About Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
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, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.
Or does he?
An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, 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.
Review of Project Hail Mary
A high school science teacher on a mission to save the world. The sun is cooling. Fast. Earth will die if Ryland Grace can’t find a solution.
In a star system, light-years away, there is a similar problem, but that world is not dying. Why? And can Ryland figure it out fast enough to tell Earth how to fix their problem? The scientific mystery proves to be Grace’s greatest challenge. Well, second greatest. The first challenge is figuring out how he ended up in a spaceship, light-years from home with no memory of who he is, how he got there and why he got there. That is a pretty major handicap for tackling the science problem….which he doesn’t remember.
(Note: the rest of this review includes an element some might consider to be a spoiler, but since it was a major part of the story I felt I had to include it. )
You can see that this is going to be a major drama unfolding. Throughout the story, Grace slowly regains his memories, revealing the problem, the proposed solution and why Grace is there. It takes 90% if the book to get all that information. In the meantime, Grace begins to work the problem which he approaches with humor, logic and lots of determination. He finds Earth is not the only planet that is in trouble and finds an ally in Rocky. Grace and Rocky solve many problems, including how to communicate between the species and work together even though they need totally different living environments. Both characters are depicted with a sense of humor, heart and perseverance.
There is a lot of science. The author tries to make it relateable. I found some of the scientific descriptions tedious and could not help thinking that the movie would be better (not something I’ve said before.) But all around the science was the drama, the friendship, the heartbreak and the triumph. The hopeful ending may have made my eyes water.
Through NetGalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book so that I could bring you this review.
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