Published by Random House LCC US on October 28th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Reading Challenges: 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge, 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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’ve wanted to read Andy Weir’s The Martian from the very first moment I saw it in stores after its initial release. Something about the cover showing a lonely figure navigating the martian terrain captivated me, and made me pick it up. Then I put it down. This was something I repeated as the book went from hardcover to paperback. Once, I even made it to the register to buy it, but when the other book I wanted was out of stock, I put it back. A month after that incident I decided to purchase the ebook. Why did I play this game? Honestly, I think I feared the book would be too technical for me to understand and enjoy. How wrong I was! Actually, The Martian is very heavy on the science, but the main character, Mark Watley’s infections snarky humor made all of the technical stuff easier to bear.
Another fear I had was that the book would be boring. For some reason, I had I Am Legend stuck in my head. Like The Martian, that book also featured a lone survivor trying to stay alive. However, the alternating view points of the team at NASA, and Mark’s crew aboard the space ship Hermes allows readers to get different perspectives on his dire circumstances. While Mark attempted to farm on Mars, watched 70’s television, and listened to disco music, the point of view of the scientists at home provided insight on how such a horrible situation could possibly be resolved.
Do I Recommend?
I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in space, the space program, or adventure stories. I also would recommend The Martian to anyone who wanted to read a human interest story, as Mark’s situation touches on humanity’s capacity to band together and offer aid when one of our own is in dire need. As Mark Watley so eloquently put:
“If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception.”
The Martian is a touching story of survival, and made me think about what it would be like when man is finally able to walk on Mars. Hopefully when that time comes, that person won’t go through what Mark had to endure.