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I'd been eyeing Andy Weir's debut novel for a while so the anticipation had been building when I started reading it. The cover while eye catching is also a good summation of the story: a man stranded on the red planet Mars. Weir keeps you fully engaged as the main character, Mark Watney, becomes the sole member of the Ares 3 mission left behind when the crew are forced to evacuate Mars due to a rabid storm (oh yea, Mars has storms). From beginning to end Weir does an amazing job creating a story that is full of scientific accuracy and suspense as you watch the main character face obstacles and celebrate successes all while keeping his spirits up through sarcasm and wit.— ANDY'S STAFF PICKS
I've always been obsessed with the idea of apocalyptic situations. I've consumed mass amounts of zombie stories, as well as stories like Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Weir manages to create a new, refreshing twist on the stranded, survivor mentality. Astronaut, mechanical engineer and botanist Mark Watney has been left on the barren, desert lands of Mars with only food rations for a crew of six, some NASA equipment and his own mind. But with each obstacle, Watney seems to trudge on with his amazing wit and sense of humor, which is carefully and expertly woven into the book just when you need it. This is honestly one of the best novels I've read in a long time.— Becky
This book had everything going against it for me. Not only do I tend to shy away from science fiction, I usually refuse to read books that are already popular. I hopped on this train, however, and I was not disappointed. The Martian is a survival story at its finest. Mark Watney is a sarcastic, sometimes rude protagonist, but his sheer determination to make it off of Mars will have you rooting for him all the way to the end. Funny at times and frustrating at others, this book is perfect for both reluctant science fiction readers and aficionados of the genre.— Heather H.
February 2014 Indie Next List
“This taut, cerebral debut thriller introduces readers to the only kind of alien we have yet to encounter: ourselves. Astronaut Mark Watney is mistakenly left for dead on Mars when his mission companions flee a violent wind storm. His mental and physical struggles to survive are a crash course in botany, mechanics, and the will to endure. This is the compelling space saga that you didn't know you had been waiting for!”
— Zack Ruskin, Book Passage, San Francisco, CA
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?
About the Author
ANDY WEIR was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.