Review: The Martian

themartianThe Martian by Andy Weir
Catalog record  |  Goodreads reviews

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.

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?

The Martian is a book that puts the “science” in science fiction. It wins at science. However, as fiction, it falls a little flat.

It’s an impressive feat — determining what could happen, and how, on a manned mission to Mars, and the technical accuracy is mind-boggling (or maybe that’s because I’m not a rocket scientist). Weir has obviously done the research and made the science check out, but the characters are a little flat. Yes, we get that the commander liked disco — that’s about the only personalizing characteristic we get. It’s like learning that someone likes sock monkeys, so from there on out that’s all they get for birthday gifts.

It did make me wonder what I would do in Mark Watney’s situation (not make it nearly as long, that’s for sure) and what personal items I would choose to take aboard a craft destined for space (everything on my Goodreads to-read shelf, probably). And I don’t say this often, but I think The Martian will be better on the silver screen than it is on the page (let’s see if I’m right in November when it’s released).

– Review by Marleah

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