Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Review: The Martian

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Humor
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 369 (Hardcover)
Publication Date: February 11th, 2014

Plot: (from Goodreads)
Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission 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 get 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. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

This book was a fantastic read. This book has some really interesting science in it, that's all rooted in fact and I found fun to try and mentally work out if it could (theoretically, at least) work. Is that too nerdy? Well - physics has become kind of my guilty pleasure. What I'm trying to say, talking about the science, is that it made it feel very real and down to Earth (well, down to Mars, anyway).

The beginning was a bit of a trek, I was still enjoying it, it was just taking me forever. And then as soon as it picked up, it didn't really slow down to take a breathe. I don't want to give too much, if anything, away, because I feel like going in only knowing the premise or general idea and just being swept up by it, was the perfect way to read this book.

I'm going to back up here, the first time I saw this book was, actually, someone complaining about it. However, they said that was too much like MacGyver in space for them. And I just stopped and my thought process was basically: MacGyver. In Space. Yes, I need that.

And I'm still convinced it's a pretty good comparison, though a tad more modern. And in space. I think what sold this book the most, when I was reading it, was the main narrators voice. He felt very real and very down to earth and he was hilarious, I loved how he phrased things or talked about them.

To wrap up this review before I ramble more, I'd highly recommend this book. It's fantastic, my only problem was it was a  very slight one (was how the beginning was a tad slow). Either way - highly recommended.

Added thing, and tell me if you like this idea/feature or not. These are some of my favorite quotes from The Martian:

"Yes, of course duct tape works in near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.""As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved with a box of pure radiation."
"If ruining the only religious icon I have leaves me open to Martian vampires, I'll have to risk it." 
“As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.” 
“Once I got home, I sulked for a while. All my brilliant plans foiled by thermodynamics. Damn you, Entropy!” 

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