Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian
"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 & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& 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—& 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?"

UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT: I did not love this book.

I thought the story was really interesting, and I of course rooted for Mark Watney's survival just as much as the next person. BUT... there is just so much SCIENCE in the book. I'm not a huge science person. I love scifi, don't get me wrong. But actual, real, school-learning science? Ehh, not so much. The narrator/author goes into these scientific explanations for everything that happens, he can't just say "the equipment exploded". No, he has to go into WHY it exploded, what the chemical reaction was that made it explode, the physics explanation as to how the angle at which he landed kept him from being seriously injured, and so on and so forth. To me it felt as though at least a third of the book is explaining science, it was like reading a textbook for me at those times. It took a lot of the enjoyment out of the reading experience. Because I spent so much time trying to understand the science going on in the book, I lost the immersive experience that I love about reading a truly enthralling story.

That being said, I did enjoy Mark Watney's smart-a** personality, his ingenuity is insanely impressive, and if I was stranded basically anywhere, I would want this guy there with me. I loved a lot of the other characters as well, I thought the human-interaction portions of the book were really very interesting. What was going on at NASA, for instance, and what was happening with his crew mates, that is what saved the book for me. If the book was 100% Mark Watney on Mars, it would have been a 2-star book, for me. But as a whole, and for having great characters, it gets a three-star rating.

Review originally posted on Goodreads. Let's be friends over there cuz, let's be honest, I remember to blog sporadically like every 2 or 3 months and I don't review every book I read and don't you want to know what I'm reading in between blog posts?  Yeah? Awesome. See you over there, ohh, or on Twitter, or Instagram! We can be friends all over the internet! You can tell me how wrong I am about this book, or how good the movie was if you've seen it. It'll be a good time.