Book Review | The Martian | The science went way over my head but the story was heart wrenching and wonderful



Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

(From Goodreads)


Holy science and tech jargon Batman!  If I had stopped to research every single tech or science related sentence in this book, I’d still be reading it and would still be thoroughly freaking confused.  After the first chapter, I gave up and instead just went with the assumption that Mark Watney knows what the fuck he’s doing.  Kind of.  He at least knows what he’s talking about, and I’m just going to trust (i.e. assume) that it’s all legitimate science and tech.

Even if it’s not, I actually don’t care.  Not even a little bit.

While The Martian is a very science laden story, it’s still a very human story, and that’s why I think it works so well.  I quit caring about if it made sense and just started caring about Mark, and what he was going through, and hoping I wasn’t reading the journal of a dead man.

He was a very likable character, and I was 100% invested in his journey as a stranded freaking BAMF on Mars.

I had read a few reviews who talked about how funny this story was at times, and having read the synopsis, I assumed those people were out of their damn mind.  There’s nothing funny about the synopsis, but Mark’s journal is filled with his humor, and there were plenty of times I was laughing out loud.

And crying.  And gripping the edge of my chair waiting to get back to his journal to know he was OK.  And more laughing.

And more crying.

I cannot say enough about his character.  Even if you aren’t a fan of science fiction, I’d really recommend at least trying this book for the characters alone.  Not just Mark, either, although he’s clearly the main character.  His cast of side characters do add a great element to the story, and I really loved seeing the third person POVs from NASA and Mark’s crew.

The plot itself felt like it had been done before, and I’m sure it had, but the Andy Weir’s writing kept it interesting, and I felt like the pacing was really well done.  I didn’t need to skim ever during the techie parts because there was usually action immediately following it.  Or Watney’s witty fucking humor.

Overall, I just cannot say enough about this story, and I try very hard to avoid spoilers.  So, just read it if you haven’t.   I know I’m late to the game with reading this anyway, but if you’re even later…seriously, get to reading this.  I started it last night and finished it last night – just could not put the book down.


(Actual 4.5, but I’m lazy and never made 1/2 stars…

so this gets all 5!)


4 thoughts on “Book Review | The Martian | The science went way over my head but the story was heart wrenching and wonderful

  1. I adored this story! Ended up listening to the 12 hour audio book and the voice actor just made it 100 times better! I have heard negative things like “the science was too much” & “he just seems to get out of every situation okay”. Which I get but it was so well done i couldn’t not love it!

  2. I still haven’t read this one, but I know I should! My other half loved it. The lesson he gleaned from it had something to do with how important routine is (brushing teeth, shaving, etc) when facing seemingly insurmountable odds.

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