Genre: Science Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars.
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.
It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.
But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Review: As I was reading this book, I forgot that it was fictional! It seemed like an accounting of an event that actually happened, which appealed to me much more than science fiction that's too out there. Mark Watney is a resourceful engineer who gets stranded on Mars and has to figure out how to survive until a rescue mission can be launched. He's obviously a clever guy, but it's his slightly snarky attitude towards the whole adventure that really made me love him. The scientific details around space, engineering and chemistry were way over my head, but they seemed like they could be realistic. The book is fast-paced, dramatic and completely believable; all-in-all, a really fun read.
This is the first book I've reviewed that Ben has read, and he enjoyed it, too. Becky, I was going to tell you to recommend this book to Brian, but I see from Goodreads that he's already read it.
Rating: 4.5 stars