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Monday, 27 July 2015

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

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Title:The Martian
Author:Andy Weir
Publisher:Crown Publishing
Publication Date:February 11th 2014


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?


I received a copy of this novel from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are my own and I was not compensated for this review.

The Martian chronicles the adventures of astronaut Mark Watney after he is believed dead and stranded on Mars. It details, in the form of his own personal logs, his struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in order to survive.


I don't typically read sci-fi books but I took the chance with The Martian because of the stellar reviews that it receives and I must say, those reviews are 150% deserved. In no area did this disappoint.

The story and the experience gained from reading felt very authentic. I honestly believed I was on Mars with Mark Watney, there was so much detail; lots of Math and Science. I am awestruck when I think of the amount of research and dedication that must've gone into the creation of this story. It showed and I can confidently say that if I were stranded on Mars, I might not die immediately. :P

Besides the sheer amount of details, I adored the way The Martian was formatted and the periodic switch in storytelling among Mark's logs, his crew's return ship and the individuals at NASA. It was very unique and effective as a method of plot advancement, more so than plain old first person POV would've been because it very clearly allowed us as readers to take a peek into the brains of all the centrally involved parties in the story.

The thing that spoke to me most while reading The Martian was not the uniqueness of the idea or the way it was executed but, in fact, the protagonist, Mark. He had an almost inhuman amount of confidence and resilience even though the odds were not stacked in his favour. He had a very wry sense of humour that had me DYING with laughter while reading this and he never failed to point out the irony in situations, or crack jokes or even cuss out NASA! Mark Watney is my spirit animal and I can only dream to be as witty as he was when staring death straight in the eyes.

For anyone on the fence about giving this novel a go, do it because you will not regret it. I didn't. It was phenomenal. Actually, no. Phenomenal is too plain a word to describe how good this book was. It was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and it made me feel ASDFGHJKL! I want to give this book a million cupcakes but for the sake of time and space constraints, I am going to settle for 5/5 cupcakes. In reality though, it can't be rated because it broke the scale.

Final Sentence in the Novel

This is the happiest day of my life.

Favourite Lines in the Novel

  • By my reckoning, I'm about 100 kilometers from Pathfinder. Technically it's "Carl Sagan Memorial Station." But with all due respect to Carl, I can call it whatever the hell I want. I'm the King of Mars.
  • I was left without references and relied on Phobos to guide me. There's probably symbolism there. Phobos is the god of fear, and I'm letting it be my guide. Not a good sign.
  • "Anything, Tim?"
    "Totally," he replied, "But we're staring at this black screen because it's way more interesting than pictures from Mars."
  • To them, equipment failure is terrifying. To me, it's "Tuesday".
  • Yes, of course duct tape works in a near vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.
  • As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.
  • Then I drove out to the RTG. It was right where I left it, in a hole four kilometers away. Only an idiot would keep that thing near the Hab. So anyway, I brought it back to the Hab.

Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.