Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

A freak accident during a horrendous storm leads to Mark Watney, botanist and astronaut, being left behind on the surface of Mars, presumed dead. However, when a fortnight later satellite images from the site show evidence of his survival NASA’s finest scramble to bring Mark home, but can they counteract all the difficulties of the hostile environment of Mars and the danger of space travel to bring all six of the crew back alive?

As a reader, you cannot help but feel bombarded with the science and technology in this sci-fi thriller from the beginning. The problems encountered by Mark and his problem-solving soon became compulsive reading as I became less irritated by the technical information and more in awe of his resourcefulness. I don’t think the narrative or the character would have worked as well without a good sense of humour and the basic tenacity he had alongside the will to survive.

The mainstay of the story is scientific problem solving, but somehow Weir manages to weave in emotions such as fear and helplessness in an environment where you would expect people to be mechanical and emotionless. Ultimately this story isn’t about Mars, but about humanity and the value of life.

Mark’s crew, although not actually with him for most of the book, are a close-knit bunch of characters who were easy to read. Houston had a number of unsung heroes, who put everything into this project to save one life.

With a bit of humour and a whole lot of nail-biting, I can honestly say this could be the best sci-fi thriller I will read this year. Sci-fi isn’t a genre I gravitate to when it comes to books but I am a huge Sci-fi movie fan and I have yet to watch The Martian.

I felt bereft when the book ended as I had become so attached to Mark Watney and his quest for survival on Mars but there appears to be talk of a series and so we might hear more from him and the rest of the crew of Ares3.

Links To Book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US



  1. I absolutely loved this book. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in the last five years. Thankfully, the movie version was almost as good but, of course, they cut out the vast majority is of the technical stuff. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did think while I was reading it that a lot of the technical stuff wouldn’t be seen as entertaining on the big screen. I am looking forward to watching how it translated.


  2. I didn’t read the book, but this movie was one of my favorites last year, suspenseful, intellectual, entertaining, philosophical, and Weir is an indie writer which gives me great hope for my own writing. I love a book/movie that teaches you something. To me, it seems to make the reading or viewing all that more worth my time. Rent the movie this weekend. You won’t be disappointed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I haven’t read the book, but I did watch the movie last month and absolutely loved it! It actually took me by surprise how much I enjoyed it. Mark Watney and his crew were awesome characters, and I loved the humor, science, resourcefulness and ingenuity, and suspense throughout the film. I loved your book review and thought it was spot on. If you loved the book, then I definitely think you would enjoy the movie as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think hands down I will be renting the movie tonight as it has come so highly recommended. I almost rented it yesterday when I was about 3/4 of the way through the book, as I was just so swept away with the imagery and the suspense of, “will they make it?” I wish I had read the book in time to watch this one on the big screen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, me too! I actually hadn’t heard of the book before they made it into a movie, but now I wished I had. I still haven’t decided if I want to read the book or not, since I’ve already watched the movie. I hope you enjoy it, though!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The word here is “potatoes”, as those who have read the book will know 🙂

    I am with pjlazos above, I like that Andy Weir is (perhaps that should be ‘was’) an indie writer. I read ‘the Martian’ before he got picked up and propelled into orbit (as it were) and was spellbound by the book. It richly deserves the success it has achieved on page and screen. It gives all us indie writers hope, doesn’t it, PJ?

    Another indie bizarrity I came across at around the same time and was captivated by, which has also been picked up by the main stream publishing industry since, is Jerry Dubs ‘Imhotep’ (that’s its main-stream title).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Potatoes take front and center in the film too. I am late reading The Martian, I think most of the bibliophiles in my orbit read it last year. I couldn’t get into Imhotep at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I keep hearing this book is perfect, even for non sci-fi big fans like me. I will probably read the book and then watch the movie. Your review comforted me in the idea I might enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

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