The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Book Review


The ChemistBook Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Romance, Mystery, audiobook

Book Series: N/A

Released: 7/11/17 by Back Bay Books

Pages: 528 Price: $28.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library



Book Synopsis:

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. 

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon. 

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous. 

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of. 

In this tautly plotted novel, Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors. 

My Review:

After having to return this book to the library and wait for another shot at it I finally was able to finish listening to it this week.  I was a big fan of Meyer’s Twilight an The Host and waited for ages for her to publish another book.  By the time she got around to releasing this title I had moved on from the author and lost interest in her work.  I have changed as a reader and had planned on skipping this book.  Then I needed something to listen to so I decided to give the audiobook a chance.  I’m glad I did but once this story was done I think this might be the last time I pick up one of her works.

I didn’t hate the story but felt it started out stronger than it finished.  While quite a bit darker than Twilight it does share many of the same traits. The first thing that started to bother me about the story is the truly bad example of a relationship between the lead characters.  At the time I didn’t have a problem with Bella and Edward’s disturbing relationship tendencies that many people criticised it for, after all, vampires don’t exist, I was able to suspend reality and accept an unhealthy relationship.  This did not work for me in The Chemist.  When you remove the paranormal element I expect something different and a person falling for their torturer just isn’t acceptable to me.  Then there was the pacing, the beginning and end of the book were action packed but the middle had a whole lot of nothing with all the dry bits about the dogs and helping Daniel adjust to this new life.  It just fell flat and a little too much like YA romance that felt like it could have been taken out of Twilight.

What didn’t feel like her most well-known series felt too much like her second series (that ended with one book…) The Host.  I kept thinking while the characters traveled that it felt like scenes pulled right from that other book.  I wanted something new but, not trying to be harsh, that Ms. Meyers has a certain type of story she likes to tell and while the characters might change and the conflict might come from a different source these are essentially the same story rehashed to fit another genre.  First, it was a girl falling for a dangerous sparkly paranormal boy, followed by a tough boy falling for a less dangerous alien girl science fiction, and now a good boy falling for a deadly spy in a suspense thriller.  I enjoyed all of these books but want something new now and I just don’t think Ms. Meyer will deliver.

That’s okay.  This is what works for her, more power to her especially if people continue to want to read her stories.  I, however, am not one of them.  So this is where I will say thanks for everything and move on.  It was great while it lasted.  I would be curious to reread Twilight someday and see what I thought of the story now.  Or perhaps not…  Why ruin the fond memories I have of a book that opened up a whole world of reading to me.

My Rating: 3 Stars


Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Book Review


Dark MatterBook Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Book Series: N/A

Released: 7/26/16 by Crown

Pages:342  Price: $26.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  Dark Matter: A Novel

Source: I borrowed this as an audiobook from my library.  



Book Synopsis:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.


My Review:

Unpopular opinion time.  Just thought I would warn you up front that I did not love this book like so many others have.  I didn’t hate it, however, it was just alright in my opinion.  It felt like someone watched Interstellar and thought the part near the end would make a great book.  I know it isn’t exactly what happen in the movie but I couldn’t help being reminded of that scene so the parallels are there.

After reading some of the other reviews I have to agree this book read like it was written to be turned into a movie.  The lead character felt flat and I struggled to connect with him.  The action was top-notch but I feel like that was at the sacrifice of world building.  I also felt some parts of the plot were added in for pure shock value and that turned me off a bit.

So what did I find interesting, what kept me listening to this audiobook. The idea behind the plot was interesting and some of the dumbed down science as well.  If you are looking to read a pure hard science fiction novel you might want to look elsewhere as there are better ones out there.

Again it was a good book but not a great book.  Still, the book felt gimmicky to me at times and would fit better in the thriller category than the science fiction one in my opinion.  I guess I was looking for more science, less drama.  More character depth, less violence.  More exploring of the multi-verse, less personal obsession.  I also didn’t care for the ending.  I wish he had come up with something else that what he delivered because it started to get a little creepy and cliché. I’ll stop here because the more I think about the story the less I like it…

My Rating: 3 (being kind) Stars

The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka

Book Review


The Flicker MenBook Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Audio

Book Series: N/A

Released: 7/21/15 by Henry Holt and Co

Pages:352  Price:$25.66 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  The Flicker Men: A Novel by Ted Kosmatka (2015-07-21)

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.



Book Synopsis:

Eric Argus is a washout. His prodigious early work clouded his reputation and strained his sanity. But an old friend gives him another chance, an opportunity to step back into the light.

With three months to produce new research, Eric replicates the paradoxical double-slit experiment to see for himself the mysterious dual nature of light and matter. A simple but unprecedented inference blooms into a staggering discovery about human consciousness and the structure of the universe.

His findings are celebrated and condemned in equal measure. But no one can predict where the truth will lead. And as Eric seeks to understand the unfolding revelations, he must evade shadowy pursuers who believe he knows entirely too much already.

My Review:

I’m not exactly sure why I stuck this book out.  I’m also not exactly sure what the book was about in all actuality…  Some of it might be that I wasn’t paying close enough attention, some might be the book was plotted well, some might be the science going over my head.  I didn’t hate the book, I finished it after all but this book left me feeling eh.

There were parts I found intriguing and other simply annoying.  I did like the science and found the experiment the story revolves around interesting.  The delving into politics a little less so…  I almost turned it off when it started venturing down a religious path but being in the middle of an exercise session and nothing else to listen to decided to press on for at least the rest of the hour.  I eventually decided the author wasn’t trying to convert me into any sort of thinking and chose to stick the book out to the end.

The book has a vastly different feel at the end than it did in the beginning and I think that is what hurt it for me.  I didn’t really care for the shift.  I’m still not entirely sure how the book ended as by the last hour or two it was simply background noise and I was only half listening. I appreciated some of the questions the author brought up in the plot but I struggled to find a character to connect with.

It wasn’t a bad book just not a terribly good one in my opinion.  I probably should have stopped listening after the first part.  The middle I did enjoy and probably the reason for the second star I am giving it.  I’m not quite sure what type of reader this book is meant for just that it most likely isn’t me.

My Rating:2 Stars

Saturn Run by John Sandford, Ctein

Book Review


Saturn RunBook Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, audiobook

Book Series: None

Released: 10/6/15 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Pages: 486  Price: $28.00 hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Saturn Run

Source:  I borrowed this audiobook from my library.



Book Synopsis:

The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.

A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.

The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins—an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect—and everything you could want from one of the world’s greatest masters of suspense.

My Review:

I seem to be on a science fiction kick lately and decided to borrow this one from my library last time I was in need of a new audiobook.  Have never read this author before and didn’t know much about the book beyond the synopsis sounded interesting.  Have to say it was a pretty entertaining listen and I’m glad it crossed my path.

First off if you are a fan of The Martian by Andy Weir then you will most likely enjoy this book too.  Saturn Run is a balanced blend of real scientific theory and science fiction.  The author shares at the end that they wanted this book to be as scientifically accurate as possible while delivering a compelling plot.  I do believe they succeeded.  Of course, much of the science went over my head but they did a wonderful job of delivering it as to make a science illiterate like me not feel too dumb. They also didn’t make the story too technical and threw in plenty of drama between the characters to keep most any reader entertained.

Being set in the near future much of what takes place is in a society that much of us will recognize, unfortunately not much has changed in regards to human maturity level as much of this book centers around the Chinese and American’s power struggle over this chance to control alien technology.  It was an interesting choice as to how the author’s dealt with the idea of alien races and in order to not spoil anything I’m not going to say more.  I was a tad disappointed but eventually warmed up to their choice as the most logical and plausible way humans will first interact with other species that call our galaxy home.

I didn’t find myself becoming as attached to any characters as I did in The Martian but did find a few souls to root for during the story.  I have to say though that this book was a far more interesting study in how we as a human race are our own worst enemy.  We need to get over the idea that we are all so different and realize we are all one species.  Until then much of what holds our society back will not be overcome.

Bottom line good read that makes you think and keeps you entertained.  I recommend.

 My Rating: 4 Stars

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

Book Review


The Traveler (Fourth Realm, #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Dystopian, Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: Fourth Realm #1

Released: 7/18/2006 by Vintage

Pages:  464 Price: $15.95 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  The Traveler

Source: I borrowed this audio book from my library.



Book Synopsis:

In London, Maya, a young woman trained to fight by her powerful father, uses the latest technology to elude detection when walking past the thousands of surveillance cameras that watch the city. In New York, a secret shadow organization uses a victim’s own GPS to hunt him down and kill him. In Los Angeles, Gabriel, a motorcycle messenger with a haunted past, takes pains to live “off the grid” – free of credit cards and government IDs. Welcome to the world of The Traveler – a world frighteningly like our own.In this compelling novel, Maya fights to save Gabriel, the only man who can stand against the forces that attempt to monitor and control society. From the back streets of Prague to the skyscrapers of Manhattan, The Travelerportrays an epic struggle between tyranny and freedom. Not since 1984 have readers witnessed a Big Brother so terrifying in its implications and in a story that so closely reflects our lives.

My Review:

With the populous, anti-establishment mood of the country, this book was a fitting for not only my current mood but the climate in which I find myself living in.  This work of fiction was written in 2006,  a couple of years before the great crash in the last years of the Bush Presidency and before Obama took office.  Having just woken up to the systematic corruption of both political parties so much of what this book talks about, albeit fictionally, rings true to the society we now find ourselves living in.  A world where we are controlled and manipulated all to wring the highest profit for those that control all branches of government with their donations.

Okay, all of that aside, this was a thrill ride of a story that felt like a cross between The Matrix, The Da Vinci Code, and a James Bond film.  You get rich characters, secret societies, conspiracy theories, action, and a little mysticism to boot. Spanning Europe and the United States we follow the main characters Maya, Gabriel, and Micheal as they are thrust into this secret world going on around them as they discover plots and corruption as they race to protect Gabriel and Micheal who might be the last Travelers in existence and seek vengeance for those that they have lost.

I’m glad I listened to this one for the introduction and ending interview with the author which I found just as interesting as the story itself.  Granted I think the ploy of writing this under a pen name is just that a ploy to attract attention, I have to say it worked on me.  It added to the mystery and cloak and dagger feel of this story.  Convincing me to take a moment and actually think about the themes talked about in this work of fiction and wonder what might actually apply to the world we now live in.  Sadly I think many of those themes are probably pretty applicable and it makes me want to fight the system.

Bottom line this was a good book with an entertaining story that might make you think a bit afterward.  Even if you don’t buy into the conspiracy theory aspect it is still a good listen, especially if you like books by Dan Brown or David Baldacci or even the dystopian genre with a bit of the supernatural thrown in.  I eagerly await the next title in this trilogy that I have put on hold with my library.  I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Lock In by John Scalzi

Book Review


Lock In (Lock In, #1)Book Genre:
Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Book Series: Lock In #1

Released: 8/26/14 by Tor Books

Pages: 336  Price: $8.99 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a signed copy of this book.



Book Synopsis:

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.

My Review:

This is only the second book (I know I’m late to the party) that I’ve read by Mr. Scalzi and I already know I need to read more.  Much more.  This author’s humor and ideology just seem to gel with mine and I was thoroughly delighted and engrossed by this book! I was so into this story that I was able to read in public with noise and everything.  Something that I’ve mentioned before is difficult for me as I’m distracted easily and if there is too much going on around me I simply can not concentrate to read.  This book, however, is the exception.  The plot sucked me in and even at a loud and busy county fair I was able to lose myself inside its pages.

This book reminded me of a lot of different stories, mainly movies, that I have enjoyed yet it remained a totally independent and original work of fiction at the same time.  I know that sounds confusing, but there were aspects of this story that reminded me of The Matrix and iRobot for example.  Then there were other areas that we simply a good old detective story mystery.  I liked how the world is set in a somewhat near future where the technology was pretty similar to what we currently have but felt like the natural evolution of where we might end up  in our lifetime.

I was a little lost in the beginning as I worked to figure things out, it wasn’t awful, but I kept being surprised by how things worked.  I think if I had read Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrom (linked to online publication)  first I might have  been less confused, but I don’t regret not having read it.  I managed just fine and it did not detract from my enjoyment of this book.  I do plan on going back and reading the short introduction to this world and gain some of the back story before I read the next release in this series due sometime next year, according to Goodreads.

This was a great read for me I loved the intellectual part of the plot all the scheming from the ‘bad guy’, all the politics involved.  I also enjoyed all the technical information we received as the science, real or not, was explained.  That aspect of the story reminded me of The Martian. I also enjoyed the chemistry between the main character and his partner, neither one was perfect but together they were the backbone of the story.  This was such an interesting read and I love all the questions it brought up about personhood and what makes us human.  Really quite a fitting piece for the society and times we live in.

This was a story that made me think, kept me guessing and rooting for the main character.  I hope that this world continues because I believe there is serious potential for this to be a great series.  It was fun and funny as well and I found myself sharing dialog with my husband on several occasions, something he loves tremendously (insert eye-roll here).  The ending was immensely satisfying, who doesn’t enjoy a story where justice triumphs over greed and corruption.  I hope you give this one a shot if you enjoy science-fiction but aren’t crazy about aliens and outer space.  I can’t wait to get my hands on another Scalzi book and see if it lives up to my expectations, I have a feeling it just might.

My Rating: 5 stars

The Fold by Peter Clines

Book Review


The FoldBook Genre: Science Fiction

Book Series: Stand Alone

Released: 2/2/15 by Crown

Pages: 384 Price: $16.00 Paperback

Links: Author’s Site, GoodreadsMore InfoAuthor Bio

Source: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program



Book Synopsis:


The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy. And that’s exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he’s chosen isn’t much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he’s content with his quiet and peaceful existence.  

That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step.

The invention promises to make mankind’s dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, traveling through the Door is completely safe.

Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn’t quite what it seems—and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.  

As his investigations draw him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there’s only one answer that makes sense. And if he’s right, it may only be a matter of time before the project destroys…everything.  

A cunningly inventive mystery featuring a hero worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a terrifying final twist you’ll never see coming, The Fold is that rarest of things: a genuinely page-turning science-fiction thriller. Step inside its pages and learn why author Peter Clines has already won legions of loyal fans.

My Review:

I was getting tired of requesting NF titles through the Blogging for Books program, but most of the time there just isn’t a fiction title that catches my fancy.  When I went to put in a new request though I noticed that a NEW book had popped up for review, and it looked quite intriguing.  So I went with it and am so glad I did!  I ended up with a book I really enjoyed as well as a new author to follow.

I’m not quite sure where to start with this review.  I just finished reading it a few minutes ago and it still has me thinking.  I would wait to review, but I like to write these up before I start my next book.  This book though, I can tell this one is going to be with me for a while.  It was just so interesting on many different levels.  There was a great mystery, I loved all the sciencey stuff (technical term), the characters, the geekiness this book had it going on on so many levels.

Perhaps a chronological look into the story.  Mike is the main character who has a unique talent or gift…that I don’t want to giveaway, dammit.  It was so fascinating though I couldn’t help but be drawn into his uniqueness and pondering what it would be like to have the same issue.  On one hand it would be totally cool, but as the book progressed I could see why Mike felt it nothing but a burden.  It worked well for the plot even if I couldn’t help but think it was a tad convenient at times.  Read the book you’ll see what I mean.

Then there was all  the science.  This reminded me of The Martian and Big Bang Theory it leads me to believe that my reading taste just enjoys a science fiction heavy on real science even if I don’t understand much of it.  Then there was all the Star Trek references.  You know me I love me some Trek and the nods towards the show were a lot of fun.

I thought the plot moved at a good and steady pace and every few chapters seemed to give up another piece of the puzzle as we discovered just what the hell was going on.  Some where near the end the story turned a bit and for some time I felt as if I had stepped into a Stephen King story.  Not a plus for me and ended up costing the book a star. I can just do without the gore thank you very much.  Still it wasn’t all that bad or much of the overall story so I just made an ick face and moved on.  The end of the book left me wanting more and I wish this was going to be a series…  I do see in the acknowledgements that this kind of a companion book or takes place in the same area with some overlapping plot and characters as another of this author’s books and I will most definitely be checking out that story soon.

This was a great read and fans of realistic science fiction like The Martian or shows like Star Trek or movies like Men in Black should add this title to their to-read list.  It was quite interesting and had a captivating plot.  I can’t wait to see what else this author has to offer.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Diary of Her Disappearance by Lexi Birks

Linked to book’s Amazon page.

Stand Alone: Published 2/16/15

I own a copy of this book.

Book Synopsis:

Riley Conner wasn’t worried about going through the woods. She had done it all school year and had forgotten about her earlier thoughts of being stalked. In her mind, she was safe, away from danger. But as soon as she heard a crunch of leaves and the familiar sense of another presence, all the stalker theories came tumbling back. She remembered trying to run, but being grabbed from behind. She had tried to break away, escape, but the second a warm cloth was pressed to her face, she knew it was over. In the struggle, the trees had swallowed her diary. She wondered now if anyone would ever find it, read it, realize how ignorant she was, and then decide she deserved to be kidnapped. Greg: Riley’s missing. To me, she was a stranger. A girl whose name I didn’t even recognize. But when I saw her picture and realized our pasts had once entwined, I knew I would have to find her.

My Review:

This is the first book by a local indie author from my area, I have heard she has a second book being published soon and I am most definitely getting my hands on a copy of that one as well.  I was really blown away by the writing and story telling skill of Ms. Birks.   I believe this comes from a point I have made in other reviews, Ms. Birks is a reader, and when an author is an avid reader it shines through in their own work.  When you crawl inside different worlds on a regular basis you learn what makes a good story with compelling multi-dimensional characters, but also how to piece together and more importantly how to reveal a captivating plot. You also get a regular dose of what doesn’t work.  Ms. Birks shows us in her first book that she has done her homework and learned how to tell a good story.

Most of this shorter novel, it is only 161 pages, is told from the perspective of Greg, but we also get to check in with Riley but mostly through her diary entries read by Greg.  Later in the book we get to delve into the mind of the monster responsible for  Riley’s disappearance as he fills in valuable background information.  The three main characters were some of the best developed I’ve read in first-book authors in some time.  Ms. Birks does a great job giving them motivation and history and shows, not tells, us aspects of their personality that brings the characters to life.  Even the supporting cast of characters were well thought out and added much to the overall story arch.

The plot was the first thing that really impressed me though.  It was quite complex with all sorts of threads that twisted and turned as they wove their way through the pages.  I love stories like this, those moments where you see all the pieces come together and you learn how everyone is linked.  I did see who the ‘bad-guy’ was before it was discovered in text, but I think it was meant to be that way.  The love-story aspect of the plot was well done too.  No pointless love triangles that are so popular, annoying and overdone.  This one was quite sweet and Ms. Birks kept us guessing till the very end about how things would end up.

This book doesn’t have any classifications on Goodreads, but I would list it as YA, a mystery/thriller with a little light romance thrown in.  It is a bit darker tale, but not graphic.

This is a great read, that is only available online, for the vast majority of my followers, and you can find the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.  I hope that many of you give this young, did I forget to mention the author is only 15 years old, indie author a try.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.  She has some serious talent and I hope she continues to share her stories with us.  I can’t wait to see what she does next!

My Rating: 5 Stars


The Martian by Andy Weir – 5 Stars!

The Martian


Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books for an honest review.

They also asked that I share these links:

The Martian Press ReleaseA Conversation with Andy WeirAuthor Bio

Book Synopsis:

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?

My Review:

I’m so excited about this book I’m not sure where to start with the review.  (Be prepared for a love fest…)  I LOVED this book!  If I could give it more than five stars I would.  I took a look at some of the other reviews, well mainly the negative ones cause I could not believe people didn’t like this book, and I can see some of the points they were making.  But you know what?  I don’t care.  This book worked for me and I think it will work for many readers out there.

So I should tell you how much of an annoying person I was while reading this book.  After getting 30 pages into it I handed it to my husband and told him to read the first chapter.  I then went to Facebook and even a post here to sing my praises of this book.  I then jumped on Goodreads to find out more about the author and what other books he has written ( none).  He did write a short story called  The Egg, which is also brilliant and available for free (go read it, I’ll wait). After all that research I settled in to enjoy my story, only to be compelled to follow my husband around the house reading him excerpts.  Well, until he told me to stop…  I have been such a pain to live with because I am so excited about this story.  I wanted to go out and buy a case of them and hand the book out to strangers and say “Here read this book.”  I still say someday Hollywood is going to take this story and utterly destroy it with a sad attempt at capturing its brilliance in film.  They will fail.

Alright you get it, I liked the book.  No, LOVED it.  So why?  The main reason, and the reason most often cited against the book, was the humor.  Who would have though a story about a man being stranded on Mars facing death at every turn would be so funny.  And it was.  If you are not a fan of sarcasm, witty on-liners and gallows humor then the book isn’t for you, but personally it is what made the story for me.  I loved that even in this serious life and death situation the main character was able to look death in the eye and crack a joke.

I also loved all the science, not that I got it all, but the author did a great job of making it understandable for people like me who can’t do basic math without a calculator and never did well in science class.  Everything seemed plausible to me and I was delighted the few times I would see a solution right before the main character did.  This is the ultimate survival story.  If you think surviving on a deserted island is hard, try Mars.  The technology didn’t seem too far into the future either.  It helped make the story feel like this is something that could take place in our near future.  Which I believe made it more relatable or understandable for readers.

The character is another aspect that made the story for me.  We aren’t just following Mark around from one near death experience to another for 369 pages. There is also the crew that was forced to abandon him and the teams at NASA down on Earth.  This helped to round out the story and broke up the journal entries which account for much of our time with Mark.  The author did an excellent job of creating people I cared about.  You root for these characters,  you want them to succeed.  They are likable and Mark wasn’t the only one with a sense of humor.  Some complained that they were one-dimensional, but I disagree.  They are trying to overcome a terrible accident and many of them are confined to a planet or a spaceship,  a lot of their back stories are not needed to make this one work.

The story is fairly formulaic; there is a problem, think up solution, implement solution all the while making jokes.  Didn’t bother me, but did notice it about mid-book.  Would have been nice if Mark had a break from time to time, but that probably would have made a more boring book.  This book is a survival thriller that grabbed me from chapter one and didn’t let up until the very end.  I’m serious,  it wasn’t until the last page that we know how everything ends up.  I laughed a lot in this book, cried some even and that last few pages I held my breath as I read.  This is an amazing story, go get a copy and READ IT!  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

OMG! My new obsession, The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian

Don’t wait for my review.  Go get yourself a copy of  The Martian by Andy Weir and READ. THIS. BOOK!  If the first 61 pages are any indication this is going to be an amazing read.  The humor is outrageous, a dry witty gallows humor, it is a compelling thriller/survival story about an astronaut stranded on Mars with only 30 days worth of food, no communication and nobody expected to return to the planet for 4 years.  There is quite a bit of science involved, but the author does a good job of writing it  for us who are not so inclined(bright).  Someday Hollywood is going take this book and ruin it with a movie.  Read it first!    Sorry couldn’t wait I had to share…