Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Book Review | The Martian by Andy Weir

Released: 11th February 2014
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 369 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

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?

The Martian is one of the funniest books I have read which is quite surprising considering it's an insanely intense story about an astronaut stranded and struggling to stay alive on Mars. This book is written in diary entries from the main character, Mark Watney, as well as some parts which are written in third person about the people at NASA and the Hermes' crew members in space. I loved the whole premise of this book and it was really interesting to read all about all the ways that Watney managed to survive on a planet all by himself. His sarcastic remarks and random jokes were also a highlight of the book for me.

“They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonised’ it. So technically, I colonised Mars.In your face, Neil Armstrong!” 

Most of The Martian is filled with Watney's logs which is used to explain all the complicated science and math that he uses to grow his own food - potatoes (I feel second hand disgust of potatoes after reading this book honestly) and ration water and oxygen. It was really fascinating to read because the science is really accurate and there were a lot of facts about space that I learnt from it. However I did feel like some of the logs were a bit too detailed and tons of information was just put into the book just to be scientifically correct so after a point most of it just went over my head and I was just waiting for the story to progress. 

Reading this book was so so frustrating, not in a bad way but just at some points so much goes wrong and almost every other page there is a near death moment where he has to come up with another solution to stay alive. Watney's sense of humour throughout the book was on point though and the way he joked about almost dying (in several different situations), Commander Lewis' disco music collection and duct tape made me laugh a lot. 

Even most of the secondary characters, Johanssen, Martinez, Venkat Kapoor and specially Annie (NASA's PR control person) were absolutely hilarious and so much fun to read about. I wish there was more scenes with the crew in the Hermes because they were like their own little family and their interactions and bickering were so endearing and lovely to read.

One of the things I loved about this book was how we got to see Watney trying to survive on Mars as well as getting to see how NASA and just regular people on Earth were reacting to this situation. The countdown moments to certain things that I can't mention because they would be a spoiler were so exciting and I just physically could not put down the book for those pages. The climax in the end was also one really intense scene and it was just written so well (I could actually like hear the dramatic build up music that is played in movies during these parts). There is in fact a movie adaptation coming out this week (or actually tomorrow for me) which I am so excited for, I'll also have a movie review up for it in the next few days!

Overall I would say this is one of the best books I have read this year, it had a perfect mix of action and science and comedy and I would recommend it to everyone even if science fiction or thrillers are not necessarily your thing because I think anyone can enjoy this story.

Some other quotes that were too funny to leave out:
“By my reckoning, I'm about 100 kilometers from Pathfinder. Technically it's called "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.” 

"If ruining the only religious icon i have leaves me vulnerable to Martian vampires, I'll have to risk it."

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.” 


Have you read The Martian yet? What are your thoughts about it?


  1. I LOVED reading The Martian!! I am so glad you read it as well so I can see your opinion on it :)
    I am so so happy I read this book because I loved it soooo much. I loved reading from Mark's point of view, the story, the science interlaced throughout the whole book, all the characters.... I couldn't stop reading it, every page held something new that kept the plot exciting and unpredictable. The humour in the book was gold, and it made me fall in love with the characters even more. I actually really really enjoyed reading the long logs where Mark explained all his thought processes and how they turned out, and I'm really happy the book was so scientifically correct because it made the story even more interesting. Basically, The Martian is now one of my favourite books of all time. I loved it <3

    1. Yess I loved it too and I liked reading the science-y bits too but some parts just too much for my little brain to handle :P I think it's one of my favourites now too because it's a totally different type of story than I normally read but I really really enjoyed it (and the movie as well!!) 💕