Author: Andy Weir
Book: The Martian (The Martian #1)
Published: February 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Mark Watney was part of a mission to explore Mars. A severe dust storm forced the crew to abandon the mission. A freak accident nearly kills Mark, and the crew evacuates thinking he’s dead. Now he’s alone, with no way to let NASA know he survived. Worse, his supplies won’t last long enough for a rescue mission to reach him. He has to contend with damaged machinery, an unforgiving environment, not to mention “human error”—all of which are conspiring to kill him.
However, astronaut Mark Watney isn’t going to give up without a fight. He draws on his ingenuity, botany training, and engineering skills and sets off to confront impossible odds. Will it be enough to save him?
Andy Weir has written a novel that grabs the imagination of the reader. The writing is a clever mixture of Log when dealing with Mark Watney’s point of view. It is written in standard third person when dealing with NASA personnel and the crew of the Hermes. The Hermes is the mother ship for the mission that is on its way back to Earth with a missing crewman.
Mark Watney is placed in an impossible position. Mars’s atmosphere is impossible to breathe. His food stocks are only enough to keep him alive for a short time. The equipment is damaged, and he has no way to communicate. Each mistake he makes has the potential of killing him. Mark Watney refuses to quit. Each problem is taken as a challenge to be overcome.
I found the story to be engrossing. In spite of my previously mentioned personal challenges, it was a hard book to put down. Andy Weir’s writing style put’s the reader on Mars’s hostile and dangerous surface, facing life, death, and terrible loneliness with Mark Watney. The Martian reveals Mark Watney to be stubborn, with snarky sense of humor. The solutions he uses to overcome each challenge are creative, leaving the reader wondering how he will solve the next problem.