A lone scientist finds himself left behind on planet Mars with limited supplies and no rescue in sight. Add in a dash of humor and The Martian is a fun science fiction adventure and it is no surprise that this book was wildly popular upon release.
The book does well explaining the science behind many of the things that Watney does to survive, making this a good solid hard science fiction book that would please fans of the genre. Throughout the story, many of the technical details of Watney’s attempts to survive, which can be intimidating or a bore for some readers, but with the added humor to the narration I think this could make hard science fiction a lot more approachable for readers unaccustomed to the genre.
“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.”
The seriousness of his situation was offset with constant jokes littered throughout his explanations, making the story a rather light read. The jokes had me smiling for most of the book, though I’ll admit that after a while the constant cracks did get to be just a little bit grating for me personally. At times it was hard to feel the struggle for survival part of Watney’s situation when he’s talking about pirate ninjas and floating through space like iron man, however it’s also what makes the book really memorable.
It’s the type of book that while it was certainly entertaining, I did not find it to be so engaging that I couldn’t put it down. I could stop reading and not pick the book back up again for a week. While this is not necessarily terrible, this was part of why it took me so long to finish the book, and why I gave it a slightly lower rating. I’ve yet to see the movie but I do plan on watching it, I think that Watney’s humor will transition well to the big screen and should please movie going audiences.
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?