Monday, January 4, 2016

The Martian by Andy Weir

Reviewed by Ambrea
As a part of the third manned mission to Mars, Mark Watney realizes he’s not the first man to set foot on Mars; however, he’s pretty sure he’ll be the first person to die there after a catastrophic accident leaves him stranded on the surface of the red planet—injured, alone, and unable to communicate with earth or his crew mates.

After repairing his suit, Mark tallies up his supplies and he realizes three very important things:  one, he’s stuck on Mars until the next Ares mission (i.e. three years), because he has no way to let anyone know he’s alive; two, his supplies are severely limited; three, his machinery was only made for a short term mission.  Which means Mark is surely doomed to die from starvation, lack of oxygen, exposure, or plain old bad luck.

But Mark, equipped with unexpected ingenuity, botany superpowers, and a grim sense of humor, is set on surviving his trip to Mars.  One way or another, he decides he will make it off the planet.

I loved The Martian.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the most avid fan of science-fiction.  I mean, I've really enjoyed the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, I respect H.G. Wells, and I'm quite a fan for alternate universes and post-apocalyptic thrillers; however, I don't read much in the way of science-fiction.   But I absolutely loved reading Andy Weir's novel.

Dubbed as “a castaway story for the new millennium,” The Martian is a battle for survival set on the surface of Mars, which seems incredibly far-fetched—until Andy Weir takes up his pen.  He puts so much detail into his work:  he gives you maps of real locations on Mars, he uses jargon and real theoretical physics, he explains chemical reactions, and, in general, he makes a hypothetical trip to the Martian surface seem like a legitimate venture.  Events, as they unfold, seem incredibly real and believable, like this could really happen—that Mark Watney could really exist!

Mark’s log entries are especially enjoyable.  Weir does an excellent job of conveying Mark’s character, giving him depth (as well as a sense of humor) that makes him that much more tangible to readers.  I also liked how Weir also gives readers glimpses into events on Earth and on the Hermes, where Mark’s crewmates reside for their trip home.  I loved these insights Weir offered; in fact, I loved the entire novel, how it weaved together the narratives of many different individuals and combined scientific fact and theory to create a seamlessly blended story that kept me captivated from cover to cover.

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