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Alien Potatoes and Life on Mars | The Martian Review

Author: Andy Weir

Year Published: 2012

  • Plot: 5/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5

If I ever happen to be stranded on Mars, I hope I have this book with me (although I still probably wouldn’t last very long!)

The Martian was a witty, edge-of-your-seat read about an astronaut called Mark Watney who gets left on Mars when a space mission goes wrong. All by himself on a foreign planet, he has to be resourceful and do whatever it takes to survive. I absolutely loved it!

Having already watched and enjoyed the movie, I can safely say that it’s way better because it’s more detailed and the ending makes more sense.

Some parts of the book are written diary-style from Mark’s perspective while the rest is written from third person and details what is happening back on Earth. I thought this was clever as we got to see Mark’s thoughts about his predicament and his survival ideas (as well as enjoy his humour) but at the same time we got to see how the people on Earth and the rest of his crew were dealing with the situation- the contrast between the two perspectives created a lot of suspense.

Mark was hilarious and random and bizarrely optimistic for a man all by himself on Mars. It was fun getting a glimpse into his thoughts and it was inspiring how he never gave up. He used everything at his disposal to ensure his survival from growing Martian potatoes to doing very dangerous sciency reactions to obtain water.

I also liked the relationships between the crew members. They were all loyal to each other and felt so guilty for leaving Mark behind even though they didn’t have a choice. The way they worked together and respected each other was lovely.

It was also heartwarming to see the lengths people went to in order to rescue Mark. Some may say it’s a waste to do all of that for one person, but that’s the beauty of humanity- every life counts.

It’s set in the future where we have the technology to travel to Mars and it’s packed with sciency jargon, but don’t let that put you off! It’s still easy to understand and enjoy without any knowledge of space science.

Overall, I found this to be a fun, thrilling read and I’d reccomend it to anyone who loves a good adventure!