The Martian by Andy Weir: a review

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

I absolutely adored this book! Easily hits number one on my favorite science fiction novels list.
I loved the suspense. At first I thought it was going to be extremely boring, but then after the first few pages I was intrigued and totally into the whole story.
Almost the whole book is in log entries by Mark, but it still has chapters read like any other normal fiction book which adds to its mystery a bit, I think.
I definitely would recommend The Martian to everyone!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker

(Wow, I’ve been posting a lot of Doctor Who related things lately, haven’t I?)

Synopsis:

“Well, I doubt you’ll ever see a bigger insect.”

Gabby Nichols is putting her son to bed when she hears her daughter cry out. ‘Mummy there’s a daddy longlegs in my room!’ Then the screaming starts… Alan Travers is heading home from the pub when something rushes his face – a  spider’s web. Then something huge and deadly lumbers from the shadows… Kevin Alperton is on his way to school when he is attacked by a mosquito. A big one. Then things get dangerous.

But it isn’t the dead man cocooned inside a huge mass of web that worries the Doctor. It isn’t the swarming, mutated insects that make him nervous. It isn’t an old man’s garbled memories of past dangers that intrigue him.

With the village cut off from the outside world, and the insects becoming more and more dangerous, the Doctor knows that no one is safe. Not unless he can decode the strange symbols engraved on an ancient stone circle, and unravel a mystery dating back to the Second World War.

The Crawling Terror is the best book I’ve read so far of these three Twelfth Doctor books. I really enjoyed it, though at first I thought the plot line was silly: Giant insects. It ended up not being awful as I predicted, and far from it! It portrayed Clara and the Doctor’s relationship very well, making a wonderful story. Including that, there were moments where you could see everything from the Doctor’s point of view, and then Clara’s; and then from the people surrounding the two friends.

So, giant insects? Yeah. The story is crazy, but kept me on my toes. I could not predict what would happen from the beginning of the book, unlike Silhouette. There seemed to be death at every corner (could the author have Steven Moffat as an inspiration?).

The Doctor seems a bit nicer in this book than what Doctor Who series 8 depicted him. Honestly, I quite like him as Mike Tucker wrote him. The Doctor has to have some kind of soft side to him, hm?

 

 

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

 

Doctor Who: Silhouette by Justin Richards

Marlowe Hapworth is found dead in his locked study, killed by an unknown assailant. This is a case for the Great Detective, Madame Vastra.

Rick Bellamy, bare-knuckle boxer, has the life drawn out of him by a figure dressed as an undertaker. This angers Strax the Sontaran.

The Carnival of Curiosities, a collection of bizarre and fascinating sideshows and performers. This is where Jenny Flint looks for answers.

How are these things connected? And what does Orestes Milton, rich industrialist, have to do with it all? This is where the Doctor and Clara come in. The Doctor and his friends find themselves thrust into a world where nothing and no one are what they seem. Can they unravel the truth before the most dangerous weapon ever developed is unleashed on London? (Random House)

The synopsis basically lays out the whole plot. Spoilers! I didn’t exactly pay attention to the above, so the book was unpredictable until the very end—it was not very surprising, or unique. But I have to say, it is probably quite difficult to have an innovative idea for any entertainment involving science-fiction. Silhouette is alright; the characteristics are stale, the plot is sort of boring, and it’s almost completely obvious as to what the resolution will be.

I was intrigued by the murder at the beginning of the book, but disappointed at how all the time spent investigating was in one place, which was repeatedly observed by the Doctor, Clara, Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. The Doctor doesn’t even seem as himself, but more serious and bland.

So how was the story? Please, no, I must say that Doctor Who is definitely falling into pieces of shit. Well, at least the science-y part of it. [spoilers] Seriously, a gas cloud… made of angry emotions? I understand chemicals, but you cannot overpower a human brain with just a bunch of chemicals that would make a person so angry they could not possibly control it. The angry emotions are sucked from people and put into a big glass bubble-thing. They shrivel as their emotions were taken from them. Then, these “souls” were turned into one major weapon. But, really? I mean.. it’s not that great of an idea, honestly.

When I say Silhouette is alright, I mean I would give it 2.5 stars out of 5.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Doctor Who: The Blood Cell by James Goss

I really quite enjoyed this read. It was a quiet read with not much noise in it, which was a great atmosphere after my stressful days at school. There was this great thing about the weaknesses (sorry if i can’t write well today—my brain is tired from thinking too much) in social stuff about humans, which we often see today: the spread of misinformation.

The setting is in what is called “The Prison”. This prison is on an asteroid in deep space. The Doctor gets caught up in a huge mess and is locked in this prison. It seems a quiet setting, as I mentioned in the above paragraph — no action (until later in the book where the climax begins), nothing too busy, and with light humor from the Doctor (of course!). Everything that happens leads up to finding out just exactly what is the big mystery about the Prison. As always in Doctor Who, it’s a bit gruesome with lots of dying included :p.

Sorry for such a short review, it’s just I’m really tired even though it’s only morning and I went to sleep at 9pm. But I rather enjoyed the book, though it’s merely 252 pages. Took a while to read since I’m so busy.

Disclaimer:

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.