Its Bear Grylls meets Mythbusters in this finger-biting, breath-heaving, and nerve-wracking modern day space thriller. Mark Whatney is stuck on Mars, the average temperature barely rises above -150˚C, and he’s got nothing but his wits and disco to help him survive.

Its hell in space and the suspense is a killer – or that could be the lack of oxygen.

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Weir captures the reality of man being alone and stranded in space in an attempt to survive while fending off natural disasters and man-made errors.

The Martian answers many a fanatic’s question of wondering if man could survive when being stranded on a marooned and desolate planet in our modern age of science and wonder. The novel acts as both a diary and a descriptive narrative that transitions from Whatney’s audio logs and the goings-on in regards to his recue, the media, local and foreign governments, and personal strife.

A botanist and mechanic, Whatney devises the most ingenious methods of staying one step ahead, whether it’s burning hydrazine to create O2, rigging rovers to act as secondary habitats, or using space suits to function as airtight seals. Whatney as a character is strong-willed, determined, and keeps the novel captivating with his humour that adds to the quirky appeal of the novel.

By quirky the SplatterGeist means that Whatney is your average run-of-the-mill joker whom so happens to be an astronaut. Lucky bastard.

For fans of science fiction, The Martian will be a pleasant break whilst you’re taking a break from an Arthur C. Clarke, Gentry Lee, James SA Corey, or Kevin J. Anderson novel – or saga as these things tend to become. Those newbies eager to find out what all the excitement about space-faring, aliens, and incredible technologies is about, you’re encouraged to try The Martian as an introductory book to get you started.

Be warned though; once the SF bug has bitten you, that little parasite can only be rid if you’ve read at least five books – however, we might track you down and force another book in your hands. Us SF fans are like that, you know.

This is the first SF novel the SplatterGeist has reviewed and my geists and visitors are welcome to tell me their thoughts in the comments section.

Until then, stay with the flock.

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