My rating: 4 out of 5
Set in the near future Mark Watney, stranded on Mars, has to find ways to stay alive until possible rescue. He writes a, often humorous, blog, in case he does not live to tell the tale, detailing his survival methods, and (much more excitingly) how he survives the catastrophes that beset him.
Meanwhile in Houston, meetings are held and jobs rushed in an attempt to get Mark back.
There is quite a lot of science in this book – most of which I skipped through quickly with no idea as to how plausible it was. There is plenty of excitement and suspense to make it worth non-scientists (like me) to continue reading, and the tension just keeps building and building.
For the tourist, the insight into the space centre at Houston is minimal, but gives a flavour. Mars seems a pretty lifeless place.
Science fiction is not a genre I usually read, but I really enjoyed this book – an exciting page turner of a book and total escapism from normal life (mine at least). There is a film of the book being released late in 2015; I shall definitely see that, and am glad I have read the book first.
Update: I found the film very disappointing in comparison to the book.