Rating: 5/5 stars
First published: 2012
Author: Andy Weir
Synopsis: I’m stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I’m screwed.
I put this book off for the longest time, thinking I wasn’t going to enjoy if for some reason. I’m so glad I picked it up though because I flew through it in a day and I had such a good time reading it. This book is so much fun.
I really liked the main character, Mark, he was really funny and he managed to not succumb to utter despair in the midst of this absolutely terrifying situation. He found the motivation and willpower to keep on. And as someone who has struggled with depression, it was so nice and encouraging to read about. And also all the people on earth coming together and dedicating so many resources for just one human life, I thought that was absolutely beautiful and I do think that we have that in us. It’s what we should be like all the time, if only we weren’t so broken. It was really heartwarming to read about.
The book was very fast paced and easy to read, like I said, flew through it in one day. It’s mainly written in the form of Mark’s logs, so it’s kind of informal. It feels like it’s spoken to you, which I really enjoyed. And there’s just always stuff happening and somehow, it’s all very exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Even potatoes are exciting when they’re Martian potatoes.
But I think for me personally, the most enjoyable part was how he used science to survive. As a scientist and a total nerd, I thought that was the coolest thing EVER. I got so excited about the chemistry and maths and physics and biology that he was using to survive. Usually heroes are charming or can fight really well or have magic or power or influence. But he just had science. And that’s just awesome. I always love stories where people use science to be badasses.
All in all, this book was a joy. I actually read it at a time when I was quite down and it cheered me up. I wish I could erase it from my brain and read it again.