Project Hail Mary

A Novel

hardcover, 496 pages

English language

Published May 4, 2021 by Ballantine Books.

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4 stars (15 reviews)

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, …

13 editions

Project Hail Mary

4 stars

After reading The Mote in God’s Eye, I realized that Garrit Franke, a fellow Fosstodon member, finished reading this book, so I decided to give it a try too.

I have to admit that at first I was a little bit hesitant about this book, because it is a written in first person, and it also starts out with ammnesia and also flashbacks. But after that I got used to the writing style pretty quickly and started to really get into the main story and the mystery behind everything happening around our protagonist.

The story follows a lone astronaut that finds himself facing impossible odds every step of the way. The way the plot is revealed and how it moves forward every chapter is great. The scientific elements are pretty accurate and that was something I found really interesting. It reminded me a lot of Jules Verne’s novels that usually …

Suspend your disbelief and like math, I guess.

2 stars

I'm not a math nerd, but if I were, this would have been more like 4 stars. I am, however, other kinds of nerd and I found the non-math parts of the book to be absolutely bonkers, but not in the joyful way. Weir has given us a protagonist with zero backstory. And I don't mean his amnesia. He ends up remembering how he got on the ship, but apparently those few months were all there was to his life. There's no family, no friends, no flings, no hobbies, no likes or dislikes--and mind you, the book is almost 500 pages in length. When he does finally make a friend, he doesn't even notice that it's the first friend he's ever had. There's no emotional interiority to this guy at all. He's just there to solve puzzles. This is truly science fantasy, not science fiction. There's nothing believable about the …

Review of 'Project Hail Mary' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

In Project Hail Mary, the sun is going out. Huge bummer. We also don't know why, and it's happening to many stars in the local area of the galaxy. But we figure out why! And we also find one system where the star ISN'T going out even though it should. So we gotta throw together a ship and crew as quickly as possible to investigate, find a solution, and get it back to Earth in time to save the sun. Enter Ryland Grace, one of the crew members of this ship. He doesn't know any of that though, because he woke up on the space ship billions of miles from home without his memory. As his memory returns, he has to work to figure out who he is, what he's doing, and how to save his home. After a shocking discovery in this alien solar system, he has new exciting …

Andy Weir delivers again

No rating

I wasn't a huge fan of Artemis, but loved The Martian. Project Hail Mary is closer to The Martian in tone and theme. I very much enjoyed it.

I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Ray Porter, who also narrates the Bobiverse series. The two are similar enough (big space travel stories) that there was a certain comfort in hearing Porter's voice, but I also periodically felt some dissonance between the two stories. For example, I kept expecting the narrator to offer a solution to one of the science problems based on the tech available in the Bobiverse-- which is silly because they're not even written by the same author! Still, it was a good performance by a good narrator, and I enjoyed this book immensely.

My thoughts about Projekt Hail Mary

5 stars

Project Hail Mary is a very science focused sci-fi novel, which resonates with the science geek in me. But despite having a lot of science, that never takes over from the real story. The scenario is interesting from a philosophical perspective, and the story is interesting and fun from the beginning to the end. This was the book of the year for me, and I can highly recommend it if you like sci-fi.

Entertaining and gripping

4 stars

My usual science fiction reads don't cleave quite as strongly to 'reality' as this one - which is part of the reason I found it so interesting.

The writer has created a set of scientifically plausible scenarios and then builds the narrative around whether or not they can be resolved - while throwing in a bunch of twists along the way.

I have a very scientific/technical background, but I think that there would be wider appeal; although the general scientific concepts in here are frequent (including physics, biology, astronomy etc) they don't extend to making it feel like a text book.

I enjoyed the characters and the plot. Thumbs up for a recommendation.

Problem - Solution

3 stars

Andy Weir writes pretty good one note hero stories that are heavy on the science and engineering and feel screen ready. This was enjoyable, but not particularly deep. Like The Martian, the protagonist suffers from a series of obstacles and overcomes them one at at time, with the application of dark humour and science and significantly less potatoes.

Review of 'Project Hail Mary' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

What a lovely read this was... I tend to read some pretty heavy sprawling-plot sci-fi, and came at this knowing virtually nothing about it other than having seen The Martian in the cinema. As such, I found the small, contained nature of the story (despite the huge consequences in the background) to be thoroughly refreshing. I was smiling throughout and constantly wanting to read on to find out what happened next. I was up 'til 1am last night because I got close to the end and just had to keep going. Excellent.

Pure entertainment

5 stars

I think this will be the book I recommend the most this year. It is entertaining from beginning to end. If you like sci-fi or space stories, read it. If you don't, read it anyway because you will laugh. It is very rare that I tear through a book in the span of a day, but, and I apologise for the cliché, I could not put this book down.

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