Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Posted May 8, 2022 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Hard Science-Fiction, Review, Science-Fiction / 0 Comments

Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy WeirProject Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Narrator: Ray Porter
Published by Audible Studios on 05-04-21
Genres: Science-Fiction, Hard Science-Fiction
Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Overal Rating: five-stars

Winner of the 2022 Audie Awards Audiobook of the Year.

Number-One Audible and New York Times Audio Best Seller

A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Martian.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: To accommodate this audio edition, some changes to the original text have been made with the approval of author Andy Weir.

This is my third book by Andy Weir. I absolutely loved The Martian, and R.C. Bray’s version was what got me hooked to audiobooks. Artemis was just okay, but I didn’t enjoy it as much because I couldn’t relate to the main character. Several friends recommended me Project Hail Mary for a long time, but I was afraid that I couldn’t love it as much as The Martian, or that it was going to leave me numb like Artemis. Last week, I bit the bullet, and I’m so happy that I finally did!

Weir goes back to the characters and situations he knows how to write well. And yes, he does it splendidly again: An incredible resourceful cis male alone and in a desperate situation, not giving up despite his dire circumstances. What makes Project Hail Mary different from The Martian? In The Martian, the main character is an astronaut who has prepared for years for a particular mission and to survive in the most dangerous situation. Ryland Grace is just a science teacher, and not physically as prepared as Mark Watney, but his perseverance, ingenuity, and power of deduction are comparable to the astronaut’s. Weir did a great job in hooking the reader to the story, as the first things we know about Grace are precisely the same as he does: nothing. Grace wakes up in a spaceship god knows where, and with partial memory loss. He doesn’t know who he is and how he got there.

His mission and past life are slowly revealed backward through flashbacks creating a double storyline with double the interest. There’s a lot of intrigue built up in both storylines, making this book a page-turner.

There is also alien life in the book. First contact is a subject that fascinates me, but I’m often disappointed by its execution. Somehow, aliens seldom live up to expectations after a long buildup. I was afraid of this when reading Project Hail Mary. The story was really engaging, and I didn’t want it to be spoiled by a disappointing first contact. I wasn’t. The alien Grace meets was one of the most endearing in the history of literature. I loved how they tried to find out about each other, and how they tried to work together despite their biological incompatibilities. It was a wonderful tale of hope, overcoming, respect, and awe.

Ray Porter’s narration worked perfectly for these characters and the setting. The sound effects for Rocky were spot on, and it made his discourse even more endearing. There were other characters in Grace’s flashbacks, and Porter did a great job with the characters’ different voices and accents, but my favorite were Grace and Rocky. His character interpretations were so powerful that it was like being with them in the Hail Mary, fighting for their own survival and their species’.

Story (Plot)
Overall: five-stars