Official Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?
Genre: Science Fiction
Setting: Mars, Houston, and Pasadena. In the year 2035.
My copy came from: I purchased a used copy at a library book sale.
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Review: A nail-biting survival story on Mars! I’m about 4 years too late on reading this book, but what a great read! The Martian by Andy Weir is survival at its toughest, in a tough environment, with minimal food, and almost no hope for escape. Even though I’d previously seen the movie based on the book back when it was released, I still was on the edge of my seat while reading this.
The Martian is mainly written as log entries, as Mark Watney, who has been stranded on Mars, is trying to figure out how to survive. He’s an astronaut, engineer, and botanist, and how he uses his skills to survive was fascinating. Many of the technical parts went way over my head, but this didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book at all. I stopped trying to figure out what each part looked like, or what each term meant after a bit, and that helped me just go along with the story and not focus too much on how to visualize it in my head.
The questions are many: How long can he last? How much food does he have? Can Ares 4 rescue him? How will we talk to him? The answers to these questions are not what we want to hear.
I can’t promise we’ll succeed in rescuing him, but I can promise this: The entire focus of NASA will be to bring Mark Watney home. This will be our overriding and singular obsession until he is either back on Earth or confirmed dead on Mars.
Besides the log entries, we also get glimpses into the workings of NASA, and the PR that goes on once NASA discovers that Mark is alive, and how the men and women on Earth try to save Mark. We also meet Mark’s team, who are on a spaceship heading back to Earth after they fled the dust storm on Mars, and how they try to help save Mark, too. The scenes on Earth were my favorite scenes. I loved seeing how Annie, the director of media relations for NASA, was spinning all of the stories. I loved seeing the drive and determination of the workers doing what they could to help Mark. I loved seeing how the whole world was coming together for Mark.
There is quite a lot of bad language in the book, so you might not like it if that bothers you. Besides the complicated science and technical parts, which really read very quickly, and don’t bog the book down, there is a lot of heart here, with a compelling survival story that will keep you reading. I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to, and highly recommend it! Now I need to re-watch the movie!
Bottom Line: Nail-biting science fiction! I couldn’t put this down!