Project Hail Mary, a review by Tanya

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Project Hail Mary
Andy Weir

496 pages
Published May 5, 2021 by Ballantine Books

Amazon | Goodreads

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About the Book:

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.

My Review:

Some of my earliest memories as a child were laying on the grass at the park or my grandmotherโ€™s house and looking up at the sky. Whether trying to find animal shapes in the clouds or wondering what was beyond those clouds, it seems Iโ€™ve always been interested in space.

As I got older, Close Encounters of the Third Kind came out and I was so stoked, insisting to go see it in theaters as often as my mom could afford to! Then all the talk of Area 51, for years and years, kept my curiosity about alien life growing.

When I was approved for the ARC of Project Hail Mary, I was soooo happy! I loved The Martian movie and we actually still watch it every year. So, I guess I can say Iโ€™m a big fan of Andy Weirโ€™s work even though I hadnโ€™t read his previous books.

In Project Hail Mary, Ryland Grace (the MC) reminds me so much of Mark Watney from The Martian. Funny, smart and easily likable. The book itself had several similarities with The Martian in that even though it was very โ€˜techyโ€™, Weir made sure to explain science in easily digestible bites for the average reader. Serious, scary consequences were the backdrop of the story but relationships, troubleshooting problems with creativity, trusting and believing in oneโ€™s capabilities and looking at all situations through the lens of humor, were the focuses of this story. Again, similar to The Martian. So, if you were a fan of his previous work, you will likely love this one too!

There are several things in the book that I would LOVE to discuss and review, but I simply canโ€™t as I donโ€™t want to spoil things for others.

I think I can safely say that the unfolding of the story with both current and past timelines is a great way to allow the reader to experience the story along with the MC. At times I loved Ryland Grace, at times I was angry with him, at times I cried along with him. My emotions were all over the map with this book, which speaks highly to Weirโ€™s writing style. But there were some majorly cool things that happened in this story! It was such an exciting read.

My only challenges for this book were that I was a bit frustrated with the lack of knowledge that the MC started the book with as that means that I, the reader, simply had no idea what was going on. I realized early on that I was very frustrated and had to take a step back. Additionally, there is a lot of Science in this book (I know โ€“ duh, right?) and Weirโ€™s way of writing allows you to follow along pretty well, but when concepts are getting stacked one on top of the next, it became a bit much for me a couple of times. I had to step away a few times and just let my mind decompress and rest. ๐Ÿ˜Š But then I jumped right back in and was ready to go.

Overall, these slight drawbacks had no influence on my overall rating as those are just my personal reading habit issues and reflect more on me than the book.

This book is amazing! It made me smarter. It made me feel. It made me think about it when I was working or cooking or just living life. And it will stay in my thoughts for quite some time. I hope that this is adapted to a screenplay/movie, immediately!

Thank you to #RandomHouse, #BallantineBooks and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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