The Martian: A Novel

The Martian - Andy Weir The first 1/3 of the book was okay. It read more like a guide to how to survive on Mars than a novel, and Mark Watney seemed to have a formula of:
1. Fuck*! I'm going to die!!!!!
(five minutes later)
2. Oh it's okay I'm not actually going to die because of x y and z. Yay, ___! Explodey things! Star Trek reference!
3. Repeat many, many times throughout the book.

This might not be a problem if you really liked Watney, but it got more interesting for me once NASA got involved. I was also a fan of all the math/science. It rode a nice line for me between "real maths and science" and "math/science that could be totally made up but I'm not an astronaut so how would I know and I don't care because it seems real".

It seemed like Weir almost dealt with the potential psychological problems that would develop after spending years alone on Mars...but then kinda copped out when he just said Watney's personality was ideal for surviving alone on Mars. O-kay.

What I loved most of all was the questions this raised about what a human life is worth in terms of money and resources, and what would make a rescue worth it from the perspective of different people. I liked that someone low on the NASA food chain was the one that figured out Watney was alive. I LOVED the rescue at the end. The tension was awesome, it felt for most of the last 100 pages that he might not actually get rescued.

*I wasn't really a fan of how much the f-bomb was dropped. Yes, I get it, people swear, I swear, it's all good...but the frequency got old and got in the way of the narrative.