WARNING!!! This review contains spoilers, proceed at your own risk! you have been warned!
Mark Watney, an astronaut chosen for the third installment of NASA’s Ares project is left behind on the desolate planet of Mars when he and his crew have to do an emergency evacuation and mission abort. The Ares 3 mission was originally supposed to last 31 Sols (Sols are days on mars that are a little longer than earth days) but was cut short to only six when a massive dust storm hit. NASA fearing that their equipment wouldn’t survive the harsh winds ordered an immediate abort. But of course things went horribly wrong. During the Evac Mark was hit by an antenna and was dragged off into the storm. The crew’s commanding officer, Commander Melissa Lewis tried to desperately locate her crew mate but in the heat of the storm she had lost him. The crew flew away in a craft known as the MAV, mourning their comrade.
Yet he lives, God smiled upon him and Mark manages to survive his near-death. Now he must fight for his survival on a planet that tries to kill him over and over again (only figuratively) and make it home to Earth.
This book has a lot of characters, just a warning.
This novel is all about the characters and it mostly focuses on Mark. The book is set up in a way that really allows the reader to feel for Mark. Understand his struggle and feel the emotions he feels. Mark’s character was wonderfully developed: he’s a funny, sarcastic smart-ass who always tackles a situation head on. His wit and quick thinking are what keep him alive as he faces even more dangerous situations and manages to narrowly escape death. Mark is an easy going guy but he’s also a hard worker and is determined to get off Mars alive. There are many times when he could’ve just given up and ended things but he pulls through. Overall his character buildup was strong and it kept its originality throughout the course of the novel.
The other characters were also developed but they were paid little attention since 90% of the time we were focused on Mark.
Overall good characters.
I loved this book!!! OMFG it was amazing! I really felt for Mark, ya know. This was beautifully written and Weir really manages to pull you in. I sometimes felt like I was talking to Mark, even though the conversation was a little one sided. When something went wrong or it looked like he would die on the red planet I would feel like crying because I am so attached to him. This was also down right Hilarious! You see, Mark’s way of relieving stress and tension is to make jokes. Now I know some people would say “he’s probably gonna die and he’s making stupid jokes just cuz he can! WTF! He should be praying for God to save his sorry ass!”
Yes I get what you’re saying but we all have our different coping mechanisms and here Mark’s is to make jokes to ease the stress and pain and guess what it works for him. Okay enough ranting. This book was amazing and I think the only time it didn’t have me engaged was during the technical bits and don’t get me wrong, I love science and space but sometimes understanding the science behind everything was a bit confusing and painful (I’m kidding!) but other than that great book.
Down below are some of my favorite quotes, enjoy!
He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
LOG ENTRY: SOL 61
How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.
Hanging up, he grinned at the map. “Mark, you sneaky, clever, son of a bitch!”
So, again, I was left without references and relied on Phobos to guide me. There’s probably symbolism there. Phobos is the god of fear, and I’m letting it be my guide. Not a good sign.
“Yes!” They said, “Yes!”
I haven’t been this excited about a “yes” since prom night!
Okay, calm down.
NASA, however, is probably shitting itself. They see the water reclaimer as a critical survival element. There’s no backup, and they think I’ll die instantly without it. To them, equipment failure is terrifying. To me, it’s “Tuesday.”
“Snowblowers are expensive,” he used to say. “You’re free.”
It seemed to work well. The seal looked strong and the resin was rock-hard. I did, however, glue my hand to the helmet.
Potatoes are now extinct on Mars.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.
[11:49] JPL: What we can see of your planned cut looks good. We’re assuming the other side is identical. You’re cleared to start drilling.
[12:07] WATNEY: That’s what she said.
[12:25] JPL: Seriously, Mark? Seriously?
But I settled on “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.
[17:21] WATNEY: 145 holes today. 357 total.
[17:31] JPL: We thought you’d have more done by now.
Mars keeps trying to kill me.
Well…Mars didn’t electrocute Pathfinder. So I’ll amend that:
Mars and my stupidity keep trying to kill me.
Live Another Sol would be an awesome name for a James Bond movie.
Live Another Sol! (Starring Mark Watney as…probably Q. I’m no James Bond.)
The rover and trailer regulate their own temperatures just fine, but things weren’t hot enough in the bedroom.
Story of my life.
But who knows? I can see it now: me holding a map, scratching my head, trying to figure out how I ended up on Venus.
I can’t wait till I have grandchildren. “When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me! Mars!”
And that’s not all of them! But I ran out of energy and patience to write the rest.
If you like funny as hell astronauts fighting for their survival on another planet go read this book.