What a wonderful book! Picture mixing the story of Cast Away and Apollo 13. The story revolves around the main character, Mark Watney, being stranded after some heinous storm by his team on the bleak planet of Mars. The lonely astronaut must then live on mars for upwards of 3 years by himself. The struggles he faces at first are for food, water, communication, and oxygen. He also has to combat the unpredictable nature of a foreign planet and the technology limitations set upon him.
Without giving much away, the story is fascinating and full of adventure. It made for a non-stop action thrill ride that always delivered humor and technological tid-bits. The main character is hilarious and things that happen to him are very creatively done and with a lot of detail and scientific validity to back it up.
The story is told from several different perspectives which is very neat. The perspectives all align chronologically in the story, so that gives the reader a awesome "play-by-play experience. The other perspectives include: Mark Watney (the stranded one, with which he voices his activities in a journal exert), NASA officials, Team that left Watney behind, and a narrative (which is used very minimally, which I found very awesome because whenever that perspective is used it makes it feel so profound because of its rarity in appearing the story). The narrative perspective was always used preceding some monumental event that was approaching in the distance.
My only concern about this book is the over-embellishment of the technical explanations. You can see that logical evidence and validity was near and dear to the author's heart so he, in my opinion, over-explains some the technical processes. Andy Weir is an engineer by trade, so that makes sense. For anyone who has read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, you will know what I talk about when I say that Andy Weir explains chemical and engineering complexity with the same tenacious attitude that Follett describes church architecture. Even though I harp on this quality, I am pretty sure Weir's exactitude about certain scientific occurrences is what separated this book from other space exploration books. Kiddos to him!
The ending of the books finishes well and it is actually being released today (Oct. 3, 2015) starring Matt Damon. So as you can imagine, I am going to wrap this post up and head over the theater and see the film.