Monday, 18 January 2016

"The Martian" by Andy Weir - spoiler free book review | Janu-Blog Day 18

"The Martian" by Andy Weir was the first book I read in 2016 and I feel it will be difficult for any other book this year to top it.

Sci-fi isn't my usual genre of interest - the only science-y books I've ever truly enjoyed were the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and the reason I enjoyed these were because they are fairytale retellings. Nevertheless, after hearing great things about the movie and being intrigued by the synopsis, I decided to pick it up.

"The Martian" follows Mark Watney, an astronaut who is on a mission to Mars. In a dust storm accident, his crew are left believing that Mark has died and they leave the planet to go back to Earth without him. However, he wakes up to find that he is entirely alone on a planet and must work out how to survive for the next number of years, while trying to contact Earth to let them know he is still there.

What makes this book enjoyable for someone who is not usually a fan of sci-fi is the main character. Mark is hilarious. I'd go as far to say that he's the best book character I've ever read about. In the face of crisis, his humour appears and he relies on his sarcasm to try and pull him through.

Despite being a science fiction that contained a lot of science, maths and calculations, they are explained in a way that's easy to understand while also making you feel like you're intelligent for comprehending them.  The story itself is very interesting - we see Mark's point of view through logs and we see occasional flashes of what is happening back on Earth. This makes the fact that we're following one person alone on a planet the opposite of boring; Mark is easy to root for and his journey is full of action. Andy Weir thought of everything when he was writing this - it almost makes me suspect that he has too been trapped alone on Mars.

I gave "The Martian" 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and if I'd read it a week earlier, it would have made it into my top books of 2015 without a doubt. Watch out for my 2016 version - I don't doubt that this will make an appearance.

I'm blogging every day in January! Check back at 6pm GMT every day for a new Janu-Blog post!

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