In honor of the film adaptation’s release, I figured I should post my review of THE MARTIAN today!
My husband heard about THE MARTIAN from a coworker and asked me to order it for him a few months ago. I was a bit on the fence about it after reading the back cover, but when my husband proceeded to read it in one shot overnight (yay jetlag!) and started raving about it when I woke up the next morning, I figured I had to give it a try.
My main recommendation with this book is to give it a fair shot. I’d have ditched it after three chapters without my husband’s encouragement to keep reading because I’m not a fan of the diary structure in novels. However, that only lasts for 6 or so chapters before we start to learn how things are shaping up back on Earth. That’s when I really got sucked in! The switch from first person to omniscient point of view and back can be jarring at times, but overall the book flows well.
Mark Watney is a bit of a superman, but has a down-to-Earth (ha!) narrative tone in his diary entries, and I mostly buy his all-encompassing knowledge based on the fact that astronauts chosen to make such a trip probably would be that smart, especially with such a limited crew size. He still screws up and he’s still human in his reactions to his adventure, which does a good job of grounding the character.
I appreciate the amount of research the author had to do for such a novel, but he does a good job of avoiding the dreaded “all this research, let me show you it” info dumps. Instead, we are treated to narratives that serve as the main character working out scientific problems rather than as boring exposition.
This book does not need a sequel, but I would definitely be interested in seeing what the author comes out with next. I haven’t seen the movie yet (anxiously awaiting for Monday), but I’m encouraged by the good things I’ve heard so far.
Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars
Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.