The Ares 3 surface mission to mars was supposed to last thirty-one days. While there, a team of six scientists would live on and study the Red Planet, the third of a projected five missions to Mars. Just six days in, however, Ares 3 is forced to abandon their assignment when an unexpectedly strong storm hits their landing site.
One of them doesn’t make it.
Mark Watney’s crewmates saw him impaled by an errant antenna. They thought he was dead in an instant. They were wrong. Through a freak and fortunate series of coincidences and pure science, Watney lived. But his injury is just the beginning. Now, with very limited resources and no way to contact Ares 3 or NASA, Watney must figure out a way to survive long enough to be rescued.
The Martian is the perfect science fiction read for a mass audience. It’s wholly approachable and highly entertaining. Watney is charming and clever; watching him theorize ways to survive and attempt to put those theories into action is just part of the fun with this book. The other part is believing that it could happen. Weir takes definite care in explaining the science of The Martian in a way that even the most non-science minded reader can swallow. And he does so while keeping the pace of the book constantly moving.
Originally self-published, Weir caught the attention of Crown with his debut, earning him not only a publishing deal, but a movie deal to boot. The Martian is currently under production and set to hit theaters this year with Matt Damon starring in the lead.
1/15 Becky LeJeune
THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir. Broadway Books; Reprint edition (October 28, 2014). ISBN: 978-0553418026. 387p.