Project Hail Mary | By Andy Weir
Book Review | Science Fiction
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.