I finished this book about two weeks ago. I never did write a review, not even on Goodreads, but there’s been a lot of buzz about it since the movie comes out October 2nd, so I figured some people might be interested to know how the book was.
- Mark Watney’s character. His voice is so fresh and funny. I know that’s about the last thing you expect, but most of this book was actually really amusing.
- Suspense. Oooooh, I felt like I was on the tip of my seat SO MUCH. A few parts were predictable, but most of the time I had no idea what was going to happen next.
- It was a unique story. There have been a lot of focus on space lately, especially in movies, and you see a lot of survival stories, like Hatchet or 127 Hours, but this story combines the two and gives you the ultimate space survival story. But Watney’s character is not what you would expect, which gives the book a whole new dimension.
- The constant problem-I might die-solution-still alive cycle. It was realistic to a certain point, then it just started getting too much. I get that he’s on Mars and there are going to be a lot of problems, but it felt like this cycle was repeated a hundred times. It got really repetitive.
- Math, but no work. This book is full of math, but Watney does most of it in his head and tells you the answer without going into detail about how he did it all. That’s great for someone like me (and probably most bookworms) because we don’t care about math, we’re not good at math, and we definitely don’t want to read a 300+ page novel filled with equations. But I bet the author put a lot of time working out all the math in this book, so I think there should be some sort of appendix at the end that explains the problems and solutions.
- It got really slow about 3/4 of the way through. I think this goes back to the cycle. The first half is filled with so much suspense that you want to read it all at once, but then you get tired of the repeated cycle so it loses a lot of steam. It picks up a little bit towards the very end, but I struggled during this stretch of the book.