The Martian: aka Science meets Snark on the surface of Mars

The Martian - Andy Weir

The best way I can explain this book is to have you imagine the movie Apollo 13 if it had been written by Jim Butcher. The bulk of the book is a science guy solving science problems using science. Science, you guys. Lots of it. So much that I'm stunned I didn't find this the most boring book ever written. I didn't though. I was riveted. In fact, I would actually call this a genuine page-turner. It's hard to put down. (Just as Apollo 13 was a genuinely exciting movie even though a large portion of the action was guys trying to figure out how to fix things with the wrong supplies.) Part of what makes this book move the way it does has to do with how intriguing I found the problems/solutions, but it also has to do with the voice of the main character, Mark Watney. Much of the book takes the form of his personal logs, and his narration style reminds me of Jim Butcher's wizard Harry Dresden. This is a guy who is totally screwed, knows it, and yet doesn't stop trying to scrape his way out of every mess that rears its ugly head. This book is pure science fiction, with plenty of emphasis on both the problem solving of science and the thrill of fiction. Loved it.