Review: The Martian Novel

Author: Andy Weir

Don’t get this confused with the movie that’s coming out; the movie is based off this book. And based off the book, I’ll be seeing the movie.

The book is told in an interesting fashion; everything in the first part of the book is just the transcibed journal of Mark Watney, an astronaut that has been stranded on Mars. The second part of the book incorporates the narrative from NASA on Earth. The final part jumps between Watney’s journal, NASA, and the crew of Ares, the shipmates of Watney.

The basic gist of the book is Watney was stranded on Mars when a sand storm forces the Ares crew to suddenly leave the planet. Watney got separated and was believed to be dead. The crew also took the only way to communicate with NASA as well. Watney finds ways to survive on his own with the knowledge that the next crew will arrive in 4 years.

NASA discovers Watney is still alive and monitors him from afar. Eventually they communicate with each other and devise some plans to get him rescued.

The story is engaging and original. Every time you get comfortable as the reader, a new complication arises (some major and some minor). Readers get a good sense of Watney’s character from his journals. As you meet more characters later in the book, it’s a little harder to distinguish some of the NASA employees; the Ares crew is pretty well defined though, both through their narrative and the Watney journals.

Weir goes very in depth with space travel; he explains a lot of the techincalities of space, the equipment, and the happenings of NASA. I know for the movie, NASA gave a lot of info so everything would be correct; I would guess they did for the book too.

The movie is due out October 2, so there is plenty of time to get the book read before you see it. I’d recommend it.

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