Review of The Martian by Andy Weir.
Compelling, captivating and intense.
Clear your schedule ladies and gents, because this book will keep you glued to the page whether you want it or not.
I started it thinking I was going to put it back down in two chapters. I am not much for Martians, in general. The first book I have ever being able to read related to space and the like, is Cinder, and there is a BIG difference between that and this. But I’d checked it out of the library, forgot about it, and in the absence of anything else, plus trying not to re-read any of my other “for sure” books, I stepped out of my comfort zone.
And I am so happy I did!
The Martian was nothing like I was expecting. It pulled me into the story in the fist page, and by the tenth I was telling my best friend about it, and laughing at Mark with her.
To summarize: For those of you that have not heard of the book or the movie: Mark is an astronaut – Oh no!, Yes of course, he is, duh- he is part of an expedition of a total of six people –very smart people with more than two doctorates that work for NASA- and are in the middle of an expedition in Mars, the planet. Because of weather conditions, and complications that could compromise their lives, they have to make a decision that will have them abort their mission much to early; so Commander Lewis decides the storm is too strong, and they should evacuate immediately, because they run the risk of the MAV (Mars Ascent Vehicle, pretty much the space ship that gets them to and from orbit when they have to descend into Mars and when they have to ascend to go back home, ) their ticket back home, getting damaged in the storm. So out they go, into the storm, all six of them, holding onto each other for guides to go back into the ship, aborting the mission only six days in, because of this unanticipated complication. Here is where the problem comes in. Bad luck really. Part of the antennae that the use to be able to communicate back with Huston brakes in the storm, and it sunk into Mark’s side and his suit. With the suit giving no indication of live from the last reading (their suits record this in case there is any emergency), they all look for a while, but ultimately have to leave the planet, leaving Marks body behind, and taking the only ship that could get anyone out of Mars, along with everything that they were going to use while they were up there in their mission.
The bad part; He is not dead. Not even a little bit, and now he is in Mars, by himself, with nothing but his wits, knowledge in botany and engineering plus the will to live as long as possible for a rescue to be plausible.
And so it begins, the struggle between one man, alone, fighting one planet.
I got to tell you. The planet almost won, several times. But Mark Watney went on and on…
I particularly enjoy the way it’s told. Very much so like a diary in which you talk to yourself most of the time. Relaying what you did in the day, explaining it in a way that all the physics, and chemistry of it does not become a big question mark, -in his words, because he hopes, that if he dies, maybe someone else would read it, if he ever figures out a way to get out- and more importantly its not a big BLAH that you just read over, hoping to get out of the technical stuff.
You are with him the whole time. Trough happy times, and screw-ups. You would not thing there could be a lot of action in a book like this, were someone is living in a planet –that’s if I leaned correctly- died millions – probably longer- of years ago. You would be wrong how ever. He gets blown up. More than once actually. He needs to make water out of gasses that are tanked, and that is more than a little tricky, which lead to him bouncing of the panels of the Hab (high-end tent they use with the ability to hold and atmosphere so that the astronauts can live in there without having to wear the suits) because he was burning hydrogen to dispose of it, since it had concentrated to much in the water making process, to what he calls: Kill-Mark-Levels.
Then there are the modifications of equipment that was simply not designed to go past the date in which they would depart and then just flat out bad luck again.
The whole time, this book bounces back between him, and NASA. Trying to figure out how the hell is he alive and what can they do about it?
There is not part of this book that did not leave me wanting to read more, even when I got to the end.
I give it a 5 of 5 stars because it’s not only a book with a great story, unique point of view and a compelling narrative, but also one that I would buy and re-read any time. It ight just have earned a place in my “for sure” list of books that are always in my back pocket when I read something that just does not cut it.
I just wish I could know more after the ending. But of course, it’s called The Martian. Not What the Martian did once they can get his ass back.
I hope you guys enjoyed the review. I –clearly- enjoyed the book, and am pleasantly surprised by how much. Of course, if you were looking for a recommendation to start it. Here it is. Read it! It’s wonderful.
If you want to listen to a comparison between the Book and its movie adaptation, here is the link:
or you can see the review on the BookTube Channel:
I’ll se y’all soon with more reviews, videos and audio reviews!
Until then, keep on reading!