This was a complicated one for me. It’s a good book! I’ll not debate that and I would recommend it to others. I just had to sit with it for a bit and let it simmer in my brain. Ultimately I’d give it 4 out of 5 Bookmarks!
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?
Now I’d like to consider myself a somewhat intelligent person. I was a Rhode’s Scholar (although I was too sick at the time to reap the benefits). I took all Advanced Placement classes in high school and was a top scoring student. I even earned an internship with Disney World. Had I not been dealing with some personal matters in my late teens, early twenties, I think I could’ve excelled in college. Instead, I bounced around a few times before finding someone worth staying in one place. However, I do have one weakness – Chemistry. I SUCK at Chem. My brain just refuses to store that type of information. Well, that and figures such as important dates in history. But I’m getting off track…..
Please read this review with the knowledge that Science Fiction is not my normal genre. Nevertheless, I will endeavor to do it justice. This novel is totally unique and was quite enjoyable after the first few chapters. It’s written initially like a daily journal then broken up into third person omniscient point of view to let us get a glimpse of what’s going on back on Earth. I haven’t read a story like that in forever so it took a bit to adjust my brain. It was also heavy with Chem talk and like I said, I am not very good at that subject. I kept getting lost in all his calculations. Maybe I was just reading too much into it, putting too much thought into what Mark was saying. Maybe I should’ve just taken it at face value instead of trying to follow along. Anyway, I didn’t and that was my hang up. When I get confused with a story, I’m more likely to put it down. Fortunately, with the encouragement of friends I stuck with it and I thoroughly liked the novel. Since they turned it into a book, I’ll probably pick it up for comparison purposes.
Mark Watney is definitely a lovable character. His humor and sarcasm is what got me. Mark, for all intents and purposes, is a sheer genius. For most people, that can be a huge turnoff. I’d be lying if I said I was a fan of Know-It-Alls and those that tout their brilliance. Mark is so not like that. He comes across as the type of guy you’d invite out for a round of drinks a favorite pub. The best guy friend that happens to have a very bright head on his shoulders and in infectious personality. Even as he was facing some life and death situations, his outlook and humor carried him and broke the tension. Otherwise, it could’ve been a very heavy book indeed. Mark would totally be a guy I’d love to be friends with in real life. There are so many quotes I could share that had me smiling, chuckling, and out right laughing loudly but I would be sharing half the book!