The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What this book is about:

Ares 3 is a mission with a crew of six sent to Mars to collect samples and perform research. When things don’t go as planned and machines fail, the crew of Ares 3 thinks that Mark Watney, on of the astronauts, is dead. Commander Lewis gives the order to close the doors and leave to return to Earth. When Mark wakes up he is surprised to find out that he is the only inhabitant of planet Mars where he will have to survive and figure out a way to make it home.

P1030502Wow. This is a hell of a ride for a book. To be honest I was not sure whether to give it 3 or 4 stars. Then I decided I was so impressed by the amount of work and research that The Martian put into making this book and the sophistication and the details of all the scientific crap that he dared (and I used the word “dared” because it’s a bold move to do something like that) put in there that I couldn’t bring myself to give less than a 4 star rating.

Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.

I know that everyone keeps saying it, but I just have to be one of these people. This book had some hilarious quotes. I am not a person that really reacts to supposedly funny quotes or moments in books, but Mark was such a smart-funny character with incredible lines that made me chuckle by myself while reading. The thing with the humour in this novel is that were there none at all, the book wouldn’t have half the fame success it does now. Mark was such an optimistic, brilliant, intelligent AND funny character. This is a killer combination – if done well – for a book protagonist and it worked miracles! I’m actually still laughing internally (don’t ask me how one laughs internally, I just do okay?) with some of Mark’s lines.

I can’t wait till I have grandchildren. When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!

P1030504Another amazing and admittedly impressive part of the novel was all the scientific crap that Andy Weir threw around all the time. From the botany stuff to the chemistry stuff, and from the math stuff to the physics stuff. I don’t know if the story was “scientifically” accurate but I really don’t care. I’m not an astronaut and I’m not into physics and chemistry anymore (at least not since I finished high school). I was also quite bad in chemistry and it would have been so useful with The Martian. Damn it Andy Weir. If only I had known I would be reading your freaking book I would have studied more back then when I was a younger little shit, god damn it!

Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”

P1030505But no matter how impressed I was with the details on the procedures, the architecture of the rover, the Hab, the space ship etc. I have to admit – even though I don’t want to – that I was overwhelmed by the amount of information concerning all the technical things going on with the suits and the containers and pretty much everything. There were points during the narration that I was thinking “oh, here we go again, technical details ahead!” and I was not really paying attention while reading these specific passages. Would I have it removed from the book completely or even reduced though? No! This shit was awesome. I applaud the work done and the very bold move to take your passion and present it to the rest of us knowing full well, I assume, that most of us won’t appreciate or just simply understand it. What I would have done though would be to provide a visual. Some graphs of the constructions and their parts, some sketches or maybe some pictures would do the trick and the result would be a book much more easily digestible.

I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.

P1030506The thing with the information overload mentioned above in a thriller novel is that it didn’t allow me, the reader, (I don’t know about the rest of you fellow “the readers”) to feel the suspense. I mean, if you don’t really grasp what exactly is happening 100% of the time how can you follow the story and feel the heat? That really threw me off in the book. The story was good. A good thriller storyline that makes the reader think of solutions to constantly appearing problems (not all thrillers have the latter aspect). It did lack a bit of the emotional aspect for me. I do like geeky stuff but I am a Psychology student so I was really interested to get the full psyche view of an astronaut stranded in Mars. But hey! We can’t have everything we want in a novel (otherwise it would deserve a 5 star rating from me).

Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be “in command” if I were the only remaining person. What do you know? I’m in command.

P1030503So, to summarise this review, this is a geeky, sci-fi thriller that can be frustrating and overwhelming for some readers (at least it was for me). But the hilarious lines and the amazing characters balance it out and bring it to an enjoyable degree. It’s a funny book that you will enjoy but also get annoyed by at some points. The author managed to impress me though, with a novel that I would definitely recommend to many but with a risk (due to the factors of frustration mentioned before). I am so pumped for the movie though! Seriously, can’t wait to watch it as soon as possible.

I have included the movie trailer here, but I suggest that if you are planning on reading the book not to watch it because since it’s a thriller novel it will spoil some things that should probably stay unrevealed:

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