Book review: Project Hail Mary

Book cover for Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

The more science fiction I read, the more I find myself drawn to certain authors. Whether it’s their style of writing, their storytelling ability, or their imagination of what’s possible, there is something about their work that speaks to me.

One such author who I particularly enjoy reading is Andy Weir. I’ve read Artemis, Randomize (a short story from Amazon’s Forward Series), and The Martian, which is still one of my favorite books of all time.

So when Andy Weir’s latest book, Project Hail Mary, hit the shelves, it was a no-brainer to add it to my reading list, and to make sure that it ended up near the top of it.

In Project Hail Mary, the sun’s energy is being affected by an unknown source. Scientist Ryland Grace discovers the source of the problem, and he ends up on a last ditch effort to save humanity from probable extinction.

While the premise is a bit out there, the science fiction is detailed and fascinating. Weir tells a compelling story while going into deep detail on how humans could travel for long periods of time in space. Much like The Martian, our hero Ryland Grace has to overcome many challenges and obstacles during his quest. Weir does a great job detailing Grace’s solutions and the science behind how and why they work. In fact, it was so detailed that I’ll admit it went well over my head in many areas. There were many times I took Weir’s word for it that what he was saying and how he described it were accurate. I certainly didn’t nor was I going to take the time to fact check him.

In other reviews I’ve read, some have mentioned that this book is very similar to The Martian, with which I would agree and contend that it’s not a bad thing. It uses the same style of writing as The Martian, which includes my favorite story telling elements – first person narrative from the main character’s point of view, flashbacks that fill-in important details without slowing the story down, and well placed humor. While there are these similarities, it’s also unique and different in its own way.

if you like first person narratives, flashback story-telling, hard science fiction, and being held on the edge of your seat for long periods of time, you’re going to like Project Hail Mary. And don’t let the detailed scientific explanations deter you from reading it. These actually appealed to my analytical, engineering and science brain which put Project Hail Mary over the top for me.

Project Hail Mary. So well done, so well written. A Must Read in my opinion.

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