Author: Andy Weir
Title: The Martian
Publication Date: 2014
Number of Pages: 369
Geographical Setting: Earth (NASA/ China) and Mars
This is an adventure gone wrong. Mark Watney has been left stranded with supplies and equipment only meant to last for about 31 sols (40 minutes longer then an Earth day). He’s also on Mars.
A forceful dust storm caused his NASA crew to abandon their mission on the surface of the red planet, unfortunately for Watney he doesn’t quite make it to the crew’s escape craft. Left alone on a barren planet, with no way of letting Earth know he’s alive, Watney has to find away to make materials for a short mission last years. That’s if human error doesn’t kill him first. As Watney overcomes one deadly scenario after another he relies on his ingenuity, skills as an engineer, and tons of humor.
Overcoming challenges- Going along with Watney as he survives Mars is heart stopping at times and warming at others. When he does receive help, the reader can see all of mankind rally for one man’s life, and it’s amazing.
Hero with mad skills – Some of the ideas Watney comes up with are mind blowing. While some of the science can take away from the action, it still leaves the reader with wonder at how he came up with such an idea.
Exotic setting – Can't get much can be more exotic than a planet that man has never set foot on. Considering the very setting of the story appears as the protagonist, it’s rather ominous as well.
Similar Authors and Works:
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: Dangerous adventure (this time on the sea). Crusoe feels the call of the sea, despite his parents’ wishes, and takes on one danger after the next.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson: The world bands together. Catastrophe makes Earth a ticking bomb and all the nations must come together in order to find hope—in outer space.
Packing for Mars by Mary Roach: Is living in space possible? For more of the concept of living in space, follow Roach as she explores questions of how one could live in “the void” and what makes us human.