Andy Weir, the author of “The Martian” has a new book out, so of course, we have to talk about it! I am so excited to be talking about Andy Weir’s new science fiction novel, “Project Hail Mary”
I am going to tell you why YOU should read this fiction as well. So, let’s dig out the Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir review.
Ryland- The main character
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is told from the perspective of Ryland – a man who wakes up in a spaceship without any recollection of who he is or how he got there. Trouble is, he’s on the last chance mission to save humanity and the rest of the crew are dead. The stakes are extremely high, the main character is alone, tasked with canceling the apocalypse. But he can’t even remember his own name. Thankfully, his memories are slowly coming back, and he finds some much-needed help where he didn’t expect it.
I had so much fun reading this, and I think fans of “The Martian” will not be disappointed. If you’re looking for an outer space adventure, a story of survival and hope, filled with science and humor, ‘Project Hail Mary’ is the book for you.
The story is told in two alternating timelines: one is present day, with Ryland trying to figure out what’s going on and what to do about his situation, and the other is a string of flashbacks leading up to his mission.
Now, flashbacks can be a tricky thing in books – they can feel like disjointed scenes that just throw additional pieces of information at the reader. However, I think in this novel they are used really well. Combined with the main character’s amnesia, they not only fill us in on what led up to this situation, but also provide some much-needed insight into what Ryland is like as a person, and eventually, that develops into a character arc.
Plus, there are some fun secondary characters in those flashbacks as well. And, while we are on the topic of Ryland, I have to say: he feels a lot like Mark Watney from “The Martian” minus the swearing. It’s not just the similar setup with the whole
Andy Weir has a very distinct sense of humor when he writes his character, and there’s a lot of ironies there, so when I was reading the book I kept hearing Matt Damon’s voice in my head because I’ve seen the movie adaptation of “The Martian” so many times.
Film adaption of Project Hail Mary
This is going to get particularly interesting when we see the film adaption for “Project Hail Mary”. And yes, they are already in the early stages of making this movie happen. Apparently, the actor attached to this adaptation as the lead is Ryan Gosling, who is of course no stranger to the spacesuit, and also can absolutely pull off comedy very well.
And, we have Drew Goddard writing the screenplay which is exciting not only because of his impressive screenwriting credits in general but specifically because he is the one who wrote the screenplay for “The Martian”. I really hope this movie gets made soon. If they do it right, it’s going to be so much fun, and there’s a specific element of this novel that I am VERY interested in seeing visualized on screen. This brings me to my next point: I want to talk about something that could be considered a mild spoiler.
Appearance of alien
So, the thing I’m referring to is Ryland’s unexpected ally – an alien. I am SO happy this ended up being a part of the novel for multiple reasons. First of all, this is just something that is exciting to read about. First contact with an alien, if done right, is a very fascinating sci-fi trope, and Andy Weir absolutely does it right.
Second, I love that the author went for something completely different from the traditional idea of what an alien might be like. There is so much detail and explanations involved here. This was easily the best part of the novel for me. It was just so interesting to read about all of that and to see how it eventually plays into the rest of the story.
And third, the interactions between the two are priceless. The way they study each other and try to figure out a way to communicate – it is all so, so interesting, but also hilarious.
Now, when it comes to the negatives, the main thing that I want to bring up is that I can see some readers having a hard time with science. Personally, I really enjoy reading the scientific descriptions – they make the world more real for me. But I remember seeing this complaint about “The Martian” in the past, that the novel had too much science in it.
Well, this novel has MORE science in it than “The Martian”, but it is presented the same way. It is explained to the readers in a way that everybody should be able to understand. I am not a scientist, but I never felt lost or confused by any of this. I actually thought this was really interesting, and it led me to look some things up and learn something new.
Plus, this is sci-fi. I think explaining the science adds a level of realism to it. The guy is in space, trying to save humanity. Yes, he is going to be someone who will access his scientific knowledge and skills pretty often to solve problems that come up. But, if this is something you struggled with while reading “The Martian”, you’re going to have the same issue here. And I will admit, sometimes these science-filled sections were really close to each other – not all the time, but on a few occasions. And, because they’re essentially a stream of information and problem solving, I did on a few occasions feel like I wanted to get to the actual story a little bit faster.
My other negative is a small nitpick, and allow me to take a second to complain about something. Most readers probably won’t care about it, but the “crazy Russians”, stereotypes need to stop. I will say, these parts are brief and not as silly as they could have been (and usually are). I’m just tired of the stereotypes. It’s not a huge deal in this book, but as an Eastern European, every time I see these things I just get more and more tired of them. But, as I mentioned, it’s a minor, minor complaint.
Time to wrap it
So, to wrap this up I want to say that I really, really enjoyed the novel. It is something that I wanted to keep reading, I wanted to know what happens next, and I did not want to put it down. This is definitely a treat for sci-fi fans who are looking for something fun and fast-paced but also still rooted in science. I had so much fun reading it, and I’m going to be giving “Project Hail Mary” a very well-deserved 8 out of 10. Obviously, I highly recommend you read it as well.