Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Martian by Andy Weir

Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 369
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: 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 the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, Mark 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's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive. But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

Review: I was sold on The Martian from the very first line. I mean, who can resist an opener like "I'm pretty much fucked."

Mark's light and sardonic tone is at odds with his (many and constant) near death experiences, but that only proves to make the book all that more funny. The Martian is a cool mix of humor, high pressure situations, and science. The science mumbo jumbo is pretty easy to understand and although not entirely realistic, it's really cool to think about. 

You spend the majority of the time inside Mark's head, which may sound grating when that means he's practically the only character to speak of, but you can't help but root for him. He's incredibly innovative and makes the best jabs at seventies music and TV shows. However, even I got a little tired of being stuck with one person the whole book so the few sections told from the people working for NASA are a much needed relief. 

The plot is action packed and brimming with dangerous experiences and potatoes. My only complaint is that is does have a tendency to be unrealistic at times. I mean how many times can a man almost die and magically conjure up a brilliant idea to save himself and then execute it on top of that? 

Weir takes a typically harrowing survival story and warps it into a dark comedy, which is pretty impressive in my books. But I would have liked to see a little less positivity because all things considered, being alone and near death for so long has to wreak some harsh damage on a man's psyche. 

The Martian is a science filled, hilarious tale of survival on, you guessed it, Mars. Despite the unrealistic factors, Weir's debut novel is incredibly fast paced and gripping, and I can't wait to see what he does next. Maybe someone will get abandoned on Pluto. Or Jupiter? Or Uranus? Who knows. 


  1. I enjoyed this one too. I wasn't sure if I would since this isn't my typical read but I enjoyed Mark a lot. Great review!

  2. I liked this one! I enjoyed the humour and the space them, but it got a little boring after a while.

  3. I really liked this one too. I love the beautiful pictures you used in your review!
    Megan @

  4. My brother and I started watching this movie adaptation (a year ago) and we both lost interest in this movie ... not even halfway through. Oops! We both didn't like how it was jUST one person. It got to be boring - not much action too. Hopefully, the book is better but I'm still unsure if The Martian is for me. Oh well! Thanks for the review, Erin!

    anna | annaish

  5. I've had this book sitting on my shelf for a while now, but I think it's about high-time I pick it up since Weir's next book comes out in the fall! I'm so intrigued by the witty, sarcastic main character, but I'm really glad that Weir switches up the perspectives every once in a while. :) Great review!

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks