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
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    May 2021, 496 pages

    Paperback:
    Oct 4, 2022, 496 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

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.

Chapter 1

"What's two plus two?"

Something about the question irritates me. I'm tired. I drift back to sleep.

A few minutes pass, then I hear it again.

"What's two plus two?"

The soft, feminine voice lacks emotion and the pronunciation is identical to the previous time she said it. It's a computer. A computer is hassling me. I'm even more irritated now.

"Lrmln," I say. I'm surprised. I meant to say "Leave me alone"—a completely reasonable response in my opinion—­but I failed to speak.

"Incorrect," says the computer. "What's two plus two?"

Time for an experiment. I'll try to say hello.

"Hlllch?" I say.

"Incorrect. What's two plus two?"

What's going on? I want to find out, but I don't have much to work with. I can't see. I can't hear anything other than the computer. I can't even feel. No, that's not true. I feel something. I'm lying down. I'm on something soft. A bed.

I think my eyes are closed. That's not so bad. All I have to do is open them. I try, but nothing happens.

Why can'...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

As always with Weir's writing, I'm impressed with his reliance on credible technologies and his ability to explain these complex notions to even scientifically illiterate readers such as myself. I've had serious love for Weir's writing since The Martian, and Project Hail Mary has only added to my high opinion of his work. Those who count themselves among his fans will undoubtedly be delighted with the book, and I unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone who enjoys well-written, creative science fiction...continued

Full Review Members Only (643 words).

(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

Newsweek
Weir spins a space yarn in a way only he can. Fans of his earlier works won’t be disappointed.

New York Times
For readers who can forgive its shortcomings, [Project Hail Mary] is an engaging space odyssey...Grace tends to resolve each setback almost immediately, and his relentless quips read like the output of an algorithm that was fed nothing but Joss Whedon scripts...Weir’s default voice allows for the painless delivery of facts, but it limits the emotions available to our hero.

Washington Post
[T]he book has a propulsive story line and is filled with the cool science and witty banter you expect from Weir...In his latest outing, Weir uses a common SF trope — a protagonist who must discover who he is and what’s going on, and oh, also save humanity. It’s a fun idea, and Weir knows how to ratchet up the excitement, but the novel seems written to be a movie (and in fact is being made into one, starring Ryan Gosling). Perhaps just wait for that?

Booklist (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.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[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.

Library Journal (starred review)
Weir brings back the pace, intelligence, and humor of The Martian and increases it exponentially. Scientific mysteries and survival instincts abound in this compelling and exciting novel.

Publishers Weekly (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.

Author Blurb Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Recursion and Dark Matter
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.

Author Blurb Ernest Cline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ready Player One
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.

Author Blurb George R. R. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
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.

Reader Reviews

Becky H

Great ending
The sun is being eaten by an alien infestation. Mankind will cease to exist in 50 years. So… Project Hail Mary. Send a crew of scientists to a star that has beaten back the infestation and see how they did it. This being a seat of your pants ...   Read More
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 ...   Read More
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 “...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

The Evolution of the U.S. Spacesuit

NASA EMU spacesuitIn Andy Weir's science fiction novel, Project Hail Mary, the main character periodically dons a spacesuit to perform maintenance outside his spacecraft or to keep himself safe when conditions inside it become life-threatening.

Spacesuits are critical to humanity's ability to explore the cosmos. The astronaut must be protected from (and be able to operate in) the vacuum of space as well as its temperature extremes; for example, temperatures on the outside of the International Space Station can vary from 121°C (250°F) on the side facing the sun to -157°C (-250°F) on the dark side. Spacewalks, known as extravehicular activities or EVAs, may last for many hours, so the suits must provide enough air, water and food for the...

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