Project Hail Mary: Book summary and reviews of Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary

by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir X
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
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Book Summary

A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling 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, 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] page-turning interstellar thrill ride...Readers may find themselves consuming this emotionally intense and thematically profound novel in one stay-up-all-night-until-your-eyes-bleed sitting. An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship—nothing short of a science-fiction masterwork." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Bestseller Weir delivers a suspenseful portrait of human ingenuity and resilience in this powerful narrative of a desperate effort to save Earth...This is a winner." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Weir returns with gusto...his writing flows naturally, and his characters and dialogue crackle with energy. With this novel, he takes his place as a genuine star in the mainstream SF world." - Booklist (starred review)

"Two worlds in peril, a competent (but flawed and human) man, a competent alien, unending scientific puzzles to unravel, with humanity itself at risk, this one has everything fans of old school SF (like me) love. If you like a lot of science in your science fiction, Andy Weir is the writer for you." - George R. R. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of A Game of Thrones

"Reading Project Hail Mary is like going on a field trip to outer space with the best science teacher you've ever had—and your class assignment is to save the world. This is one of the most original, compelling, and fun voyages I've ever taken." - Ernest Cline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ready Player One

"Thrilling doesn't even begin to describe Project Hail Mary, which is undisputedly the best book I've read in a very, very long time. Chock-full of the mind-blowing science in death-defying situations that made Weir a star with The Martian, this tour de force even transcends that work as it becomes a profoundly moving celebration of friendship and sacrifice. I cheered, I laughed (a lot), I cried, and when the twist arrived and the book revealed its true target, my jaw hit the floor. Mark my words: Project Hail Mary is destined to become a classic." - Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Recursion and Dark Matter

This information about Project Hail Mary shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Cloggie Downunder

Brilliantly funny, clever and original sci-fi.
“Am I barreling toward the sun, or away from it? It’s almost academic. I’m either on a collision course with the sun or on my way out to deep space with no hope of returning. Or, I might be headed in the sun’s general direction, but not on a collision course. If that’s the case, I’ll miss the sun … and then fly off into deep space with no hope of returning.”

Project Hail Mary is the third novel by American author and self-confessed space nerd, Andy Weir. When he first emerges from the coma, he has no idea where he is, or how or why. It seems to be a spaceship, he’s the sole survivor of a crew of three, and the onboard computer is insisting he proffers his name before allowing access to certain areas, but he can’t remember that either.

“This is like being in a video game. Explore the area until you find a locked door, then look for the key. But instead of searching bookshelves and garbage cans, I have to search my mind. Because the “key” is my own name.”

His memory is spotty, coming in fits and starts; gradually, the fact that he’s a junior high science teacher reveals itself; he’s Dr. Ryland Grace, formerly a microbiologist who spent his career working up theoretical models for alien life. And he’s a long, long way from San Francisco.

The “what” Grayson remembers fairly quickly: a dire problem facing his home planet, and the importance of his mission is clear, a mission to save mankind. The “how” poses a challenge that his scientific mind relishes. When Grayson recalls the “why” that has placed him on the Hail Mary instead of a highly-trained astronaut, he’s dismayed and angry. What is quickly obvious is that he is facing a suicide mission. All alone.

Except it turns out he’s not.

More is difficult to reveal without spoilers, but Weir has neatly constructed a narrative in which flashbacks/memories slowly reveal the exact how and why, but also just what the ship is equipped with and can do. Weir gives the reader sci-fi that doesn’t get too bogged down with dense sci-facts but is interesting and thought-provoking.

Weir’s protagonist is a delight, smart and resourceful; his ever-inquiring mind and excellent deductive powers see him maintain his optimism that he will complete his vital mission. Ultimately, Grayson surprises himself. He’s also got a great sense of humour, so his inner monologue, asides to the computer and other conversations entertain:

“The computer finishes its boot process and brings up a screen I’ve never seen before. I can tell it means trouble, because the word “TROUBLE” is in large type across the top.”

This is a tale with an action plot, twists and surprises, featuring a planet Earth where greenhouse gases are welcome and the Sahara is covered in foil. There are philosophical discussions on behaviour and intelligence, lots of space walks, vodka, beetles and five-legged spiders, laugh-out-loud moments and the odd lump in the throat. Brilliantly funny, clever and original sci-fi.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Random House UK Cornerstone

Victoria

I give this all the stars!
A million thanks to Random House/Ballantine and Netgalley for providing the ARC of Andy Weir’s new novel! For fans of The Martian, Andy Weir seems to be back (after his previous Artemis which I was so disappointed with I didn’t finish). Remember “science the shit out of this” from The Martian? That describes this book to a tee. A fascinating science/adventure/survival tale with SO much heart! Highly recommended for everyone.

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Author Information

Andy Weir Author Biography

Photo: Andy Weir

Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.

Author Interview
Link to Andy Weir's Website

Other books by Andy Weir at BookBrowse
  • The Martian jacket
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