The Martian by Andy Weir

martianPhew, this one was a long time coming. Its approaching that time of year when, unfortunately, reading begins to take a back seat to a lot of things. I have been doing my last-minute back-to-school shopping and dreading the moment when I have to repack my room once again. Despite my days now filled with doctors appointments and shopping, I have tried to make some time for the beloved reading. This is probably my last book of summer and I’d say it was a good end to a great thing. Goodbye, summer.

Mark Watney is a member of the Ares 3 mission team that is taking a trip to Mars. Unfortunately for Mark, a large dust storm blows in and his crew, thinking he is dead, leaves him behind to return to Earth for safety. Now Mark is the only human on Mars with no way to tell Earth he is alive. The Martian is filled with journal like entires of Marks incredible journey to stay alive on Mars. His brilliance makes him probably the only person who could survive on Mars alone and his humor never fades despite the desolate situation.

I have some super mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I love the plot and I love Mark Watney’s character. His is so funny that I often found myself laughing out loud when reading, which is rare. On the other hand, Watney is brilliant so a lot of the things he said went over my head. Unless you are literally a rocket scientist, you may run into the same problem.Towards the end, the story really began to drag and Watney’s explanation of what was happening really did me in. I skipped around a good amount until it got interesting again. Because of this, I have to give the book a 3.5 of of 5. I think it is a great book but the complex way it read at times made it hard to read for extended periods and I often forgot to pick it back up again. The movie comes out in October or November of this year and I’m super excited for that!

Common Sense Media Rating: 14+ yrs

Flags: Cursing

Lock In by John Scalzi

lockinscalziAfter a long period of time, I finally picked up another Sci-Fi book! When I first discovered my love of reading, sic-fi was my go-to genre. I love the inventive worlds and the escape it provides. After seeing many good reviews of Scalzi’s Lock In, I let myself rediscover the joy that sic-fi brings me.

It is Agent Shane’s first week on the job as an FBI agent and already, things are out of hand. In a world where meningitis has caused altered brains and, in some cases, locks people into their own bodies, there is a shift in the way that people live. While some humans are never affected, those who experience lock in must use threeps or robots to get around. Things seem great until the government decides to cut down on the funding which supported people who lived with the illness. Now, things have done awry. Strange events begin to occur. People are dying. Can Shane and his partner, Vann, discover what’s happening before it is too late?

So, I did the best with the summary. In all honesty, you can’t even begin to describe this book in one paragraph. There is so much background information, BUT that is what makes this book so great. This book is definitely a page-turner. The chapters seem to fly by and you find yourself quickly immersed in their world. The only challenge I found with this novel is there are a lot of characters introduced very quickly. At times, I found myself confused with all the different names and felt a little lost. However, most of the time, Scalzi made it easy for the reader to follow along. Because of this, I give the book a 4 out of 5. This is one of those books you won’t regret picking up and, actually, it will get you thinking. At least, it got me thinking! Technology can be a scary thing…