THE MARTIAN | by Andy Weir
369 pages | Amazon purchase – Kindle edition
I’m stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m screwed. – GOODREADS
This great story of human spirit, ingenuity and never giving up is absolutely inspiring.
The fact that the movie was due for release helped this one leapfrog to the top of my TBR pile. The Martian is a tale about an astronaut who is left behind on Mars, after his colleagues believe he has perished. Imagine how isolated you would feel if you knew you were the only person on the planet and your only chance for a ride was hurtling away from you through space. I know I’d be a tad concerned. The easy thing to do would be to just give up and wait to die.
Well that’s where Mark Watney’s awesomeness kicks in. He decides that giving up is not an option and so begins his amazing story of survival. The amount of research that must have gone into writing this book is astounding. It’s not about supernatural forces, or aliens trying to destroy humans, it’s a story of survival. Think, stranded on a deserted island, then multiply by a thousand. Watney’s quest to stay alive is full of detailed explanations and his thoughts. It’s no surprise how much he thinks, given that he has so much time on his hands. I think that the author nailed the POV perfectly.
Every problem he solves creates more problems to solve. Much of this book is like reading the longest science experiment ever. Don’t be discouraged by the amount of technical detail, as long as you pick up the general gist of what he is doing, you’ll be fine. I think the level of detail was necessary to make the story authentic to portray the struggles and complexity of space.
At about the 14% mark the story switched over to earth. I liked how it gave two completely different points of view, and helped to break up the complex technical scenes. It was interesting to see that neither point of view really knew what was going on in the other location. I was hooked.
Once I reached 50%, I found myself reading it whenever I got the chance. The amount of technical detail didn’t deter me, I wanted to see what would happen. It was like I was off to Mars a few times a day. By 67% Watney’s ingenuity was astounding. Everything he did to survive and overcome problems was amazing, but I didn’t feel as though anything he did was impossible. I think the logic behind everything was sound, so it made it believable.
At 83% he was in the midst of a dust storm, and then, OMG, he says he wants to move to Western Australia when he gets back to earth (that’s my home turf) I’ll keep an eye out for any new neighbours.
Finally, after a marathon effort he… I don’t want to spoil it for you. But what I will say is that the climax of this book was brilliant and it gave me palpitations and goosebumps. It felt so real and I was gunning for Watney all the way.
Don’t let all of the technical scientific explanation deter you. Some detail was hard to fully grasp, but the underlying story of human spirit, ingenuity and never giving up was absolutely inspiring.
Also, kudos and high respect to the author, Andy Weir. He has proven that an indie book can rise to the top. It’s truly inspiring for all indie authors. I’m looking forward to the movie.
Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.
Movie Trailer | In cinemas 1 October 2015
If you’re keen to know more, then click below to head on over to Andy Weir’s website.
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