Friday, December 19, 2014

The Martian - Book Review

(my first Blogging For Books review!)

The Martian by Andy Weir

I loved this book for all the reasons that other readers might hate it. I found it fascinating, detailed and I loved the characters. Most of all, I loved how the engineering all played out, to show how a man (a very determined, resourceful man) might survive alone in Mars. The scientific explanations are very realistic and detailed.

First, some background. The book is about Mark Watney, an astronaut who is left stranded in Mars after a freak storm hits the mission he is part of. He is left on the planet, alone, with only 31 days of food (for the 6 members of the mission) and no telecommunications. The next mission will arrive in 4 years. How can he survive until then, considering that most mistakes will be fatal? But at least he had ABBA to keep him company up there.

I won't tell you his many solutions or how far they take him. But they are all well thought out and based on solid physical and engineering principles (the one time I thought "that would never work, because of...", well, Watney had, indeed, overlooked a basic principle). Everything is detailed and explained to the reader. If you enjoy ingenious technical explanations, you will love it. If you don't, the book will most likely drag and bore.

But technicalities aside, the characters are compelling, the situations tense and the story line really moved along. At one point, I thought "he isn't going to get out of this - wait, there is still a third of the book to go, there has to be a solution!"

Did I mention that our main narrator is also a sarcastic smart aleck? You all know how much I love a smart quip.

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