Surprisingly enough, this book was recommended to me – by someone who doesn’t usually read science fiction! That’s either a really good sign, or a really bad one, and until I actually crack open the book, there’s no way to know for sure.
As it turns out, as a very proud and self-professed geek, The Martian, by Andy Weir, is an amazing book.
The book starts with our hero, Mark Watney, realizing that he’s been abandoned on Mars. He wasn’t the first man to set foot on Mars (he was the sixth), but he was the first to be seriously injured there, and abandoned for dead as the rest of the crew flees back towards Earth.
Now, all the man has is the remains of the landing vehicle and habitat set up on Mars. He has to figure out how to survive on his own until the next Martian landing is scheduled – four years from now.
The Martian is masterful. It blends very detailed and geeky science (how do you turn hydrazine into water?), high tension and thrills (will Mark survive the multiple challenges?), and a good bit of down-to-Mars humor that helps break up the tension of the book. If there was a sequel to this book, I’d be first in line to buy it – and I’m going to definitely look for more works by Andy Weir.
Time to read: I read this at an airport while waiting to get on my plane. I finished it after the plane landed, keeping myself at the airport. It was that good. 3 hours.