The Martian by Andy Wier is a book that would fit into the following categories for the 2018 reading challenge, Noteworthy and Acclaimed, It’s All About the Destination, Pay it Forward, and lastly, it’s a little bit of stretch but – Hidden in Plain Sight (because he wrote the book as serial format on his website)
My husband read this book, my interest was piqued so I read this book, then I sent this book to my mom. This is a story about survival, humanity, and hope. Mark Watney is one of the first people to walk on Mars. His crew evacuates during a tumultuous dust storm, believing Mark to be dead. Mark is left behind, very much alive and unable to communicate with Earth. The majority of the narrative revolves around his attempts at survival, and calculating the possibilities. The conflict is Mark vs. Mars. Mark demonstrates his resourcefulness, knowledge and perseverance against everything going wrong at the same time while maintaining hope.
Is this sci-fi? It doesn’t feel like the standard science fiction. If you normally don’t read science-fiction, or books set in space settings – this book is still for you. Honestly. It reads like futuristic-space-memoir meets science fiction. I realized the former isn’t a real book genre classification, but it could be. I just feels real and authentic. Part of which can be attributed the use of real math and science supporting the process Mark is going through. The technical element can be a little distracting but once you stop reading to understand the math and just understand that these portions of internal dialogue are just letting you into how his brain is calculating his fate, it is much more enjoyable and provides a depth to the character. The humor in the book is well-done and entwined into the narrative appropriately. (If I were stuck on Mars would I still sing songs in my cat voice? Possibly.) I digress, there are funny parts in the book and they add the levity needed to cope with the possibility of a not-so-happily-ever-after. This is a page turner, on your seat, read in every free moment you have kind of book. I love that when that happens. The audio book version is also fantastically done.
I gave this book 5 stars.
If you enjoyed this book but you normally don’t read science fiction, you might enjoy The Paradox Series by Rachel Bach. It’s fast paced and there is some romance.
Here are a list of awards the book has received: