The Martian by Andy Weir | Teen Ink

The Martian by Andy Weir

November 23, 2015
By SebF98 SILVER, New York City, New York
SebF98 SILVER, New York City, New York
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

You wander the surface of Mars knowing that you’re the only one around. You look at the stars thinking of home, Earth, a place you couldn't possibly get back to. But you still believe, you know you can survive on this planet and maybe, just maybe, make it back. These are the thoughts the main character of The Martian, Mark Whitney, must deal with everyday or in his case every Sol.

The Martian by Andy Weir is a fabulous achievement in science fiction. A novel of this caliber has not been released in this genre for a long, long time. This author manages to take an idea that could very easily have been made boring by others and turns it into a very entertaining read. Fans of Sci-Fi rejoice for you have been blessed with the arrival of this book.
In The Martian NASA has began sending astronauts to Mars; Mark Whitney is one of those people. After a freak accident, Mark is left stranded on Mars; left with nothing but the remaining equipment from his mission. Mark must overcome many obstacles including an insufficient food supply and plain old wear and tear on the essential machines that keep him alive. Along the way we’re introduced into several characters including: Captain Lewis, the commander of the mission Mark was on, who due to her tough yet caring personality blames herself for what happened to Mark, and Rich Purnell, a brilliant astronomer from NASA. The most developed character in the book, however, is Mark Whitney himself, a brilliant, positive man who must do his best to survive on a world that seems to want to do nothing but kill him.  

The book is told mainly from the perspective of Whitney stranded on Mars. This way of storytelling really makes you feel isolated just like Mark and gets you inside his head. Around 100 pages in, however, the book begins to include third person sections taking place inside NASA on Earth. This adds to the feeling of intensity in the book as the two groups are, for most of the book, unable to contact one another. Each side wants the other to do something and often can’t communicate these desires, leading to some intense moments. For instance, at one point Mark has to get away from a sandstorm that NASA can see coming but he can’t. These moments make for some edge of your seat reading.
The Martian often gets very into the science that the main character is using. However, it manages to do so in a way that doesn’t confuse the readers even if they have next to no scientific knowledge. Every once in a while the book stumbles in this department however. Usually before Mark does a big experiment a giant science bomb is dropped that can occasionally hurt your brain. It can be annoying.

Another thing that’s great about the book is how you never feel bored reading it. Despite mostly following a single character by himself on Mars, the book manages to stay interesting. Mark’s inner dialogue is full of wit and humor and keeps you engaged. One might say the main character was too sarcastic but that was never really a problem for me. I live for sarcasm but if you don’t then that could be a problem.

The Martian is a great accomplishment in Sci-fi writing. Although it’s not the next Star Wars, the book is thought provoking, tense, and occasionally heart-warming. You feel like you are right next to Mark on Mars panicking about the same situation. The book makes you feel, see and imagine what Mark would. Unless you’re marooned in space read The Martian.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 



Weir, Andy. The Martian. New York: Broadway Books, 2014.

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