I am reposting this 2014 review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $1.99.
Summary: An astronaut believed to be dead, gets left on Mars.
My reading this past week has shaken up my best of 2014 book lists. The Martian and Unappologetic have both earned places on the list. It was a good reading week.
The Martian is another example of why we need to encourage independent authors. Andy Weir wrote and released this himself, eventually releasing it on kindle and then having it picked up by a mainstream publisher and re-releasing it and eventually earning himself a place on the New York Times best seller list.
The story is straight forward. During a dust storm on Mars, Mark Watney and the rest of the crew attempted to evacuate Mars before their ship is tipped over in the storm. Watney gets lost in the storm, and because his suit readings show that he is dead, the rest of the crew takes off without him.
Luckily Watney is the engineer and botanist of the group and starts working to keep himself alive. It is a couple months later that Earth figures out that he is not death and from that point it become a two part story, Watney’s Robinson Crusoe life trying to figure out how to feed himself and survive a planet that keeps trying to kill him. And the Earth side that is trying to figure out how to save him despite the cost and time involved.
I mostly listened to this on audiobook and I was kept on the edge of my seat. (Because the kindle edition is on sale and the audiobook is discounted with purchase of the kindle book, you can get both the kindle book and the audiobook for less than just the audiobook and just over half of the cost of the paperback.) There were a couple places where I needed to switch to the kindle edition when they were talking about computer code or long radio transmissions, but that is just a limitation of audio as a format. The audiobook was very well done.