Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Rating: 9.5/10

Synopsis

A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.

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

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Project Hail Mary for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Project Hail Mary is The Martian turned up to 11. This is Weir’s best novel to date, and that is certainly saying something when the same author wrote one of the best science fiction novels (and debuts) of all-time just under a decade ago.

Liked Mark Watney? You’ll love Ryland Grace.

So, I loved The Martian. I thought it was one of the most original, well-written stories I had ever read and felt it came out of nowhere (at least, up until the movie was announced). Artemis, to me, was sort of a letdown in ways, though I ended up enjoying it more via audio thanks to the wonderful Rosario Dawson. Two completely different novels, both with witty and sarcastic protagonists, and both taking place in, well, space.

Project Hail Mary is more The Martian in terms of storyline: sole survivor/crew member who must use what is provided him in order to survive and return to Earth. But that is where the comparisons end.

Weir takes what we all loved in The Martian >Weir-ian one-liners and wise cracks in the face of impending death mixed with a massive overhaul of science that he beats you over the head senselessly with< and takes it up a notch (with a special little addition that I won’t spoil for you). Threads from the past and present culminate in a story for the ages with a race to save Earth and a protagonist you cannot help but get behind.

What I love most about Weir’s writing, aside from the humor, is the science. While a ton of it should fly over my head (nothing goes over my head… my reflexes are too fast), he explains it in such a way that it all makes sense and I now have a PHD in all things space related. I mean, science was one of my favorite subjects growing up, but I won’t say it was my best subject… because it wasn’t.

No-brainer: if you enjoyed The Martian, do yourself a favor and pre-order Project Hail Mary.

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