Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Martian
Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Crown
Date of Publication: February 11, 2014

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 & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& 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—& 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?

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Of all people to have been left out in Mars to fend for himself, I am so effin' glad it was Mark Whatney out there. Because if it were anybody else, I'm sure the tale wouldn't be as fun as The Martian.

Mark Watney's a mechanical engineer and a botanist, part of NASA's Ares 3 mission to Mars. However, due to a particularly strong sandstorm and being assumed dead by his crew after his bio-stats proclaimed him dead, he's now left on Mars with no way to go back to Earth or even contact Earth. Told in Mark's log entries, he chronicles his plans on how to stay alive and it was glorious! I loved reading about all the science on how to convert water and all the computations on how many hours his emergency carbon dioxide filters can last, and EVERYTHING.

However, I do admit that after some time, I felt a bit bored. IS THIS NOVEL GOING TO BE JUST MARK WATNEY AND HIS DIARY LOG UNTIL THE END? Don't get me wrong, Mark is fantastic and probably the most hilarious scientist, or even person, I ever read. His survival instinct is so high and his ideas are so out-of-the-box and bordering on crazy but it just works. He's that kind of guy. But I didn't think I'd like reading all about his thoughts for the whole of the novel plus, where will the other conflicts arise from?

Enter Earth. HALLELUJAH! So for those who started this out and dropped it for a while like me, just get past the first slew of Mark logs and you'll start loving this one. So people at NASA discovers that Mark is actually alive and saving Mark Watney becomes the number one obsession of all of the Earth.

I love the different storytelling structures and all the fun characters. We have Mark's crew going back to Earth, Venkat Kapoor the physicist and administrator, Mitch the asshole flight director, Mindy who discovered that Mark's alive and the one in charge of the satellite imagery, Teddy, Annie the press officer, everyone had their roles to play and they played it to a hilt. The Martian was so amusing and gutbustingly hilarious all thanks to everyone, especially Mark Watney.

The Martian's strength is in its ability to make you so invested in Mark's life that every single problem guts you and makes you panic. And problems are aplenty in this ship, mister. Like, seriously. So much surprises and twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole ride. I mean, I read most of the book in one sitting and I ended up losing sleep but it was all worth it. I just couldn't stop reading until I know what's gonna happen to Mark.

Near the end, I thought my heart was gonna leap out of my chest because ALL. THE. TENSION. AND. FEAR. I read this in my Kindle and I even covered the % done while I was reading near the end because I don't want to know how much is left of the book. The last part of the book was so intense. The pace of the storytelling was so tight and the execution just A+.

This book is all around A+ and I highly recommend it to science buffs and even non-science fans. It's more than just how Mark survives on Mars. It's about how humanity is invested in people's lives and it's such a nice reminder especially nowadays. READ THIS ONE! (Plus, it's gonna be a movie although I'm not particularly excited for Matt Damon as Mark Watney. I adore Matt Damon but I'm not sure he's right for the role but we'll see!)

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