Summer Book Review: The Martian

I expected (and hoped) to be impressed by Andy Weir’s insanely popular sci-fi The Martian and I am happy to report that it BLEW. MY. MIND. I am mind-patting myself on the shoulder right now for choosing this for the beach – it’s compulsively readable, intense and often witty hilarious (the only type of hilarious I register).

The Martian is probably the first book in my records to go from solid 3 stars at the beginning to solid 5 by the middle. In the end I gave it a 4 (4.5 if only Goodreads were interested in .5’s), because of a few missed opportunities in terms of plot and writing in the third act. In summary I can say this is an astonishing debut with insanely likable protagonist and some badass legit (as far as my perfunctory research on the subject matter indicated) sci-fi.


Since sci-fi is not my forte genre, some of my excitement might be due to this almost-first interaction with it (if the rest is like this, I am buying!) but at the same time, The Martian would not be such a success with all the sci and the fi in it factored by 10 were it not for the Mark Watney one-man talk show. Man, did I enjoy the guy!

As an interview at the back reveals, Andy Weir is a geek, who actually enjoys all the science, relativistic physics and what not that is used/explained by Watney, so the research was pretty much done before he ever thought about writing a story. When he did write it, Weir posted it on his blog, where it fermented for a while. He figured whoever wanted would have read it. Little did he know – some people (thank you, people!) asked for a Kindle version as easier to download and Weir published the book on Amazon for the lowest possible price. The rest is history.

The writing certainly has its weaknesses. Some characters, although Weir does make an effort to create a person behind each of them, come out as a bit formulaic. At times I even resented commander Lewis for being so ready-made, but her little affair with the 70’s and disco redeemed her (some of the great laughs right there). Overall the writing is good – simple and succinct, it serves as the means to telling the story rather than as a feature in itself. Weir’s style is not simple in a Hemingway-an way, rather in ‘a software engineer/science geek wrote me‘ but honestly – I wish this guy would give E L James some lessons on how to not suck.


Sure enough, some 50 pages before the end I was so hooked I set out to check the cast for the upcoming movie adaptation (set for a October 2nd US releas)  and see how they fit in with what I had imagined.
No doubt Matt Damon can pull off a remarkable Watney, although I definitely pictured him differently. Besides, after Interstellar, Mr. Damon will have to put some effort in convincing me he is not a jerk, waiting for his crew mates only to, well, kill them? Oh, wait the Interstellar scenario almost sounds like an alternative plot line, don’t you think? Only that guy was a wee bit further than Mars.
The rest of the cast are more or less copy pasted form my mind and Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson – Hell Yeah! (Spoiler: he does NOT die in this movie 😛 ).

Have you read the book? Are you excited about the movie? Please share below – this newbie sci-fi geek can use some discussion : )


23 Comments Add yours

  1. This sounds so good! And I’ll DEFINITELY be checking out the movie if Matt Damon’s in it 😉

    1. It really is a great read (and a VERY quick one, too, you just can’t put it down.) Btw – don’t get discouraged if it sounds too scientific at times at first – even if you don’t get/remember all the science (I didn’t) , it’s still easy to follow. Happy reading! (and watching, soon!) 🙂

  2. It sounds interesting. I think I might go see the movie first. Thanks for sharing Didi!

    Tayrina from

    1. thanks for taking the time to comment, Tayrina : ) It really is a great book and perfect material for a good movie. Can’t wait to see it too! (You have a verry pretty blog!)

  3. Sounds like an awesome read! And as a chemical engineer myself, I also enjoy all that geeky science & physics stuff! Haha!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi, Jenn, thanks for stopping by and – whoa! – you will probably enjoy this much more than me with your background in chemical engineering! I’d love to hear your opinion when you read it (or see the movie).

  4. Nereid says:

    I really love sci-fi, full of unknown things! This book seems great, definitely go buy it and read ❤

  5. Thanks for the review! I’m always looking to read books before the movie comes out. I’ll have to check this out for sure.

    Best Wishes,
    Allison Jones

    1. Hi Allison, I am glad it was helpful! There is around a month I think until the movie comes out and this reads in like days, so you have plenty of time.
      I love your blog, btw, and your pics from Paris!

  6. I’m always looking for new book ideas. I will definitely be reading this. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. You are welcome 😉 It was quite a newgenre for me, so that was part of why I enjoyed it so much

  7. mandi782015 says:

    I also loved this book and can’t wait for the movie!

  8. I’ve been debating picking this one up for a while now— this very well may have me convinced!

    1. Yeyy! Drop me a line here (if you remember) to say what you thought 😉

  9. kimfit15 says:

    Always looking for good books to read although the sic-fi aspect is scaring me a little:)

    1. Have no fear! Watney has your back – everything is explained in a very approachable way and yet still sounds authentic. A-mazing if you ask me.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Melissa says:

    This looks like a really good book! I am DEFINITELY going to read this!

    1. Hi Melissa, thanks for commenting! I hope you love it as much as I did!

  11. Via Bella says:

    Have not heard of this book. Will have to look into it.
    Do you buy your own books to review or do they get provided to you? I am curious as I am starting out and would love to review cool books too.

    1. Hi, thank you for stopping by! I will be very happy if you enjoy this book, after hearing about it from me 🙂
      I buy my books and just review what I get my hands on. I wish some day they would send them to me (preferably before I am broke) 🙂 I hope that helps!

  12. Rae Goldman says:

    I’ve been thinking about reading this and thanks to your review, I’m currently downloading it!

    1. Hi Rae! Glad to hear it (I should maybe contact them about a commission already 😛 ) – please do share what you thought afterwards!

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