The Martian by Andy Weir
Karen’s Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is what word problems should look like!!!
Written in the not too distant future. One where NASA has made enough scientific head way to land a team of astronauts on Mars, but not so distant that all the politics, international relations, and publicity look too different than what happens currently.
Though the main story is about Mark Watney who has the honor of being one of the first humans to walk on Mars and the misfortune to be the first stranded. The main plot is about his survival which is relayed with diary entries to his computer. The calculations he makes in order to give himself a shot at being rescued are what make this read much more than Science Fiction. The author clearly knows his physics and even if he doesn’t the average lay person will never know because he lays them out in such a way that they advance the story as well as give a plausible explanation as to how Mark will survive. Add to that many badly planned items, miscalculations, and just simple bad luck – the plot has enough ‘will he or won’t he’ scenarios to keep the reader wondering right up to the end.
This is so tightly constructed and well thought out that a movie is due in November starring Matt Damon. Not bad for debut fiction.
Perfectly suited to readers 12 and up. Only caution is some expletive language – probably nothing they haven’t already heard. And bonus for parents – guaranteed to spark and interest in engineering.