Guest post by Adam.
This book is amazing. Five stars, no hesitation. Awesomeness without peer. If you don’t want to have to continue to hear a grown man gush, now is your chance to stop reading.
When Taryn first suggested this book to me (and she definitely gets all the credit on this one), she made it sound like an episode of Survivorman set on Mars. And somehow that’s EXACTLY what it was. Main character astronaut Mark Watney finds himself alone, stranded on Mars. As a part of a NASA landing party, he has supplies and equipment to survive. The only problem is that those supplies were intended to last months and the next manned mission to Mars is several years away.
Going into this book, I was worried the science would be less than thorough. I half expected the resolution to be that Mark would impossibly fashion himself a rocket out of rudimentary supplies or that he would discover that Mars was inhabited all along. Some kind of weak tea crap like that. But that’s absolutely not where Weir took it.
What you need to know about author Andy Weir is that he’s a HUGE nerd. And I mean that in the best way possible. Throughout the book, it was obvious that one of Weir’s favorite parts to the writing of this book was that it afforded him the opportunity to “do the math” so to speak. The real magic is in the fact that he was able to stay true to reality yet somehow still make it immensely entertaining.
If the epic nerdiness isn’t enough for you, this book is also hilarious. Mark Watney is the type who often mitigates stressful situations with humor. And he’s not a whiner. I mean, he does his fair share of bitching and moaning, but through it all, he sucks it up, buckles down, and looks for creative solutions. In short, Watney is the type of hero that nerdy engineers worldwide can aspire to be.
This is hard science fiction at its best, people. Read this book. And then buy it for every single high school age kid you know. This is how you create a love for the sciences. Through awesomeness and snark.
Besides being a kickass husband, Adam is what you might call an irregular contributor around here. These are some of the other titles he's touted:
Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey
Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan