“The Martian” eBook was published in 2014 and was written by Andy Weir (http://www.andyweirauthor.com/). This is Mr. Weir’s first major publication.
I purchased this book from Amazon when I saw that it was on sale. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains Mature Language. The story is set on Mars, Earth and aboard the spacecraft Hermes.
Mark Watney and five other American astronauts are on the third manned mission to Mars. They are there only a few days when, because of a pending severe storm, they must abandon the mission and head home. During the rush from the habitat to the escape ship, Watney is struck by flying debris and thought to be dead. The other five crew members must abandon the search for him and head home. This all happens in the first few pages of the novel.
But Watney is not dead. The bulk of the story is how Watney fights for survival. He uses his engineering and science skills to overcome one problem after another. He is a survivor. But the effort to bring Watney home is not his alone. The story also tells of efforts by engineers and scientists back on Earth to rescue him, and the sacrifices his crew mates make in an effort to bring Watney home.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 385 page Science Fiction Thriller. I had previously seen the movie and enjoyed it. The book was far better! I am glad I put off reading it until after I had seen the movie. While this is a great story of human endurance and survival, it is also a great demonstration of problem solving and the advantages that science and engineering skills provide. Most if not all students should be required to read this to understand problem solving and science. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
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