Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Review: The Martian - Andy Weir

Written by: Andy Weir
Published by: Random House UK, Ebury Digital
Pages: 369
Edition: Kindle
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository
I'm stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I'm in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I'm screwed.

To put it simply, in my eyes, this book is practically perfect. It literally ties everything up in the most ingenious way that I am left with nothing but awe in the way it was written. The Martian starts in the bleakest of ways, with astronaut Mark Watney being left stranded on a mission abort in the vast desert-like planet Mars. I don't know how but even though the idea of this book is really quiet dark, I mean who would ever want to be left alone on Mars, it is somehow strangely whimsical.
'All around me there was nothing but dust, rocks and endless empty desert in all directions.'
The way the story was developed and written was just genius. Going from Mark's perspective to the Hermes crew to the other characters on Earth leaves nothing out of the loop, meaning that there are multiple point's of view on the same thing so we get much more insight as too what is happening in the most impeccable way. The way these points of view are woven into the story makes it very clear to see the contrasts and differences with each characters situation. You get a much more rounded and fulfilled story because you are not left wondering what is happening or how other less significant characters are being affected. 
'Hell yeah I'm a botanist! Fear my botany powers'
As a character there is not one thing that I dislike about Mark, I was constantly chuckling with him even when the situation is really quite dire. Which brings us back to how much the humour in the story just sets the bar so high with this novel. You forget how bleak the main character's situation is, yet you are constantly rooting for him to succeed and survive until the very end. I just loved it. 
'Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10." '
As a result, The Martian is a brilliant novel that can speak to you on so many levels. It touches upon the idea of how depressing loneliness can be when it comes to surviving, Yet does not dwell on or drag upon it, making the story much more significant. Not only this but it uses humour and multiple point of views to contrast the differences within the characters and how they act within this scary situation in such a way that it does stop the flow or pace of the story but instead uplifts it. It is just simply a brilliant novel, with a well crafted story and fantastically developed characters that really suck you into the story and never let you go until that completely nerve raking ending.

The Martian