This is a great adventure story that includes lots of technical language and scientific explanations. Astronaut Watney has been accidentally left on Mars when the rest of his crew leaves during an emergency. He must survive by reworking equipment that was meant for the short term, using his engineering expertise and optimism. Throughout the story, he keeps a surprisingly positive outlook and his smart-ass attitude helps him stay entertaining, both to himself and the reader.
We also learn what NASA is doing to help him, once they realize he is still alive. However, those characters mostly come across pretty flat. One funny character is quite diverting, however.
The most important character in the book is Mars itself. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes horrifying, the planet is a huge, malevolent host. It constantly reminded me that space travel is a very tenuous enterprise.
The book is very exciting and the tension runs high, especially toward the end. Nothing is guaranteed and the conclusion may not be what you expect.
I listened to the Audible book read by R. C. Bray, who did an excellent job.
Very highly recommended for any adventure-junkie.