Due to some stupidity on my part I somehow managed to destroy my original review, so here’s the revised edition. Sorry folks!
Recently I find myself wanting to be part of a crowd surrounding TVs in a shop window waiting to hear about the astronauts travels. But that feeling, the feeling of watching a historical moment on a screen with your heart racing is exactly how it feels to read The Martian. There were several points where I think I stopped breathing! It’s been a while since I’ve been so excited by a book!
Weir has a gift for storytelling. At the beginning of the book I was intimidated, my lack of scientific knowledge was glaringly obvious, but the talkative tone of the diary entries kept by Watney (The Martian himself) are full of explanation in a way that doesn’t feel forced or patronising. I feel significantly smarter coming out the end of this book. The first half, was a little slow because of the amount of explanation needed, but it was by no means boring, the second half is where the book really started to pick up. Each new page seemed to hike up the tension of the text. It was very much an “anything that can go wrong will go wrong” sort of text, to the point where if something went right I felt mistrustful and scared. Imagine how stressed a man stranded on Mars would feel if it distressed me just reading about it.
The night I finished the book though, I heard the news about SpaceX successfully relaunching and re-landing a used Falcon 9 Rocket, and my mind was completely blown. The reuse of a rocket is half of what is needed to make space travel affordable, and essentially make The Martian possible. When I heard about this massive leap forward I sped through the second half of the book hungry for a story that could suddenly become reality.
My weird science fangirling aside, this book was absolutely incredible, and the film was incredible too! I don’t usually go in much for film adaptations, whilst they’re good fun Hollywood always seems to miss something important (or at least something I found important) from the book. However, the film of The Martian was hilarious, and just as exciting as the book. It even made me like Matt Damon who I previously wasn’t a big fan of. But anyway, to finish it off, here’s me face-swapped with Matt Damon to prove how dedicated I am to this book:
I recently had a friend tell me that his next book is going to be about aliens and faster than light space travel! I’ll be very excited to eventually read it and review it here, bring on the aliens, Weir.