Author : Andy Weir
Title : Project Hail Mary
Pages : 478
Publisher : Del Rey
Publication day : May 4, 2021
| 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, 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?
| MY THOUGHTS |
Something a little different today.
Years ago, I watched this wee film called ‘The Martian‘. I really enjoyed it and left it at that. But last year, I decided to read the book. Yes, I know, doing things backwards. Believe me, I didn’t like it either. Shudder. Anyway, I thought the book was even better. Suddenly I found myself getting rather excited about Andy Weir’s next book. A feeling that most definitely increased the minute I read the book description. (I realise there’s another one in between but I haven’t read it so there’s that.)
Ryland Grace wakes up in a spaceship, a million miles from home, with no clue as to how he got there or what he’s supposed to be doing. He can’t even remember his own name. All he knows is that his two crew mates are dead and he’s hurtling through space all on his own. In fact, Ryland is on a mission to save Earth from extinction, as some alien life-form seems to have developed an appetite for the sun. It is a race against time and Ryland needs to use all of his knowledge to solve this scientific mystery. If only he could remember.
As Ryland recovers his memories and we are treated to flashbacks, the story of how he found himself on this mission starts to develop. As the reader, of course you want this information. But up there in space, some incredibly awesome things are happening too and I honestly couldn’t tell you which parts were my favourite to read. But maybe, just maybe, Ryland isn’t entirely alone up there. Eek!
So much about ‘Project Hail Mary‘ is about going above and beyond. This is in effect a suicide mission; no turning back; no way of ever going home. Who would put up their hand for something like this? Who would sacrifice themselves for humanity? In all honesty, I don’t think I could do it. Definitely makes you think. And then there’s the topic of friendship. This one becomes more important as the story goes on but I don’t want to say too much about it.
Obviously, there is a lot of scientific to-do in this story and I must admit that about ninety percent of it goes right over my head. Back in school, I most likely would have fallen asleep. Not so here. Even when I got incredibly confused over numbers, which way was up or down, and whatnot, the story never lost me. Ryland is a fabulous character. The more you get to know about his background, the more you start to root for him to succeed on this mission. On top of that, there is this absolutely delightful sense of humour running throughout ‘Project Hail Mary‘, and quite a few other things (avoiding spoilers here) that caused me to be utterly invested in this story. So much so, that there were moments where I found myself getting quite emotional. Who knew a science-fiction novel would leave me with a lump in my throat?!
Thoroughly enjoyed this one. It’s just so incredibly entertaining and like ‘The Martian‘, it would make an excellent film. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for Andy Weir’s next book.
20 Books of Summer : 19/20