Outer space adventures are really not my genre, but I find survival stories intriguing, and on that front The Martian did not disappoint. Author Andy Weir obviously did his homework; The Martian is filled with enough science to feel like the real deal without bogging the story down. And quite the story it is. When a freak storm forces the scrubbing of a long-term Martian mission, the crew evacuates, thinking they’re leaving behind one of their own, already dead. But astronaut Mark Watney is very much alive and now he’s stranded in a hobbled base station, with a limited food supply and no way to escape or signal Earth. Watney calls on all his engineering skills and dark wit to survive until help can (hopefully) come to him.
As Watney bides his time on the red planet, visits back on Earth expand the character roster and clue readers in on preparations for Mark’s rescue, once his presence is known. Author Weir sharply draws his protagonist, giving him a dark sense of humor, in addition to keen Magiver skills and a never-say-die will to survive. As things progress, and one thing after another goes wrong, Watney never gives up and neither does the reader, willing to suspend enough disbelief (Watney is often a very lucky guy), to enjoy the wild, exciting ride. The Martian is a gripping page-turner, right up to its satisfying conclusion.