Title: Project Hail Mary
Author: Andy Weir
Release Date: 4/5/2021
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 49
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free eARC copy from Del Rey UK ,via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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.
Oh this book made my little geeky science nerd heart sing. It was so geeky and sciencey and exciting! it was a real joy to read and I really couldn’t put it down powering through it in just under two days.
I will admit I had trepidations going into this one as I wasn’t the biggest fan of Artimis and I have actively avoided the Martian. This is due to having the pleasure of previously working with and still being friends with Botanists that actively research plants that have been grown aboard the ISS. I was worried about the Science of that one. Reading Project Hail Mary has encouraged me to give the Martian a go too.
It is definitely a Science heavy book. The physics mostly goes over my head but Weir has created such an empathetic main character whom utilizes his skills as a Science teacher to explain these concepts in a fantastic way that links the beautifully with the Story but also doesn’t feel patronizing to the reader. I really liked Dr Grace as a character, he was compassionate and caring like many good teachers I know but he also had just the right level of snark, like good teachers I know. I liked how he had experienced both the world of research Academia and teaching and how he used those various experiences throughout the book to logic his way through all the problems that were thrown at him.
I honestly don’t want to say more about the actual plot because of spoilers, but it is filled with exciting discoveries, real emotional moments, and some conversations that just made me giggle. I loved how flashbacks into Dr Grace’s life before finding himself aboard the Hail Mary deep in space, help us piece bits of the mystery together as well as how we learn more about this universe with Dr Grace. There was some really interesting explorations of what climate changes can do on earth, exploring disaster science and its predictions. The outer Space elements were also really interesting particularly when it all started to come together to solve the mysteries.
I just found this so entertaining, Despite it being heavy on the science there is a silliness and light-heartedness to the book that just made me love reading it. The ending is just beyond silly but again it really made me love this book. Is just just such a good balance of the silly out there space opera, and climate level disaster Science that just works so well.