Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir


Rating: 10/10

Synopsis

A lone astronaut.
An impossible mission.
An ally he never imagined.

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, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery-and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could imagine it, 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

Project Hail Mary was an unexpectantly mind blowing read. Despite not being a fan of Artemis and only somewhat enjoying The Martin, Project Hail Mary presented itself as an entirely new beast, grasping me from from page one and not letting go…even after I’d finished it.

The plot of Project Hail Mary really is one of the key points to its uniqueness. Yes it is your typical apocalyptic-save humanity-sci fi, but there is so much more in this action-packed book. I would actually class this under “realistic” sci fi. Weir has obviously done his research and knows a great deal about this genre, so this didn’t feel like fantasy sci-fi but rather the type of scenario humanity might well have to deal with one day. The story begins on the Hail Mary with the main character waking up from a medically induced coma and no idea as to why he’s on the ship, facing some pretty dire odds. Slowly and might I say ingeniously, the reader and the protagonist discover the story behind his mission through cleverly done flashbacks. I’m not normally a fan of flashbacks, but these were done so well and very intriguing. Through these we find out how the main character represents the full desperation of humanity and why he is on this mission. I won’t go further on the plot as I don’t want to spoil major plot points, but just know Weir reveals plot points so ingeniously that you’ll find yourself wanting to find out more and more…ergo you won’t put the book down even at 3am in the morning. I will also add that so rarely has a writer made a robot like me feel real emotions while reading a book. I genuinely had to put the book down a couple of times, take a deep breath and stare into space for a minute before continuing.

There was quite a lot of science jargon in this book, however Weir really does explain it well, using the argument that the main character is actually a science teacher. I was always terrible at science in school, but actually found his explanations generally very well done and it did give me the general feeling that I knew what was happening.

Ah, the characters. The main character was so well written I felt like I was reading about the life of a friend. I genuinely felt like I was taking part in his journey and felt his pain, resilience, desperation and hope. The supporting characters were also brilliantly done and at times had me wishing the worst on them but loving them at the same time. There is also one character in particular that MAKES this book, who was a whole new level of intriguing. But, alas, I can’t go into detail in fear of giving away major plot points.

The writing was absolutely phenomenal in Project Hail Mary, making me laugh not just once but the whole way through. The writing is consistently witty, self deprecating and engrossing, perfectly matching the main characters personality. There was definitely some brilliant gallows humour which really highlighted the main characters desperate situation, but provided some much needed hope.

Honestly, do yourself a favour and read this, especially if you’re in the mood for a realistic, movielike, action-packed and character driven sci fi. It’s the perfect sci-fi book, even for readers new to the genre and it WILL NOT disappoint.

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