Released: May 4th 2021
Genre: Sci Fi
Published by Ballantine Books
“It was a pleasure to read.”~ Under the Covers
Waking up with no idea who you are, or where you are and why you have disembodied robotic arms chasing you around the room is disorientating. But Ryland Grace soon realises that these things are the least of his problems. He is the sole survivor of an important mission: to save Earth. If only he could remember what he was saving Earth from and exactly how he was supposed to do it. As his memory slowly returns and he recalls the breadth of the problem, it seems impossible but with the help of an unexpected ally…perhaps Earth has a chance.
I can’t believe I have waited this long to read Andy Weir. I should have known when I watched and loved The Martian, a film adaption of an earlier book by Weir, that I would enjoy his style. This book was just…perfect. I listened to the audiobook and it was the perfect medium to enjoy this story. The narrator, Ray Porter, perfectly captured the dry humour and heart in this book.
And there was so much heart and humour in this book, Grace faces the end of the human species with snark, smarts and a humanity that makes having this book told from first person perspective an absolute delight. And, for a book that is detailing the events on the eve of the apocalypse it has a more a buddy cop movie vibe. But instead of saving the world with big biceps and rippling abs Grace and the ally (I will not be giving spoilers!) go about it with their ginormous brains by sciencing the hell out of the problem.
Speaking of science…there was a lot of science in this book. I can’t comment on the accuracy of said science, it all sounded like it should make sense, but what do I know? The science it details is part of the reason why I enjoyed listening to the book rather than traditionally reading it. I think I would have found the science harder to have to read through, even though it was explained in simple and interesting ways. However, with Ray Porter (the narrator) voice acting it out for me, it became much more interesting.
I have mentioned the humour in this book a lot, which was very well done, but don’t confuse this with thinking it was shallow. Not only did this book make me laugh, it had me crying, had me tense, had me hopeful, had me angry. Basically, It puts you through a gamut of emotions as the situation develops and Grace’s memory return. Not only this but there were moments of genuine excitement and adventure, which is masterful considering that most of the book takes place in such a small space. Of course, that space is in the middle of Space…but still.
If you want a book which is strangely bittersweet and yet leaves you feeling optimistic, with it’s themes of friendship, resilience against adversity and STEM science saving the world, then this is the book for you. Actually, I think this is the book for everyone, even if you don’t usually read straight sci-fi. It was a pleasure to read and I have now found myself a new author to add to my autobuy list.
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