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?
Audible Audio, 11 pages
Published March 22nd 2013 by Podium Publishing
Five Big Stars: An outstanding, edge of your seat listen that brings duct tape and ingenuity to Mars.
Astronaut Mark Watney wakes up and finds himself injured and alone on Mars. His crew mates believing him dead, were forced to leave him behind. Faced with impossible circumstances and utterly alone, Mark Watney refuses to give up. His quick thinking and smarts help him to devise a plan to try and get rescued. Unfortunately, the odds are insurmountable. Watney faces starvation, a hostile environment, and he has no way to contact NASA. Can some duct tape and ingenuity help him find a way home?
What I Liked:
- I am an eclectic reader, but I can honestly say I wouldn't likely have picked up The Martian on my own, and I would have totally missed out. This is a sci-fi book packed full of math and science and danger, and I absolutely loved it. This book was so fun to listen to. I was rooting for the hapless Mark Watney, and I completely fell in love with his never say die attitude and his unwavering sense of humor. Think of this book as MacGyver stranded on Mars. Yes even on Mars, duct tape is miraculous. Trust me, even if sci-fi is outside your normal reading zone, you should read this. It is so good that a movie is in the works starring Matt Damon!
- Mark Watney is the star of the show. You would think reading an entire book surrounding one guy stranded alone on Mars would be boring, but nope it's not. What makes this book shine is Watney's humor. He is always cracking jokes and making sarcastic remarks that help liven up some of the more dry science passages(ninja pirates). I absolutely adored is comedic remarks, his commentary on seventies tv and music was hilarious. Most of the book is told via Watney's blog entries where he relates his Martian antics and failures via a computer journal in hopes that someone someday will be able to retrieve it because he realizes his situation is rather dire. Yet he refuses to give up. Talk about resourceful. Time and time again, he manages to figure out a solution using math and his smarts. Watney actually proves how valuable those algebra story problems can be. Loved, loved, loved, Mark Watney. Geeky botanist or not, he is totally hot.
- After a certain point, the book switches view points and you start getting voices from people down on Earth who are desperate to find a way to save Watney. I enjoyed getting inside the heads of the powers that be at NASA and learning about all the obstacles and red tape that had to be dealt with in order to try and save Watney. Eventually, you even get the view points of his former crew mates. I thought the way this story was executed was brilliant, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the view points.
- Let's talk about the science parts. This is an incredibly realistic and obviously well researched book. The author takes us through all the science in what is necessary to survive on Mars. You learn about all kinds of fascinating stuff. There are lots of passages where Watney explains the science behind whatever he is doing, whether it be trying to make water or rocket fuel, or even growing potatoes. I know some of you are worried that reading all the scientific details would get a bit dry, but for the most part, it was awesome, thanks to Watney's fun narratives. Watney spices it up, and makes you laugh as he explains things. So even if you don't like sci-fi books with lots of science, you will enjoy this one thanks to the humor.
- I kid you not, this is truly an edge of your seat thriller. Watney's life is constantly on the line as he tries to survive one harrowing experience after another. He faces insurmountable odds as he battles starvation, shelter issues, a long arduous journey across Mars to hopefully be rescued, dust storms, explosions, etc. It is literally one mishap after another, and the reader quickly learns early on if it can go wrong, it more than likely will. This is an addictive read/listen that you won't be able to put down as you just have to know if he will survive from one predicament to the next, and most of all, if he will actually get off Mars, because trust me when I tell you, the odds are stacked against him like you wouldn't believe.
- This is a book where I absolutely can't recommend the audiobook enough. R. C. Bray brilliantly narrates this one, and he brings Mark Watney to life. He is outstanding. This is the first time I have listened to this narrator and it won't be my last. He vaults his way up there next to Will Patton and Luke Daniels on my favorite male narrator list. I think this one is better to listen to vs. reading, as Bray manages to make all those scientific passages funny. I don't think I would have been as engaged if I had read it vs. listening. If you can, get your hands on the audio.
And The Not So Much:
- Without giving away too much, I was left at the end wanting more. I would have loved to see it extend just a little bit.
- For the most part, I enjoyed all the scientific jargon and the explanations. Weir manages to deliver it in a way where it is relatively easy to understand, but I do admit, there were a few times, especially toward the end when I was overly anxious, that some of it went a bit over my head, and I had to listen again. Still I loved all the detail, the science and the explanations. If you are a detail reader and you love science, you cannot miss this one.
The Martian is without a doubt going to end up on my best of 2015 list. This is a book I would likely not have picked up on my own, but thanks to all the stellar reviews I grabbed it, and I am certainly glad I did. This was a fabulous listen, and I cannot recommend the audiobook enough. This is a brilliant book full of science, danger, life and death situations and,believe it or not, humor. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this before the movie comes out. You do not want to miss this book! Outstanding!
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
See the Movie Trailer below: