This book follows Mark Watney who experiences possibly an astronauts worst nightmare. Being stranded on a plant…other than Earth that is. During a freak storm, Watney is left behind by his team on Mars and has to find a way to survive. But basically the whole planet is set to kill him. No oxygen, he dies, no water, he dies, no food, he dies. You see how this goes. This book follows his journey to stay alive, all the things that do try to kill him along the way, and we even see how NASA tries to save his life and how the crew that left him behind pitch in.
What I really liked about this book was the seemingly scientific background of everything Watney did and how he tried to resolve all the issues that arose. I say seemingly scientific because you know, I’m not an engineer or anything but it seemed plausible enough based on what I know. I really like it when books and movies do that and you’re not sitting there like “this is total BS that would never happen!” so great work to the author there.
The book was very thrilling, even though you knew of course it would have a happy ending it was still riveting to see how Mars would try to kill Watney again and how he would foil its plans. I also liked that Watney for the most part maintained his sense of humour throughout and seemed to keep quite a level head which made the book not quite as serious (and maybe depressing?) as it could have been.
The only thing the book lacked in my opinion is character growth. I mean what Watney went through, it’s got to change a person right? Not being able to talk to another human for how many months, not seeing another person, not being able to go outside without a suit on, living in fear all the time that you might die. There’s some big things there that would have a psychological impact on someone and it would have been nice to see some of that in the book. That he was affected by it, and how it worked through it all, essentially on his own. It likely would have changed the book quite a lot, maybe making it a bit darker and more real and Watney would have been more relatable for me.
In saying all that though I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and the movie as well and would definitely recommend reading it if you like sci-fi books.