I actually watched the movie prior to the book, so I had a fair expectation of how things were going to turn ou**spoiler alert** (For Audible version)
I actually watched the movie prior to the book, so I had a fair expectation of how things were going to turn out. That being said, this book was still excellent and I was happy to see (or hear) that a few key parts were skipped or changed in the movie. There's a part at the end that was actually funny because I knew how the movie turned out (Watney remarking how the movie would turn out if there was one).
The Martian is a fantastic examination of survival on Mars though - I think Mark Watney is not only an extremely likeable character, he's very believable. In fact, for all the detail and science that is described for how Watney tries to survive being stranded on Mars, I was struck afterward by the thought that Watney's personality was just as key for his survival. Really, no one else could have survived that situation - but rather than feeling like Watney was custom tailored for the situation by the author, I instead honestly believed the narrative and was rooting for Watney to survive.
I know that right now Mars is on the horizon for human exploration, and this book comes at a perfect time to dip into that excitement (and has been made into a movie); but I think this book is excellent regardless.
If you find science fiction to be to much fantasy and not enough science - this is the book for you!...more
(This review is for the audio version narrated by John Keating.)
I was first introduced to Colfer's writing via the fantastic Artemis Fowl books, and h(This review is for the audio version narrated by John Keating.)
I was first introduced to Colfer's writing via the fantastic Artemis Fowl books, and have since taken in anything written by him that I could get my hands on. Airman is a book that not only delivers on my expectations of Colfer's skills as a writer, but also just my desire to enjoy a great story.
In Airman, Conor Broekhart is thoroughly beat up and disheartened again and again. Even Conor's birth occurs during dire circumstances at the book's beginning, as if to tell you that things don't really calm down for the kid from that point forward. Despite the pounding he takes throughout the story, you find yourself unable to do anything but root for him. His successes are mythic and wonderfully written - perfect for a wide-eyed child to listen to with rapt attention.
The antagonist, a villainous and downright evil character named Marshall Bonvilain, is just as hate-able as Conor is likeable; and the performance of the character by John Keating is so perfect that I have little doubt I despised Bonvilain even more because of it. For those listening to this book, I think this is where you'll find your investment has paid off, because Keating's narration is excellent, but his rendition of Bonvilain and the other villains is fantastic.
It's easy to be deceived by how simple this story is put together, especially when you consider the straightforward themes of heroes saving princesses and the obvious indications of character identity and story from names like "Broekhart" and "Bonvilain". At one point I found myself thinking that this story was perhaps a youth-accessible rewrite of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo; but having finished the book I'm of the opinion that Colfer was crafting a fairy tale for the age of discovery and industry. The Airman's charm in fact comes from it's simplicity, despite that the plot is anything but simple and the adventures within are actually very clever and captivating. If the book is simple, it is simple in the themes it presents - such as "true love" and "brains over brawn"; but the unique tale within is easier to enjoy because of it.
I usually avoid spoilers in my reviews, and Airman definitely requires my discretion - you deserve to enjoy this book from beginning to end. In the end I hope you do enjoy it as much as I did!...more
I took a plunge into an unknown author (for me) and found that I wasn't the worse for wear; Beat the Reaper is entertaining all the way through and acI took a plunge into an unknown author (for me) and found that I wasn't the worse for wear; Beat the Reaper is entertaining all the way through and actually really...there's no other way to put it; cool! The tone of the entire book is sarcastic and gritty, but very educated as a contrast. At times, you do feel like you're sitting through the main character give you a science lesson, but the effect isn't boring, it really is well done, and is very much along the lines of a Chuck Palahniuk novel.
The voice acting, done by Robert Petkoff, is really well done as well - he's performed a great representation of the character. Anyone interested in the audiobook version might take note that it does include music and sound effects in some of the more intense parts, but I personally didn't find them at all distracting - I think they add a right mix of ambiance. Are they necessary? Probably not, but I'm not going to recommend against the audiobook because of it.
I don't know how others feel about the book in regards to the series, and I imagine that they want more Marvin or something. But I found this book toI don't know how others feel about the book in regards to the series, and I imagine that they want more Marvin or something. But I found this book to be one of my favorites because of the way Adams approaches a romance with all the ridiculous sarcasm and wit of the other books. Plus, the book mainly focuses on poking fun on earth, and I think it's doubly funny because of it....more