Writing this review from my husband’s truck because a) sleeping baby and b) that’s where I found the book after accidentally marooning it in the door panel (appropriate, misplacing this book, no?) and had to finish it ASAP. It’s a testament to Weir’s skill at crafting a tale that I couldn’t wait to finish it despite knowing all the story beats from having watched the movie first. I even got anxious that the probe I knew would fail from having literally watched it explode on screen MIGHT NOT MAKE IT!
Anyway, having seen the film first didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book much. I was reluctant to start it for fear it might read like a textbook from too many calculations, but the math and science served to highlight how well researched it was, and was tempered by the irreverent humor which made it irresistible to Hollywood. The two criticisms I’ve heard with this book were that it read like a script pitch or that it was too much “yay, everything is great! Shit, now I’m doomed!” but frankly, they’re a big part of the appeal for me. The theatricality enlivened a potentially bloodless concept and made for a feel-good story I was excited to read. Not everything has to be War and Peace, and not every fun story has to be idiotic.