Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

Have you ever picked up a book by an author you've never heard of, written in a genre that's not your usual cup of tea and with a title that reminds you of a cheesy sci-fi movie...and then ended up loving it? That's how it was with me and 'The Martian'.

The story is pretty straightforward. A manned mission to Mars goes wrong and the crew have to flee the surface in haste when a storm threatens to destroy their take-off vehicle. In the chaos, botanist/mechanical engineer Mark Watney is injured. Believing him to be dead, the crew takes off.

However, Watney is still alive. And he has every intention of "staying alive" (a song our hero adopts as his theme song - yes, Watney is funny that way). Mark Watney becomes the first Martian - a good humored, resourceful and the one and only resident of Mars. How he survives on a freezing cold planet with no help in sight and no way to communicate with Earth makes for a terrifically compelling read and the suspense and drama of if/how he ever gets back to Earth is breathtaking.

If I was in the habit of giving stars, I'd give this book 4 stars. Why not 5 stars, you ask? Read on...