Mark Watney is an astronaut, stranded on Mars when his mission went wrong. His crew assumed him dead, little did they know he not only survived, but found a way to live there. No way to communicate with satellites, his crew or Earth, he’s forced to use the knowledge that got him on the mission to manipulate the equipment and his knowledge in botany to make some kind of life on Mars. He will not die here.
2014 has been a year in which I’ve had a lot of books unlike any others I’d read, and with 200 being my goal, I feel like I picked a good one to hit the target. It’s not sci-fi in the typical sense, it’s like… sci-fact. If someone was on Mars, you feel like this is legit. It makes sense.
More so, the mission logs are a good way to read it, interspersing it with what’s going on elsewhere. It’s fast paced, witty and full of suspense. And best of all, Mark is a major dork. He’s not the Hollywood-blockbuster (although, I can see this going in that direction, it would be a great film) brooding lead, but just someone fun who doesn’t take himself too seriously, even in his situation.
In the midst of a man-vs-nature story that is death-defying, there’s still time for an entire log that says: How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.
The Martian is just so good. It can be a little over-technical and sciency at times for those not interested in that kind of thing, but by the end of it that’s probably the main thing that makes it work. Many people could write an I’m stranded on Mars epic, but few could make it feel so authentic, especially when discussing the merits of Aquaman.