Sunday, July 12, 2015

486 (2015 #43). The Martian

by Andy Weir

I was a little leery of this book based on its title (with little green men or some other aliens, I thought) - science fiction fantasy is NOT my thing.

Instead, this book is old-fashioned pure science fiction, and rather credible at that.  Mark Watney, an engineer and botanist, has been accidentally left behind on Mars when his crewmates think he is dead.  Told mainly by Watney through log entries, he has to overcome one crisis after another in order to survive - and hopefully be rescued.

I rather liked it, even though I didn't always understand the science or math behind it.  It was enough for me for it to SEEM believable.  You could predict what was going to happen in the end, but the journey getting there is pretty interesting.

Mark is a likable character with quite a sense of humor, and the story is often funny.  Sometimes the humor falls flat, though, as if Mark is trying too hard.  Also, I found it puzzling that someone facing possible death all alone on another planet wouldn't have been a bit more introspective at times.

Minor characters include his crewmates from his Martian voyage, and members of NASA and other agencies back on Earth who are trying to get him home.  None of these are very well-developed, but that didn't really lessen my (surprisingly) enjoyment of this thrilling book.

Andy Weir originally self-published the story as an e-book, but it generated enough interest that a major publisher brought it out in print.  A movie is supposedly being made of the book.

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[This book was borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]

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