Project Hail Mary | By Andy Weir




Book Review | Science Fiction

Project Hail Mary
Published: May 27th, 2021
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. (Goodreads)    


My thoughts





Before we begin, I have to admit that I haven’t read The Martian. This is my first experience with an Andy Weir sci-fi . Naturally, I don’t have a yardstick to compare it with. I am disclosing this so that you would know where my opinions are coming from.





Narrative and Plot






A protagonist waking up in deep space with amnesia is no doubt a hooking scenario for a book, to begin with. Within no time, the story had my attention, and it kept me gripped even if it was dishing out a lot of scientific jargon and experimenting. I mean, this book is hardcore when it comes to the science elements. As a former physics student, it had my complete attention as I tried to piece together all that information. It made me feel intelligent by including a few simple acceleration formulas here and there.

However, after a few pages, the book fell into a pattern. There is a memory reveal and the whole incident would lead up to a heavy info dump of orbital mechanics and aerospace engineering. While I appreciate the effort and research, the elaborate mechanics weren’t my cup of tea. Maybe the fact that I was never a great fan of orbital mechanics might have made me biased but at some point, it felt too much.

The plot was quite the strong suit with a lot of conflicts and interesting space adventures to look forward to.





Characters and Conflicts





The beauty of the story is the involvement of the only two active main characters. For the others, we get a glimpse through Grace’s memory, but it gives us enough idea about who they’re.

Now, this might be a spoiler, but the review cannot be complete without mentioning Rocky. The moment Rocky entered the picture, it elevated the story in unimaginable ways. I was anticipating more  , more more communication between Rocky and Grace.

It was fascinating and heartwarming at the same time. The conflict towards the end had that element of surprise, too. While in most space-related stories (even in The Martian) the end goal is to come back home safely. However, here, the jubilation isn’t quite the same because of the bond between Rocky and Grace. The climax was quite altruistic and hopeful. At the same like the kind of thing that a scientist, especially an astrobiologist would do.










Overall, Project Hail Mary is a gripping sci-fi novel that captures your heart and brain at the same time. It is an entertainer with a rather fresh perspective and a world of possibilities. 




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