When I first heard of The Martian, several thoughts came to mind rather quickly. One was, ‘hey this sounds kind of like 2001 A Space Odyssey I might like it!’
Another was its called The Martian so there MUST be aliens in it, right?’ And the final thought was that I must read it, not only because it’s going to be a movie, but because it sound like a survival story right up my alley (without the fantasy part to it). So the moment I read the books description I placed a hold on it at the library, got it, and read it over about four days.
Question is, was The Martian all that good?
Answer is yes. Well, mostly.
Mark Watney, due to a tragic circumstance, is trapped on Mars with no possible way of surviving whatsoever. So while he is struggling to survive every waking moment and humongous obstacle, he writes it down in a log, hoping that one day someone might find it to see what he goes through. Every log is written like he is talking to the reader, what he is doing isn’t completely described in tremendous detail, it’s more of like a journal of his days on Mars. If you’re looking for a story with detailed plot, every waking moment of Mark Watneys life, the characters inside feelings (not written down like one does in a journal), or a story that isn’t written like he’s talking to you, then you might not enjoy The Martian.
The journal aspect to The Martian, I felt, added to the story. I found Mark to be a very likable character and very intelligent, sure the story wasn’t told from the inside of his head, but he wrote his journals with enthusiasm. It’s not like he wrote, I did this today, and this, and this and this. Rather he is writing his thoughts along the way with a greatly written voice.
Another great thing about this book is that Andy Weir does a great job when explaining the science behind what Mark Watney is doing. So much so that even I could understand what the heck he was doing. He simplifies things down to a what a ‘normal’ person (one without a great knowledge in science) could understand. Now, keep in mind I don’t have a fancy science degree or anything, but I’m sure he’s explaining real science not just some made up logic, other than pirate ninjas…
There were a few things I didn’t like about the story. I felt like it could have been cut down to a shorter length, there were pages where nothing really happened at all, some parts just dragged on and every few days something big happened where Watney struggled over something. So the plot isn’t too complex yet it was a nice science-fiction read, I enjoyed it way more than I did 2001 A Space Odyssey (although I read it years ago so my opinion might have changed).
*Spoiler Section* I really, really hoped that The Martian would have aliens in it. I really hoped Mark would struggle with his sanity, being alone for that long would make someone go crazy, but he didn’t. I was kind of disappointed about that… *End Spoilers*
If you enjoy books that take place in space, science-fiction, or a good old fashioned fight for survival you just might like The Martian by Andy Weir!