Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: The Martian

Title:  The Martian
Series:  N/A
Author:  Andy Weir 
Genre:  Adult, Sci-fi, Thriller, Adventure
Publisher:  Crown
Publication Date:  February 11, 2014
Source:  Borrowed (Thanks, Tyler!)

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 the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, 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, 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's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.

Find The Martian online

So, my main motivation for reading this book was the fact that the movie was releasing soon.  I have this thing where I absolutely hate to watch the movie before having read the book.  I want to be able to imagine the faces of the characters and the setting and everything without having those images already in my head, like they would be if I saw the movie first.  That being said, The Martian was an absolutely amazing book.  While it involved a lot of technical talk and planning, the story never lulled and the humor of the narrator kept me smiling even in the most tense situations.   

Easily my favorite part of this book was Mark Watney and his humor.  From the very first line to the end, I was laughing out loud.  Like, I honestly just thought everything he said was hilarious.  The way he explained things, his bluntness, and his reactions to certain situations.  He talked about plants and I was sitting there giggling.  If this guy ever wanted to step back from the space/plants/science field, he could totally make it as a comedian.  Just saying'. 

I thought the technical aspects in this book would really hold it back.  Math and science are absolute nightmares for me.  They both send me running for the hills and make my brain cry so knowing this book would be filled with a lot of calculations and experiments made me worry.  But I had no need to.  While I'll admit I did skim some of the longer and more in depth sciencey explanations, the ones that I did read were just as entertaining as the rest of the book.  Watney has a way of making everything sound interest and like I can't stop saying hilarious.  

“Problem is (follow me closely here, the science is pretty complicated), if I cut a hole in the Hab, the air won't stay inside anymore.”

Full of fantastic one-liners and a narrator that keeps dark situations light and fun, The Martian is a book that makes me wish I could go back in time and relive the entire thing over again.  It's easily one of my favorite adult books and has really raised the bar for other sci-fis out there.  I don't know if the author will be releasing more books, but if he does I'm excited to see what he comes out with!

“I can't wait till I have grandchildren. When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!” 

Five Teapots

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