Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

Astrobotanist Mark Watney was left behind on Mars when a piece of equipment hit him during a sandstorm. The rest of the crew assumed he was dead, and there was no more time to go back and look for him, so Captain Lewis made the decision to save the rest of the crew.

Well it turns out Watney is alive. And is stuck on Mars. Alone. He has the Hab and other equipment, but it will be four years before a rescue crew can reach him, and he will run out of food long before then. So to stay alive, Watney uses his smarts and perseverance to beat all odds.

Like an astronaut MacGyver, Watney tricks out all the equipment he has at his disposal to ensure his survival, and not all the things he has to do are pleasant. But he has figured out how to cultivate bacteria to grow potatoes, make water, and navigate the harsh terrain. If he can get to the lander, he will even be able to communicate with NASA and his family will know he isn't dead. But how he will make it off this Godforsaken planet remains to be seen.

Weir hit it big with his science fiction debut, The Martian, that will appeal to wide ranging audience, not just those science and techie readers. There are a lot of science elements in the book, but the story is told through Watney's journal, and his honesty and humor keep readers invested in his story. There will be moments that will make you gasp as Watney escapes death more than once, and readers will be just as terrified as Watney. I don't want to ruin too much, so just read this book if you enjoy characters who make you laugh and are deserving of your sympathies for their plight. I promise you will be recommending this book to all your friends.

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