The Martian by Andy Weir was another novel that was on my Erin’s Book Challenge List and, having not seen the movie, I’d only had a vague idea what to expect. Loved it! I suspected the novel to be pretty heavy on the science side, and it was, but Mark Watney’s sense of humour and ability to breakdown complex science into something anyone could understand made for a really enjoyable read. The writing is fresh, well paced, and never once did I feel like the science was taking over the story. The narrative itself isn’t complex. What if your Mars mission is aborted and you’re accidentally left behind? The details and real world science makes this novel incredibly believable, and it has a real heartwarming moral too.

”… every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. It might not seem that way sometimes, but it’s true. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception” (368-9).

Even though this story is about a guy on his own for a year and a half, the fact that the whole planet rallies to get him home is not only inspiring but encouraging. Maybe we aren’t doomed after all?

I am curious about the movie now. I recognised quotes from the trailers as I read it, so I’m hopeful that it lives up to the hype. Either way, I’m definitely keeping an eye out for anything else Andy Weir writes.