The Martian by Andy Weir is one of those stories you don’t come across very often. While we have been getting countless dystopian novels about futuristic alternative worlds, this novel is completely believable despite the fact that we’ve never sent anyone to Mars. Mark Watney is a member of a six-person crew that has been sent to explore Mars, though unexpected events cut their trip (and their crew) short. I don’t think it’s giving too much away to say that though the crew has, as far as they know, lost a member, Watney does survive. This book is the story of his fight to get back home.
The book is filled with scientific terminology and calculations and procedures, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming. The writing is very aware that the average person knows nothing about space physics and technology, and the author could very well have made all the science up but I’m in no position to refute it. The colloquial way the information is presented leaves the story informative yet understandable.
Just when I was getting a little sick of the continuous engineering in this book, it opened up a couple more perspectives. While it would have created a sense of isolation similar to Watney’s as he’s trapped on Mars, I’m glad we weren’t subjected to that. Weir does a good job of creating a large cast of likable characters even though most of them have only a few pages to convey their personalities. The sense of humor in this book is undeniably sarcastic, so if that’s not your thing—never mind. It’s everyone’s thing.
The Martian is a fantastic read – it was one of those books I missed while I had to do other things – and while I don’t have much else in its specific genre to compare, I think it’s safe to say it holds its own.
4 stars out of 5
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.