Well, the holidays are upon us, so there's really only one type of book for me to review right now. Yep, we're going into space travel survival mode…What? Holidays don't make you think of that? It can't just be me…
In The Martian by Andy Weir, Mark Watney and his fellow astronauts were six days into a mission on Mars when a sudden storm forced them to abandon the planet and head back to Earth. Or at least the other astronauts left. Mark was hit by flying debris and his suit was punctured. Sudden loss of oxygen generally means death. So his buddies, seeing his vitals drop to zero, assume Mark's dead and leave Mars. Unfortunately, or fortunately (being dead would stink), Mark didn't die. He repaired his suit and returned to the base that the team had set up.
So now he's on Mars (which has no water or life) with his dwindling supplies, no way to communicate with Earth, and just a hint of a crazy plan on how to get home. It all relies on NASA realizing he's alive and piecing together his plan. If his technology doesn't break, Mars doesn't kill him, and he can figure out how to make food, he just might survive long enough for NASA to send rescue. Unless he goes crazy because the only music he has with him is disco. If you’re wondering, my money was on death by disco. The horror.
Guys, this was good. Like where-has-this-book-been-all-my-life and I-can-see-the-movie-in-my-head good. (By the way Ridley Scott is making this into a movie and it is grossly unfair that I can't buy a ticket yet.) Forget that this book is shelved in regular science fiction. Forget that the sciency stuff is real and not made up gobbledygook. All you need to focus on is that there's a guy trapped on Mars.
This goes in my top three books I've read this year. There are no zombies, witches, or romances. Nobody suddenly finds out they have superpowers. Don't get me wrong, I love all those things, but what this does have is lots and lots of suspense. If you can put it down after you start reading, you are a better person than me. I want to tell you more about why you should read this, but I don't want to give anything away. All I can say is that I fangirl it hard. If you like science fiction, or realistic fiction, or just want something completely different from anything else you've seen this year, this is the book I'd give to you.