Author: Andy Weir
Publication: May 4, 2021 by Penguin
Genre: Science Fiction
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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?
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.
Project Hail Mary was my first book of 2023 and it ended up being such a good one to start the year with. I was hooked, couldn’t put it down, laughed out loud and even almost cried. Initially I was really intimidated to read this book since I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and sometimes I feel like I’m a black sheep with certain books, thinking the exact opposite from other readers but I shouldn’t have feared because obviously it was a hit for me.
The book starts out with the protagonist waking up all alone on a bed in a strange room and he has to figure out what has happened to him, because he doesn’t remember a thing. As the story continues he starts to remember more slowly but surely. I finds out his name is Ryland Grace, that he’s a science teacher in junior high and that he’s on a spaceship. A spaceship that’s meant to save planet Earth and he’s the only one who can do it.
I absolutely loved Ryland Grace. He was such a great character and in my opinion perfectly written for this book. I laughed a lot with him but I was also impressed by his enthusiasm for science, especially when he solved problems on the spaceship. It made me almost just as enthusiastic! I also loved the character of Rocky. I hadn’t expected a character like him to show up but oh he was the most precious ever. I can’t say too much about him because I’ll be totally spoiling the story so I’ll just say that I love him so much and he’s the best ever. There.
The only reason why I didn’t give it a fully 5 star was because the science-y stuff could be a little intense at times. There was also a lot of info-dump when it came to the science so those parts were a bit challenging to really follow correctly. That’s not to say the author didn’t do a fantastic job with writing it because wow I was impressed. A thing that I did really enjoy were the flashbacks. Like I said before Ryland had to figure out what happened to him and we, along with him, find out in flashbacks. This made it all extra suspenseful to slowly find out everything that has happened for Ryland to be on that ship and why. And that especially was quite the enraging twist.
Now I’m also very curious about Andy Weir’s other books. I absolutely want to read them all and I hope to enjoy them just as much as I did Project Hail Mary.
About the author:
Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.