Reviewed by Berls on
Well... I ended up really enjoying it and because I had delayed reading until the last minute and didn't want spoilers at book club ended up staying up until 3am to finish. Had I given myself adequate time, I WOULD have been able to put the book down but it was worth the lost sleep to find out what happened BEFORE book club.
I did struggle with the science a bit, this book is heavy in it. There were definite sections where my eyes got glassy or my head started to hurt. But I get why he included it. The science explanations were part of the characters - it helped understand who Dr. Grace (and, to a lesser extent, Rocky) were. The brilliance of how Andy Weir wrote Dr. Grace is that he's a Jr. High School Science teacher, so it makes sense that while he knows this really high level stuff, he knows how to explain it in more simplistic terms. I won't lie, there were parts I STILL didn't get (like how time is impacted by space travel - thanks to Lark for explaining that one to me at book club), but I got really good at just taking the character's word for it on things LOL!
So the science heaviness aside, the characters and the situation are compelling enough that I was okay pushing through that science. Dr. Grace is SO HUMAN. He struggles with what's right vs what he wants. He makes some really dumb mistakes (well dumb for someone of his intelligence. For me, those mistakes would be genius LOL). He is sarcastic and has a dry sense of humor, which I love. And he grows so much from the person he was when the book starts to the person he is at the end. I enjoyed the way the story was told in flashbacks, I think it really added to the experience of Dr. Grace's partial amnesia. And I LOVED Rocky. I don't want to spoil anything, but Rocky is the "unexpected ally" mentioned in the book's description. He might have made this book for me.
The book did leave me with lots of unanswered questions, which is a little frustrating since it's nearly 500 pages long. But I understand why Weir decided to go the direction he did -- to answer my questions he might have had to write a second book. To do it well he would probably have to. Personally, think I would enjoy that book a slight bit more than this one because it would be a lot less Science Fiction (I guess that's no shocker that my questions are not in the science bits!).
I'm glad book club pushed me out of my comfort zone and got me to read this book, it was absolutely worth it!
- Started reading
- 25 September, 2021: Finished reading
- 25 September, 2021: Reviewed