Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary

Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Publisher (date)
Hardcover, 496 pages
Sci-fi, Adult sci-fi
Goodreads

Summary

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian–while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I absolutely LOVED The Martian so when I saw Andy Weir wrote another book about a dude stranded alone in space I knew I had to check it out. How can a guy write TWO books about guys stranded alone and trying to survive in space, and make them different but also awesome? Could it be done?! Reader, it CAN and he did it.

(Side note: my poor spouse watched the movie of The Martian with me after I’d read the book, and was subjected to my continual comments about how much more amazing the book is than the movie. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is pretty great, but there’s just SO MUCH in the book and his sort of internal monologue you just can’t get in a movie with basically one character with nobody to talk to. So please read the book – and listen to the audiobook if you can, the narrator is AMAZING.)

ANYWAY, back to this book. I was so invested in this book, in the outcome and in Ryland’s slowly returning memories, that I didn’t want to put it down. The story is almost told in a dual timeline; there’s the “now” of Ryland waking with no memory of who (or where) he is or what the heck he’s doing there, and then slowly bits and pieces of memories start to come back to him, and interspersed with the “now” storyline we get the “past” story that led to Ryland waking on a spacecraft with no memory. Certain things Ryland does or needs seem to unlock key memories that help him move his mission (and this the story) forward, and it makes for a very compelling storytelling method. We learn about the mission right along with Ryland as he recovers his memories.

The only thing I didn’t 110% love was the ending. It felt a little … off, for me, but I can’t quite pinpoint why. And I don’t really want to say more because I don’t want to spoil anything! And it wasn’t off enough to make me rate this less than 5 stars, because it was an amazingly enjoyable ride the whole way through anyway. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how Andy Weir manages to strand a man in space next and still make it new and interesting, haha!

A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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