Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian by Andy Weir
Published by Crown on February 11, 2014
Genres: Adventure, Humor, Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Blogging for Books
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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 talk a lot, like nonstop, about ships and kissing and romance. Take all of that and set it to the side. The Martian is not that sort of book at all, so when I love it with all of my heart, it’s time to listen. As I’ve said before, it’s not that I can’t love things without ships but it means that have to be really fucking good. The Martian is even better than really fucking good. It is AMAZEBALLS TO THE WALL AWESOMETASTIC BOSSNESS.

gif thumbs up parks & rec

Am I overstating things? No, no, I’m not. From start to finish, The Martian is engaging, packed with voice, and unlike anything else I’ve ever read before. It manages to be seriously sciencey and yet very easily readable and not boring. What Andy Weir has accomplished here is seriously impressive. I was actually really afraid to read this book because of the massive hype, but it was just way better than I ever could have been prepared for. *waves hype flag*

Something I’ve said over and over again is that I sort of don’t care about plot. Don’t get me wrong: The Martian has an amazing plot and also I enjoy a good plot. My point is, though, that, if someone says a book lacks a plot, it doesn’t necessarily turn me off from a book. As long as there’s strong characterization, I would read a book about a person sitting alone in a room. Now I have proof, because about 90% of The Martian is Mark Watney alone in a room or a spacesuit; the other 10% is people on NASA or his team of astronauts.

The Martian works 100% because of Mark Watney. This is one of the voiciest books I’ve ever read. Mark is hilarious, silly, and a total genius. His ability to problem-solve is fucking legendary. He’s like Macgyver in space, and I fell in love with him quite a lot over the course of the book. Also, this is one of those books that feels SO REAL that I sometimes had to remind myself that it was fictional and that Mark would not maybe be coming back from Mars for me to go hit on rescue or something with my vast lack of science knowledge. Also, I know he’s Matt Damon in the movie, but I pictured him as Ben from Parks & Recreation with his silly humor but also his smart nerdiness and I just have a lot of feelings about this okay. For example, Mark changes the name of a unit of measurement to pirate-ninjas just because. He is my hero and seriously I love him.

gif i am really attracted to you parks & rec

Speaking of science, I have always loathed science. It was my worst subject in school consistently, at least until college where I somehow got an A in geology but I don’t know how that happened tbh. I was also never a big fan of math, perhaps because of my former calculus professor father’s incredibly boring math lectures when I was in middle school (I learned fairly swiftly never to ask him for help with my math homework). I tell you all of this so that you know where I’m coming from when I say this book is all math and science but you should read it anyway.

Maybe, though, I would have loved math and science if Mark Watney were teaching them to me. The thing is that he’s a genius in these things, but I never once felt dumb while reading The Martian. Actually, it made me feel like a genius because Mark is so good at explaining science without talking down to the reader or confusing them. Also, he manages to make it funny and compelling. Seriously, this is some magic.

gif i mean look what i've accomplished parks & rec

The plot really is wonderful, but I’m at a loss for how to talk about it without spoiling anything. The Martian manages to be incredibly tense the whole book but the tension really ramps up towards the end. For all that Mark is always half a step from death, his sense of humor makes the situation feel somewhat lighter for much of the novel. Of course, for all that time, you’re falling in love with him and learning to care so fucking much if he dies that you’re like totally in support of the government spending billions of dollars and risking lives just to try to save him.

gif both die parks & rec

Even if you mostly only read YA, which is me these days too, if you like character-driven novels, I highly urge you to check out The Martian. Also, you plot and science nerds will love this book too. I wanted to read it before the film adaptation came out and, man, that was the best decision.

Favorite Quote:

Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif i am deeply ridiculously in love with you parks & rec

4 responses to “Review: The Martian by Andy Weir”

  1. Brittney says:

    You should try the audio! I’ve seriously listened to it 3x this year because I enjoyed it so much. R. C. Bray does a fantastic job.

  2. Great review! I’m not one for the sciences myself, but I’m curious about this story and have been hearing good things about it. Love the cover and blurb. I’m seriously motivated to start it after reading your review.
    Shane Morgan (@itchingforbooks) recently posted…Review: Addy And The Smart Guy by Carter AshbyMy Profile

  3. Lyn Kaye says:

    “The Martian is even better than really fucking good.”

    “I fell in love with him quite a lot”
    Um, I love you, Debby, but you’re going to have to step away from my man, ok THXBAI.

    I agree, that this book just REALLY worked. I loved it, and I am so happy to see everyone else loving this novel.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Ready Player OneMy Profile

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