Thursday, June 11, 2015

Andy Weir's "The Martian"



I already know this will cause a discussion. I have friends who absolutely loved this book. For me, lover of Sci-Fi, this book was just "eh". This review may contain spoilers so read at your own risk. 

Sure, this book takes place in space. Mars to be exact. There are spaceships, rovers, and astronauts. But I think the bulk of this book is an immature, nerdy guy's journal. 

So here is a short description of the plot:

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 & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive.

Let's start with my biggest issue- character development. There is absolutely none. Here's what I know about the main character. He likes to use exclamation points. He likes to make what he believes are funny jokes and is 95% a smartass. He hates 70s tv and disco. He also loves math and science equations. That's about it. 

My second issue is the plot line. Andy Weir has a plot line in this book that goes like this: Problem, think of solution, act out solution, and then celebrate the solution. Repeat this through the ENTIRE book. It was so boring and repetitive. Not everything can go right the majority of the time in a situation like this. The ending was as expected. Worked out just like in the Hollywood movies. <<<--- See what I did there? Oh great the horrible humor in this book has worn off on me! 

My third issue was all the equations. Science and Math were not my favorite subjects. Reading about science and math equations does not make for fun reading. This book is 75% equations. No joke. At first I really tried to follow and work it out in my head along with the character. Then I just started skimming paragraphs. By the end of the book I was skimming whole sections of a chapter. I guess if you are a math or science geek this book is right up your alley. 

In regards to the previous paragraph I also have to give props. Reading the interview with the author at the end of the book verified that these scientific equations were actually legit. Mr. Weir actually wrote and solved these problems just for the book. It's scientifically correct. Bravo man, bravo. Still boring as hell though. 

There were times when I was fascinated with the story. When I was rooting for Mark (the main character) and was hoping he would pull through. But the story overall just fell flat with me. I prefer my Sci-Fi unrealistic I guess. This was all just too "real" for my liking. 

I am sure I am one of the minority who only gives this book 3 stars. It just wasn't my thing. I am interested to see how this will play out on the big screen though. Honestly, picturing Matt Damon throughout the entire book is the only thing that kept me reading.  

Let me know what you think! I am sure it's on everyone's to-read list! 
Happy Reading! 



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