was actually somewhat educational. There were very few things that bothered me, none of which that were worth mentioning other than the predictable formula that the book fell into.
Would I Recommend?
As much as I hate to say this, I wouldn’t read this book if you don’t have at least a high school level understanding of science. Not that I’m putting a reading level on this book, but things could get confusing if you have no idea what Watney was talking about. Otherwise, this was an amazing book, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Published: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
Page Count: 387
Genre: Science Fiction
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 forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’s surface, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, Mark 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.
Armed with nothing but his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–Mark embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?