Author: Andy Weir
Release date: February 11, 2014
Published by: Crown/Random House
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When the United States sends its first group of astronauts on a mission to Mars, they have planned for every possible issue that might come up. They are prepared. Or are they? When an incredibly intense dust storm begins to reach the limits that their habit structure can take, and then surpasses the allowances for it, the team has to make an extremely frustrating decision to abort their mission. They grab what they can, suit up, and head through the dust storm to their shuttle they have to take home after only 6 days on Mars. Then the worst happens...astronaut Mark Whatney takes a direct hit from a very large piece of debris and flies into the storm with it. They have no idea where he is, and his life support sensors have gone completely offline. The team has to keep going and leave him behind without visual confirmation of his death. When Mark comes to, he is all alone on Mars. Now he has to figure out how to survive until he can be saved...
My thoughts: This was a long, epic journey from Earth to Mars. Then, day after day of Mark's trying to survive on Mars while hoping for someone figuring out a way to save him. Of course, everything that could go wrong did go wrong and reading about Mark's every new problem as he had to solve it made the book very dramatic.
I found this book to be an interesting read, but ultimately very slow in pace. I certainly understand why it was rather slow at times because it is day after day of him on his own just surviving on his own on an uninhabited planet very far from Earth. I honestly had a hard time finishing it because of the pace, but I knew I wanted to get it done for book club which is why I was reading it to begin with.
The main character, Mark Whatney, was a great character as a whole. He was very funny and the writing was really well done even though I don't know a ton about space, space travel, etc. I also still felt like I could understand what was happening through the book just fine. The first couple of sentences alone made me laugh out loud! I also like how they jumped from the group on the shuttle home, to the people trying to save him, and more. Without this I would have also had a hard time getting through the book. Mark Whatney and the structure of the book together is what kept me reading this one until the end.
The concept itself of this book and what it's about I think is great! I love that it seems to have made space and astronauts cool again in our society. It's also checked out all the time at school and I think a big reason for that is not only the movie, but that so many of the teachers and staff in the building have read the book and therefor can recommend it to students and staff. All of this is a WIN for the library of course! :)
What did you think of this one? Have you seen the movie?
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