Review: The Martian

The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Curse you Andy Weir. Seriously. Your fault: I hardly slept last night. I could not—could not!—put your book down. It was too good.

I loved Chris Hadfield’s ASTRONAUT’S GUIDE TO LIFE ON EARTH , and when a commander of the International Space Station praises a book for “fascinating technical accuracy”, it makes my internal ears perk up. My interest is piqued. Then, the author of WOOL (who sold like a billion copies of his independently published work before getting professionally bound) said, “The best book I’ve read in ages. Clear your schedule before you crack the seal.” I should have listened. Nope. And there went my night.

Here’s the mix: science and galley humor. With one of the best opening lines ever (censors prevent me from posting it; look it up on Amazon’s preview) and with the stranded astronaut/science guy trying to survive in his “Little Hab on the Prairie”—I’m slayed. Mark Waney, the protagonist, says, “I suppose I’ll think of something. Or die.” And so while he’s recording his journal entries, the earth is watching in fascination and desperate hope.

Incredible would not be the right word for this. If Tom Hank’s Castaway Island was located on Mars and MacGyver was sent as the strandee, then this is what you get. Take a bunch of science—engineering, botany, chemistry (explosive at times)—and tie it together with math, and holy cow! Trust me, even if you aren’t scientific by nature, this is written in an exciting manner that zips by. Did I mention hard to put down?

Despite the sagacious humor, science, and adventure, I like the encompassing lesson: “every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out.”

Thanks to Crown and Random House for sending me this book to review—it was awesome! And I don’t say that lightly. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Here are some other cool book-associated sites to check out:

• The Martian Press Release (
• A Conversation with Andy Weir (
• More Info (
• Author Bio (

You can see this book on Amazon, along with its other 3,000+ reviews to date: The Martian: A Novel



17 thoughts on “Review: The Martian

    1. ryandejonghe Post author

      Hope you enjoy it as much as I did (you probably will). What’s interesting, like WOOL, this sould as a self-published ebook first. It did well enough for Crown to pick them up, and now nearly 4,000 Amazon reviews later: pow. The cover by Eric White is pretty bodacious, too.

      1. booknerderie

        Thanks! The cover is what pulled me in. That and the raving reviews from my goodreads friends. I’m shocked this was a self-published ebook. That’s insane. I can’t wait to read it. I’ll look at WOOL too.

  1. flygirl140

    I bet! I am amazed at how fast you read. I am surprised that a self published book has done so well because my experience with most have been lacking on format and grammar.

    1. ryandejonghe Post author

      Yeah, when folks find a winning self-published title, word of mouth rips through. Same happened for this and WOOL, among others. Publishers see it and pick it up–editing and advertising accordingly.

      Haha, as for my reading, I just do it wherever I am. Five minutes here, two hours there, it all adds up. Some books are definitely slower than others, but this one I ripped through. Just. could not. stop.

      1. flygirl140

        I have yet to read either The Martian or WOOL so I will definitely add both to my reading list.

        My reading speed has slowed down since living through grad school and putting fun reading on home. I am hoping to speed back up over the summer though! But I am right there with you on reading every chance I get.

  2. citygirlscapes

    This doesn’t really sound like the kind of book I’d want to pick up, but your review is making me second guess that. I’m definitely going to look into this. Thanks!

    1. ryandejonghe Post author

      Check out the preview on Amazon and see if it floats your boat. If you enjoyed the movie castaway, you may like this, too. There is a bit of sciency type stuff, but the “I’m going to die” humor makes it worthy for anyone.

  3. sjhigbee

    Reblogged this on Brainfluff and commented:
    I am a sucker for a tightly written thriller set on another planet… And Ryan’s review of ‘The Martian’ means I’m going to have to get hold of it – in the meantime I thought you’d like to read his enjoyable review…

  4. baboonreviews

    Intriguing! Like citygirlscapes, this is not the type of book I’d go out of my way to pick up, but I’m now adding it to my list of books to read and going to recommend this book to a friend who, by the sounds of it, would love it.

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