Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir

WHAT? Andi is reviewing a book? I know. I can't believe it either. It's been forevs! 

I couldn't resist and snapped The Martian, by Andy Weir, up from NetGalley. Let me just start by saying that it's been a REALLY long time since a book kept me up past my bedtime. This was the one that broke the early-to-bed streak. 

Mark Watney has an extraordinary opportunity to walk on Mars. Unfortunately, a storm kicks up and all hell breaks loose, and his crew thinks he's dead. In order to save themselves, they leave Mark's body behind...but he's actually very much alive. Marooned on the red planet, he has to use his wits (and wit) to engineer and finagle the resources he has left until a time at which he can--hopefully--be rescued. 

Castaway on Mars. You've heard it in other reviews, and it's totally true. The story is told through Watney's daily logs. I initially got bogged down in some introductory chemistry details as Watney is trying to set up a habitable space for himself and grow a mess of potatoes to help him survive. Once I got past that first section, and there was a "voice" other than Watney's that would cut in and out of the story, I was highly entertained and totally onboard with this dramatic novel. 

It's not all doom and gloom, though. Watney has a snarky sense of humor to get him through the hills and valleys of his journey on Mars. Not to mention disco music and 1970s TV reruns. Ahem. While it kind of bugged Shannon from River City Reading that Watney always maintained his humor, it didn't rub me the wrong way really. Although, I will say that very little about Watney changes throughout this novel. He's the same guy in the beginning as he is at the end. It's unusual for a protagonist to remain a static character, but this novel is much more about plot than character development. 

That said, I had to KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! Thus, the staying up past my bedtime. If you're looking for a book that will suck you in straight away and keep you engaged, this is the one! 

Pub. Date: February 2014
Publisher: Crown
Format: E-galley
ISBN: 0804139024 
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

43 comments:

  1. I haven't even started reading the book yet, and I already feel like I have to know what happened! I've heard nonstop amazing things about this book. Pretty excited to read it.

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    1. I hope it lives up to the hype for you, Jenny! There was a moment at the beginning when I didn't really think it would pan out for me, but I was absolutely pleasantly surprised.

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  2. I'm with Jenny! What happens next?! Yeah, I'm going to have to read this one soon.

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    1. LOL, I hope you love it, Natasha!

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  3. I just got this one on audio, so hoping it works in that format. From what you've said above, it sounds like it will!

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    1. I think it'll be a really great audiobook. Enjoy!

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  4. This is the book my local bookstore ran a "trust fall" promotion for. They'll take the book back if you don't love it. I need to get a copy!

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    1. That's a great promotion. I bet they didn't have many returns.

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  5. I love, love, love Mark's voice in this. From that opening line - which STILL has me chuckling - to the very end, his ability to find wry humor in almost every situation made me fall in love with this story. I even enjoyed the science portions because he made them so human. I really just adored this book and want to put it into as many pairs of hands as possible.

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    1. I thought it was really fun, too. In that situation, gotta make the best of it all.

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  6. I can see (by your review and the comments that followed) that because some of my favorite bookish people dig this book I'm going to have to get to it one of these days.

    Book reviews. I vaguely remember writing those...it's been a while for this gal too ;)

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    1. Haha! Yeah. And then I started updating my review list on the sidebar and realized some of the reviews I thought I'd written...never did!

      It's a great book. I hope you like it, Jennifer!

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  7. Haha, loved this one too... I agree with Michelle, that first line ;)

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    1. Amen to the first line. lol

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  8. So glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did!

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    1. Yes!!! I'm glad, too. It gave my reading the little charge that it needed.

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  9. Last time I checked (yesterday) I was #5 on the hold list at three different libraries! These damn people read too slow.

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    1. Oh no! They need to whip into shape and hurry up!

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  10. This sounds pretty good! I haven't heard of this book before reading this point, but now its piqued my curiosity and I think I might have to give it a go.

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    1. It was really fun, Sara! One of the few 4-star reads for me this year.

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  11. I am seriously the loneliest of islands on this one! I'll take one for the team every once in a while, I'm just glad everyone else is having so much fun with it :)

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    1. Haha! I hear ya. I was a lonely island on Boy, Snow, Bird and a number of others.

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  12. I'm going to start this soon. After hearing you rave about it, now reading this, I can't stand waiting much longer!

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    1. Do it! I think you'll dig it. Push through the chemistry details at the beginning!

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  13. I so wanted to love this one but got bogged down in the science at the beginning. You make me want to give it another chance though and get past that point. I really did want to love it!

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    1. Yep, I was really closed to bogged, but I still had that nagging feeling that I wanted to finish. It gets much better after that initial chemistry overload.

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  14. I really, REALLY want to read this. Snarky humor is my fave. And staying up past your bedtime is a HUGE endorsement.

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    1. You will snork and snark. And maybe snort!

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  15. Disco and 70s TV? I'm there!

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  16. I'm about 25% through this one. I nearly beat my head against a wall and gave up during the first section (GAHHHHH CHEMISTRY GO AWAY). But then I got back on board once the other voices chimed in. Not sure what I think of Mark yet. We shall see...

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    1. Right???? That almost put me under, but endure! It's worth it.

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  17. I put this on the wish list after I read the first review, and it just keeps moving up the list with each subsequent review I'm reading.

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    1. Woohoo! I think it's right up your alley, Trisha!

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  18. Great review, I loved this book and it kept me up late at night too. I love when I find a book that does that

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    1. Thanks, Michael! That is a wonderful feeling, isn't it? Doesn't happen nearly enough.

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  19. After reading your review (and Nancy's), I'm convinced. For some reason, it brings to mind The Sparrow and Ready, Player, One. Probably nothing like either of those, but it certainly sounds intriguing! Now to figure out whether to read the hardcover or wait and get the audio. I already have my stack of books to take to Oregon next week, so I may wait and throw this in my carry-on in late May when we return to the PNW.

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  20. I also loved the humor. This book was amazing. And I was so happy to hear it's been purchased to be made into a movie at some point. I can't wait for my husband to read this one. I'm practically shoving it down his throat :D

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  21. This was DEFINITELY not an easy book to put down - I stayed up way past my bedtime to read it too! The humor never bothered me either - in a lonely situation like that, if I wasn't laughing I'd probably be curled up in the corner rocking back and forth and eating my hair.

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  22. I'm glad you found some time to really get into a book! I'm not sure if I'd like this or not, but I'm thinking about trying it :)

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  23. This book sounds so odd to me, but everyone keeps raving about it. Maybe I need to give it a shot!

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  24. Sounds very good. I like your comment about the plot and the characters.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved April Edition. I am in the list as #28. My book entry is below.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

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  25. I really really want to read this, but I'm going to wait until it comes out in softback... or until I can get my hands on a library copy.

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