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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

✽THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir: A Dragon Fairy and Midnight Fairy Convo Review ✽

Hi everyone! The Dragon Fairy and the Midnight Fairy are here today to bring you The Martian, a sci-fi novel by Andy Weir. This is a review convo and there are minor spoilers ahead, read at your own risk!

-Midnight Fairy


Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission 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 get 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. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

12 Need-to-Know Things About Mars

1.  If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, Earth would be the size of a nickel, and Mars would be about as big as an aspirin tablet (or if you have no idea how big a nickel or a tablet is, Mars is about half as big as the Earth).

2.  Mars is the fourth planet from the sun at a distance of about 228 million km (142 million miles) or 1.52 AU (1 AU = 150km). 

3.  One day on Mars takes just a little over 24 hours (24.623 hours to be exact, the time it takes for Mars to rotate or spin once). Mars makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Martian time) in 687 Earth days.

4.  Mars is a rocky planet, also known as a terrestrial planet. Mars' solid surface has been altered by volcanoes, impacts, crustal movement, and atmospheric effects such as dust storms.  Mars does not have a sufficient (big enough) atmosphere to protect it from impacts by such objects as meteorites, asteroids and comets. 

5.  Mars has a thin atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar).

6.  As of today (March 2014), more than 40 spacecraft have been launched for Mars, from flybys and orbiters to rovers and landers that touched surface of the Red Planet. The first true Mars mission success was Mariner 4 in 1965.

7.  At this time in the planet's history, Mars' surface cannot support life as we know it. A key science goal is determining Mars' past and future potential for life.

8.  Mars is known as the Red Planet because iron minerals in the Martian soil oxidize, or rust, causing the soil -- and the dusty atmosphere -- to look red.

9.  Currently there are no planned human missions to Mars, but there are several concept missions that will help pave the way for humans to visit Mars in the future.

10.  Since Mars has less gravity than Earth, you would weigh 62% less than you do here on Earth.

11.  The temperature on Mars can be as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or as low as about -225 degrees Fahrenheit (-153 degrees Celsius).

12.  Mars does not have a global magnetic field, but NASA's Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) orbiter found that areas of the Martian crust in the southern hemisphere are highly magnetized.

and in case you are not familiar what JPL stands for (like I do), it’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/)  

-Dragon Fairy


✪ -- ✪✪ -- 
What made you read this book?
DragonF: I saw this book rated 5 stars by one of the people I follow in Goodreads, then I read the blurb and found it interesting.
NASA Rover

MidnightF: I honestly am not a huge sci-fi fan, and I read The Martian based only on Dragon Fairy's recommendation. I got sick of reading romance novels, so when I asked my fairy friends of any book reco-- something non-romance and funny,  DF gave me the title of the book she was reading at the time and swore that it was hilarious. She was right of course. Thanks Dragon Fairy!

DragonF: You are welcome Midnight Fairy.
How did you experience the book? Were you immediately drawn into the story--or did it take you a while?
MidnightF: I was surprised how the book immediately drew me in. It was really intriguing, exciting, and kinda scary.

DragonF: I was drawn immediately to the story.  I especially like the writing style.  The book was intelligent and funny at the same time (my weakness).  However, I read this at a wrong time, I was busy these past few weeks and it took me a while to finish it. 

MidnightF: I agree with you, I loved the humor! What really surprised me is that I got over the geek talks! I swear, this is a feast for aeronautics enthusiasts.

DragonF: This is a must read to all the wannabe astronauts out there (including me) hahahaha!
 Is the plot well-developed? 
DragonF: Yes, for me it was well-developed. The suspense carried on until the last page of the book. However, i cannot say the same with the main character's growth...since basically there's none.

MidnightF: Yes. I loved how the story was told, how the events fell into place. I can't say that it was realistic but it was told in a manner that i found interesting and fun. 
Did the story grip you and keep you turning the pages?
DragonF: Definitely gripping, but keep me from turning pages?  Not really.  Nothing against the book, that's just how I read.  Even if I'm in a must read portion of the book, I can suddenly shelve it for later reading.  That's why it took me 3 weeks to finish this. However, I can see myself reading this in one sitting when the mood strikes me.  

MidnightF: It was gripping, and I had to finish it right away! Thank the stars I'm a fast-reader otherwise, I'll probably hate myself for not reading it fast enough. 
Did the characters feel real to you? 
DragonF: Yes to a certain extent. I just felt that the characters emotions (particularly Mark) was not developed well.  

MidnightF: I agree with you, in some ways, yeah I find them realistic, in others...not so much. I guess because I'm not a space enthusiast that astronauts doesn't feel real to me. haha. 
The Pathfinder Lander

DragonF: I mean c'mon you were stuck alone in another planet, and there's no feeling of depression, anger or anything?  Same goes with with the other characters.   

MidnightF: Exactly! I'd probably freak out myself if that ever happens to me. Even if you are a well trained astronaut, I think this situation is kinda hopeless...but Mark, whew, he was still a goofball even though he was stuck in Mars.
Who was your favorite secondary character, and why? 
DragonF: It's a toss coin between Annie and Martinez.  But since Annie's character was practically none existent by the 2nd half of the book, then Martinez wins.  I like my characters either funny, sarcastic or smart-ass.  actually in this book there a lot of characters who falls in those categories. hmmm....

MidnightF: I liked most of the female characters in the book, but i'll choose Annie, because she's a ball buster and doesn't take sh*t from anyone. I also liked Mitch for standing up for his men and went way above and beyond measures to help save Watney.
Who in this book would you most like to meet? What would you ask—or say?
DragonF: Discounting Mark, I'll pick Captain Lewis. My question would be, Is it really worth it to save Mark considering the problems that they might encounter?  A life might be saved, but it's also possible that 5 more lives will be lost in the process.

MidnightF: Cool. I'll pick Mark and i'll ask him to marry me! I'm not kidding.

DragonF: Hahaha, so you will be part of his welcoming committee then (wink, wink)

MidnightF: Yes! haha, Mark Watney fan club!
Any thoughts about the writing style, POV, etc.?
DragonF: I liked it. A perfect balance of narrative, and change in POVs. At first I thought it was going to be a full-on single narrative and I know sooner or later I'll be bored with it but when the POV shifted, the others' perspective gave the story more depth.

MidnightF: I loved the writing style. The diary logs by Mark, and later on the POVs from the other characters made the whole thing so interesting. I was telling Dragon Fairy when I was reading it that when the POV switched, it's like watching Big Brother, Mars version. LOL.

DragonF: And since I don't watch Big Brother, I don't know what you were talking about hahaha.

MidnightF: LOL, because aside from Mark's diary, we also learned how people from different walks of life reacted towards Mark's situation. Also, the world watched Mark via satellite, so, everyone felt involved about the whole "Let's Save Mark" thing.

DragonF: It's like the Truman show - Mars edition
What was your favorite part of the book, and why? 
DragonF: The exchanges between Hermes crew and their families. I chose that as my favorite part in the book because it showed the sacrifices of the Hermes crew to save Mark.
Deep Space Habitat aka Hab

MidnightF: Mine is when he left the hab for a mission he called Sirius 4 in which he located the Pathfinder and Sojourner. I was already impressed with Mark's resourcefulness from the start but this made me realize how awesome he is. The guy is a genius.

DragonF: I believe all of them were geniuses hahaha

MidnightF: True, but I don't think the others will be as resilient and resourceful as Mark was when he was alone in Mars. 
Did the book make you laugh or cry? What other emotions did you undergo while reading the book?
DragonF: I laughed, chuckled, snickered and...cried. Though in general I was grinning like a fool while reading the book.

MidnightF: The book definitely made me laugh. Mark can always find something to laugh about despite his dire situation. I cried too, out of frustration and sometimes relief.

DragonF: Again, with the sacrifices, that always makes me tear up.

MidnightF: Ditto.
What did you dislike about the book?
DragonF: Everyone is a good person. Seriously.

MidnightF: Hey, Annie was a bitch, hahaha! You're right though, everybody wants to help Mark.

DragonF: She was bitchy but not a bitch :p

MidnightF: I guess what i didn't like about the book was the ending. (Explanation on the next question)
Did you find the ending satisfying?
The Sojourner
DragonF: The ending was unsatisfactory in the sense that we want to see *spoiler alert* that they are all back on earth in one piece. With the book ending however, only the hurdle of saving Mark was answered.  Yes, that was the main plot, but still, it's possible that they will all die in space (considering their actions towards the end of the book)...and if that happens, grrr!

Like I said it's the ending which I didn't like in this book. I was not satisfied. I wish the author added an epilogue showing the crew's safe landing back to Earth. There are still things that could go wrong towards their journey back to Earth, I just want to be reassured that they are all fine.

Would you recommend this book to other readers?
MidnightF: Absolutely! Whether you're a sci-fi reader or not, I think this will interest anybody. It's funny, thrilling, and unique, what more could you ask for?

DragonF: Definitely and obviously, I have already 1 convert in you, Midnight Fairy. Some might find this boring, what with the nerdy terms (which I admit is quite confusing and I sometimes just ignore) for equipment and stuff, but still the writing style made it understandable. I mean it was explained in layman's terms.
What is you're favorite quote from the story?
MidnightF: Mine is this line from Annie: “I know you care about the astronauts, but he’s right. You are a f*cking coward. If you had balls, we might be able to save Watney.” This is when the "higher-ups" are trying to decide wether they should send the Ares 3 back to save Watney or send another probe that will contain enough food for Mark until Ares 4 arrive in Mars. See... ball buster!

DragonF: I'll pick the first line that made me laugh because that's the one that made me realize that I will like if not love the book. Mark: "I'm a botanist and mechanical engineer; basically, the mission's fix-it man who played with plants." (and then when he was trying to think of a way to plant something, anything) ..."If I dont (find anything to plant, that is) I'll be a really hungry botanist in a year."
What do you think is the moral of the story?
DragonF: Never surrender.

MidnightF: Yes! Never give up!
Your rating and why?
DragonF: 4.5 fairy wings. I'm deducting .5 wings coz of the ending and a sentence or 2 that made me uncomfortable. The book is really good and highly recommended to sci-fi and non sci-fi readers.

MidnightF: 4.5 fairy wings! I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the characters (esp. Mark), i laughed and cried with them. Also, I learned a lot of stuff (aeronautics, farming, chemistry, physics, etc.). Reading The Martian is quite an experience!


4.5 Fairy Wings!!!
The Martian is the first published novel by American author Andy Weir. It was originally self-published in 2012 before Crown purchased the rights and re-published in 2014. It concerns an American astronaut who becomes stranded alone on Mars and must improvise in order to survive. It has been described as an Apollo 13 meets Castaway. Twentieth Century Fox optioned film rights in 2013

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Martian_(Andy_Weir)


  1. The original version of the book had an epilogue where Mark was on earth. A kid asks him if he'd go back to Mars, given the chance. Mark's response is "Are you fucking kidding me?"

    I'm not sure why that was removed from the more recent version.

    1. Thank YOU!!!!, I listened to the audiobook about a year ago and remembered there being a epilogue. when i recently listened to it again I thought i was going insane because it ended without the epilogue. Thank you for confirming there was a epilogue.

  2. Please how do I get a hold of the original ENDING?