Book Review: "The Martian" by Andy Weir

By Katie Cummins on September 29, 2015

Note: This review may contain spoilers.

When I first saw the trailer for Andy Weir’s The Martian, I thought it was just another one of those cliche survivor movies. The odd trailer with the split images and weird soundtrack of high-pitched ringing did nothing to peak my interest. Like many books turned into movies, I really couldn’t appreciate The Martian until I read the book. I immediately fell in love with the main character, the spunky Mark Watney, who even in the face of adversity made me laugh. Though it wasn’t the stereotypical survival movie with action saturating every minute, it was still engaging enough to keep my attention and make me keep reading until the last page. I loved the book so much that I decided to write a book review on The Martian.

My dad suggested that I read The Martian after I expressed interest in reading more books that fell under the science fiction genre. Though initially skeptical, I picked it up and began reading. I was surprised at how much research had gone into the book as a whole, and about how much science was included. Even in the science fiction genre when that is to be expected, it usually is not included in such detail. It was very obvious, even from the first couple chapters, that Weir is very passionate about astronomy, space travel, and the science behind it.

After finishing this book in the first night I picked it up, I realized that this wasn’t at all one of those ‘cliche disaster’ scenarios. The ones where almost everyone dies except the hero and their gang who miraculously survive . I think that this work exemplifies what these types of media are trying to represent; the strength of the human spirit. Unfortunately, bad things happen to us on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes, they happen when we least expect it and these tend to be the most devastating to us.

When bad things happen to us, they test our character and make our ‘true’ characters come out. When an unforeseen disaster happened to Watney, he could have easily given up hope and stopped trying. But his will to live and faith in his team were so strong that he was able to persevere. This book not only highlighted Watney’s strength of character but also the characters of the people who worked very hard to keep him alive. Their combined determination was what, ultimately, kept me interested until the end. I would recommend this book to everyone, and even if you don’t know a lot about science, this book does a great job of explaining.

By Katie Cummins

Uloop Writer
My name is Katie and I am a senior at UCSC. I am majoring in creative writing and hope to be a technical writer and an author after I graduate. I love to play the guitar and read as well as binge watch shows on Netflix and pet cats.

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