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?
I received this from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
My father was the first person to bring this book up to me. We were in a bookstore when he saw it and told me that they would be making a movie about it soon, starring Matt Damon. When I saw it was available on Blogging for Books, I immediately requested a copy.
Mark Watney is such a likable character that you’re rooting for him from the first sentence. There is so much sass from a lot of characters, but nobody gives it more than Mark. It’s so relatable that it wouldn’t surprise me if Andy Weir just sat down and thought, “If it were me on Mars, what would I say?” The first few chapters focus just on Mark, but then we’re introduced to the teams on Earth and in orbit trying to save him. These are the chapters that got me through the book. I needed to know what was going on off of Mars! We see the American people become heavily invested in Mark, to the point that CNN has a show called The Mark Watney Report that focuses on updates on Mark’s time on the red planet. I’ve given my copy of the book to a friend to read, or else I’d give you all the names of these sassy characters. Looks like you’re going to have to read it yourself!
This book is full of, “We fucked up,” moments. It’s also full of scientific terminology that made my brain hurt. Weir began working as a computer programmer for at the age of 15, so I’d say he knows a good amount of sciencey stuff to make this as realistic as possible. On the flip side, there were parts of this that didn’t feel as realistic. Mark is on Mars for almost two years, and for the majority of time he has nobody to talk to. I know Mark is supposed to be a very down-to-Earth (heh) guy, but I feel like being completely isolated on a planet with nothing but the same few books and TV shows to keep you company might fuck you up. Mark doesn’t really go through a depressive state, and maybe that’s because he’s so focused on surviving that he doesn’t have the time to? To me, I just expected he would have had more than one moment of, “I am literally alone. Nobody is here, I’m alone in the world and I have nobody to talk to.”
I’m not going to focus on the “Didn’t Like,” section because the only thing I didn’t really like was aspects of the “Realism.” I skipped a lot of the sciencey jargon. I didn’t understand it anyway, and reading it wasn’t going to immediately make me understand it. Then the whole no-depression thing… I just feel like being deserted on a planet would make even the happiest person go through a fit of depression. But that’s just me. What do I know? I’m a book blogger, not a scientist!
I gave The Martian four wormies.
Have you read The Martian? Do you plan on reading it before seeing the movie? Are you excited for the movie? I can’t wait until it comes out. Let me know in the comments below!