September 19, 2015

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian on August 18, 2015
Pages: 435
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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?

Having read one of Andy Weir’s short stories in Press Start to Play, I knew that going into this it was going to be something that I love. The Martian follows Watney, who has recently been left behind on Mars after a huge storm hit. His crew members all left, as they suspected his was dead since he was hit out of the way. Come to find out, Watney is actually still alive and he learns to survive by himself. The story follows him as he struggles to stay alive in order to communicate with and make it back on Earth.

I absolutely loved the idea behind this story. I mean, it’s got to be scary to try and survive all alone on Mars while everyone thinks you’re dead. It was just so interesting to follow along that story line, as Watney is making journal entries about what he does each day. Watney, being the botanist that he is, figured out a way to grow and harvest more food for himself and even learned how to gather more water. It was insane reading about his journey and just how tough it was for him to survive by himself. I love how he never gave up. In addition to that, he was always cracking jokes, which definitely contrasted nicely with the darkness of his situation. He made light in the darkest of times!
One cool thing about this story was that not only was the reader getting updates on how Watney was doing, the reader was also getting updates about what life was like on Earth, as well as how the crew mates were traveling in their ship. On Earth, there was a memorial and everything because people thought he was dead, though the second that they found images which suggested he was still alive, all of America banded together in order to make sure that he survived and came home.
The ending definitely gave way to a nice moral of the story. Humans will do anything to help each other when it really boils down to it, and I think that Weir excellently expressed that concept throughout the book. I honestly can’t wait to see this story on the big screen. I’m sure it will be a big hit!
Notable Quotes

Maybe I’ll post a customer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”

Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be “in command” if I were the only remaining person. What do you know? I’m in command.

It’s true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl.

I’m calling it the Watney Triangle because after what I’ve been through, shit on Mars should be named after me.

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. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.

They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially “colonized” it. So technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!

  1. Hazel Murphy says:

    I also really enjoyed this book, and I liked what you pointed out in your review. His amusing remarks made it so much better I think, than had he been too serious. Your notable quotes are ones I mostly highlighted, they are some of the best!

  2. Karen Blue says:

    I also loved this book (and got it from Blogging for Books as well). I cannot wait to see Matt Damon introduce this character to movie goes everywhere. Everyone is going to love him.

  3. Shannon Miz says:

    I REALLY need to read this book! I bought it like, last year when it was a Kindle daily deal, but I still haven't gotten to it- and I need to, because I want to see the movie too! I am so glad you loved it, now I am even more excited to read it! Hm, it is not even super long, maybe I will do it soon 🙂 Great review!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  4. Becky Baker says:

    Great review. I read this book just last week and was completely clueless on what to expect going in, which I liked, but boy did this book blow me away. The voice of Watney was awesome and hilarious, he was the whole reason I kept reading, I think, and the story was great too. I actually think in some ways I might end up preferring the film because this book did get too technical for my liking at times. That may not be a popular opinion, but it's true. But I am glad I read the book first because it was amazing, I don't think I would have felt the same motivation to rad after seeing the film.

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