This book was a real page turner, I couldn’t put it down. The main story focuses on Mark Watney and his quest for survival after being left on Mars by his crew. Why would his crew abandon him, you may ask. Because they thought he was dead.
Here’s the setup: NASA warned the crew of a violent incoming dust storm and ordered them to evacuate the planet. The storm was strong enough to destroy the craft they needed to depart Mars once the mission was over. As they moved toward their ascent craft there was an accident involving an antenna ripping across Watney’s pressurized suit. In the fierce winds Watney was tossed across the terrain and landed on a dune away from the crew. He had been knocked unconscious. Complicating things further, the life support monitors fried leaving the other crew members an impression he was dead. Flat lines on the blood pressure and pulse readings would lead them to abandon searching for him and get into orbit before the storm stranded everyone. His crew left believing him dead……but that figures in later.
The first page of the book starts with Watney journaling, “Well, I’m fucked” and stating how he will be the first person to die on Mars and what the Wikipedia page will say about him. He casts no blame on his crew mates and states to them, Guys if you ever read this I don’t blame you at all. I would have done the same thing.” I’m not the most scientifically natured person but I could follow all of the technical writings and ramblings from the star of the book. He’s amazing.
Much of the book is written in a logbook type narrative. There is technical detail but it’s explained in a way that I could follow it all. His goal is to stay alive until the next scheduled mission arrives in 4 years. Watney’s ingenuity and resourcefulness are astonishing to read about. Before long you will get a glimpse of his crew and how they are dealing with his death and scenes from NASA as well.
Watney is a botanist and believe it or not, the humble potato plays a part in whether he will survive or not. NASA had several real, honest to goodness potatoes in the food storage because they thought it would help the mood of the crew by preparing a real Thanksgiving dinner together.
If Andy Weir writes another book I will probably pre-order it. If you are looking for chick lit, Martian vampires or extraterrestrial subject matter you are outta luck – But if you like science fiction with a bit of humor and danger thrown in, you will love this book.
Also of note, this book actually will be filmed with Matt Damon starring as Whatney. Jessica Chastain, Sean Bean, Micheal Pena and Kate Mara are among the big names joining the cast. Looking forward to this next year.
So what food item would I think of after reading this book. It has to be potatoes. If you read this book you’ll completely understand.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions, nice and no-so-nice are my own 🙂