The third manned mission to Mars had a crew of six. Only five returned home after a violent sandstorm forced them to abandon the mission. They left one behind because he was killed by flying debris in the storm. Or so they thought.
This is the story of how one very ingenious astronaut survived in the hostile Martian environment. This guy is very clever, which means the author is very clever. There is a lot of basic science and McGivor-like fixes, but it is believable, for the most part. At times it seems like the science is the story, and not the survival of an astronaut, but the writing is good and the story moves at a good pace, with plenty of clutch situations and suspense.
The rescue mission is finally organized, but it takes more than 200 days to even get to Mars. Food, water, and oxygen are huge issues and our hero is able to overcome all challenges in most interesting ways.
The book was a bit hard to put down, but it is a bit nerdy throughout. The science is understandable, but a geek would love this stuff even more than I did.
3 1/2 stars