Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is an adult sci-fi novel published earlier in 2021. I was super excited to read this after reading The Martian a few months ago and absolutely loving it (full review of The Martian). It did not disappoint. I loved it, 5 stars all the way.
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.
I loved every page of this book. This is a story I’ll definitely visit again some day and an easy 5 stars. I laughed out loud a bunch of times and had a smile on my face for most of the almost 500 pages (except those few pages I had tears in my eyes).
Similar to The Martian, the real key to this book is the characters. Ryland was relatable and real, while sometimes funny or snarky. He was a solid character but Rocky really stole the show. I loved watching their relationship and found the details of them learning to communicate completely fascinating.
Flashbacks are not usually my favorite when they’re used as much as they were in this one but with the premise that it was him remembering things, it totally worked with the story and was a great way to tell it. The idea that he was discovering his past along side the reader and the rest of the story was really unique and fun.
I didn’t love this as much as The Martian but it was close. I think the reason it takes second place is the plot itself. This one just didn’t have the urgency and constant suspense. It was an interesting story and of course, he was trying to save the human race but given the longer time frames and long portions when there was no immediate danger to him personally, it just didn’t have the urgency that makes The Martian my favorite book of 2021 so far.
Overall, this was still awesome but if you are thinking about picking it up and haven’t read The Martian, read that first.