The will to survive
A crew member is left behind, believed to be dead, when the mission on Mars is cut short due to a dust storm that forces the crew to evacuate. Amidst an unforgiving environment, supplies that won’t last the years it would take rescue to arrive and no way to communicate with Earth, the crew member, armed with nothing but ingenuity and an ironic sense of humor, embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive.
This story flowed so easily through the intricacies of space travel and the challenges faced by the characters in various settings. In the back of the book there are two segments, A Conversation with Andy Weir and How Science Made Me a Writer, that delve into how he was able to write this book and I enjoyed learning about that as much as reading the story he created.
This story is written in a way that provides us four different perspectives. This book initially reads like a diary of sorts, that the main character is keeping for anyone who may find it eventually, then moves to various arenas on earth, to the crew that evacuated, and lastly narration. The author did a great job juggling these points of view and the characters associated with each one.
The characters themselves were believable, no two characters were alike, which I liked. This made the interactions more realistic especially in the situations that they had to deal with. With that in mind, there is a fair amount of swearing used by multiple characters, the f-word, and several G-d***s standing out to me the most throughout the book. Some of the f-words were warranted for the situation while other swear words were the character’s way of speaking. They weren’t overdone to ruin the story, but I could have done without them all together, though that’s just a personal preference. One character also says ‘thank the gods’ a couple times and the story has one mention of evolution, which is to be expected considering the genre.
There were some mechanical mistakes I caught, such as a missing quotation mark and another one where it didn’t belong on page 62 and an instead of a on page 63, but nothing that ruined the story.
Though the story wasn’t fast paced, and I wasn’t compelled to finish it ‘in one sitting,’ the main character’s humor, which had me chuckling on several occasions, and fight to survive kept me coming back for more. It wasn’t until the end though that I started to feel anticipation or worry and began reading a bit faster to find out what would happen.
I thoroughly appreciated this story and can’t wait to read another one of Andy Weir’s books.
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