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The Martian
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2014 Reads > TM: Peril overload.

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Eric (ericbooth) | 24 comments Just finished Wool and The Martian and I think I have peril overload. Don't get me wrong. Both of these books were amazing. Just soo much peril. Looking for something to read now in either the sword or laser genre that is a little lighter on the "peril" front.


David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments I take it you mean something that is not a survival story?

Just going by your to-read list I'd try Leviathan Wakes for some decent space/solar opera - and seeing you liked the First Dresden book why not keep going with that series for some Urban Fantasy?


terpkristin | 4120 comments I didn't read them back to back, and I totally get you. I finished The Martian last night (review coming tonight when I get home) and I was left mostly "meh." I think the two things that killed the book for me were 1) the humor (which everybody else here loves but was too over the top/familiar for me) and 2) the obscene number of ridiculous perils, some far more likely than others and frankly, since the pattern was "man faces adverse conditions, man triumphs, rinse, repeat," I got sick of it. One too many adverse thingies.


Tamahome | 6114 comments I don't know. I work with computers, hardware and software. And there seems to be a hitch every time there's a major change. :)


John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1531 comments As much as I liked Leviathan Wakes, and the rest of the series, isn't it pretty much a survival story as well? Granted it's on a bigger scale, and most of the time nobody is going it alone, but it is still mostly about people in "peril". Then again, maybe you can say that about most science fiction/ fantasy, just at different levels.

I recently read Year Zero and found it quite funny and entertaining. Granted the earth is still in jeopardy, but I think this might be a good mouth cleanser.


terpkristin | 4120 comments Tamahome wrote: "I don't know. I work with computers, hardware and software. And there seems to be a hitch every time there's a major change. :)"

And I'm not saying there aren't major hitches in aerospace. But some of this was too much. Or, he wrote of one too many. I got bored. So bored. I had to finish it last night otherwise it would have been Lemmed.


Skip | 517 comments I kind of know what you mean, though I think I liked the book more than you did. I was wondering if the book would end when the countdown hit "1", and it was mostly because I knew there would be something of issue on the takeoff. I don't really have an issue with the last problem either, but I think I was ready for him to be saved, and at that point you know he's going to make it out alive.


terpkristin | 4120 comments Yeah, that's kinda my beef. I could deal with the book being not as technically accurate as you might be lead to believe. I could deal with fairly flat characters. But it had to have SOMETHING. What it had was too much of the same formula repeated. By the time I realized he was most likely going to live (which actually you don't know that he/they did and the stuff with Hermes made it possible that they didn't...), I didn't need the same thing over and over. It could have been shorter without sacrificing anything.


message 9: by Skip (last edited May 09, 2014 07:34PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skip | 517 comments I wonder if he would have written it differently if this was his tenth book, because his writing of Watney is strong enough to make the story enjoyable for me. I didn't mind that things kept going wrong, given his circumstances it would be foolish not to assume he'd have problems. I think once the scene shifts from Mars the suspension of disbelief gets harder to maintain, and the problems there are less believable as a result.

I did find the choice of ending point a little odd. I would have thought that either ending it at takeoff or some point after landing (even if years later) would have made more sense. From a story point of view you don't get everyone on board and then kill them, even if they may have legitimately jeopardized their ability to get home safely. Once Watney's survival was out of his hands the story is over.


message 10: by Rick (last edited May 09, 2014 08:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rick | 2777 comments Folks?

USE THE DAMN SPOILER TAGS.

Seriously, you're both longtime members here, you should know better.


message 11: by Eric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eric (ericbooth) | 24 comments Thanks David. I'll have to give it a try. Rick, I didn't have any spoilers in my post. No need to tag then.


message 12: by Rick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rick | 2777 comments Eric - sorry that was more directed at Terpkristen and Skip.


message 13: by Eric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eric (ericbooth) | 24 comments Gotcha


Tamahome | 6114 comments Peril Overload. Good band name.


terpkristin | 4120 comments Well when the OP posts that he's read the book, I figured it was that others had finished.


Travis | 4 comments Eric wrote: "Just finished Wool and The Martian and I think I have peril overload. Don't get me wrong. Both of these books were amazing. Just soo much peril. Looking for something to read now in either the swor..."

Forgive me for going off-topic, but this instantly made me think of the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and laugh. "You were in terrible peril." "Look, just let me go back in there and face the peril." "No, it's too perilous."


Darren I think the Purnell maneuver bothered me more than the constant threat of death. I liked it, though, overall. I'm not really sure the book would work without the constant challenges.


Andrew Knighton | 158 comments I really enjoyed the alternation between insane peril and periods of just grinding away at a task. Admittedly it was part of the lack of emotional variety the book, as it mostly swung between those extremes, but it kept me hooked.

As for something less perilous, maybe Guy Gavriel Kay's Sarantine Mosaic books? I'm currently reading Lord of Emperors, and while there are moments of intense peril they're much less frequent and farther apart. Plus really intense, engaging books.


James (jamespeck) | 10 comments Things going wrong all the time seems kinda realistic, considering how long the equipment was built to last.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2451 comments I had the same feeling about the World War Z movie. Basically it was 'go to place to look for a clue, place gets overrun by zombies, run away to next place'. This was repeated 3 times in the movie.


terpkristin | 4120 comments Space stuff is "designed" to last for a certain lifetime but because of all the factors of safety added, it usually lasts a lot longer. Hubble Space Telescope was designed for a 10 year mission but has gone 20+ strong (and even been upgraded by astronauts!). Many geostationary comsats are designed for 15 year life, but last much longer, their limiting factor is usually fuel (and games can be played to make that last longer too).


message 22: by J.J. (new) - rated it 4 stars

J.J. Litke (jenzgoodreads) It wasn't that the peril wasn't realistic, it was the way it yanked you back and forth. Everything's good, yay! Oh no, I'm fucked and I'm going to die! Oh, good again, yay! Oh no, fucked again! Watney's reactions are so consistent, that's the part that stopped feeling realistic. And even with the "I'm fucked" reactions, it never really felt like he was in real despair or fear.


message 23: by Eric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eric (ericbooth) | 24 comments Thanks for all the feedback. Good to know it wasn't just me.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2451 comments I'm about half way through and I have an issue with how lightly Watney takes doing an EVA. As I understand it, getting into a spacesuit and doing all the safety checks is not something you want to be doing by yourself over and over.


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