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
Source: Publisher via NetGalley