AH MAN, this review has taken me so long to write! Honestly this has been my favourite book of the year and I think about it a lot since I read it! I am actually listening to the audio of it now, through Audible and I’m enjoying it just as much from listening although I am glad I’ve already read it so I know a little of the science.
If anything pulls Weir’s books back for readers, I guarantee it will be the science, even though Weir makes it incredibly accessible it does tend to make some brains switch off if they can’t follow it word for word. I have found with a lot of my fellows, that if something complex is in the narrative they either gloss over it or they put the book down and that includes science talk. I’m in the former category … I read it, my brain knows it doesn’t really have the base knowledge to get to grips with this and it moves on. I don’t let it impact my enjoyment of the story – in fact, it’s better because I don’t have to overthink anything now – my reading brain basically treats the author as some all powerful and all knowing creature and believes everything it is told by them, ha!
Anyway, back to Project Hail Mary … this book contains what is possibly my favourite character arc ever in Ryland Grace. My stomach did flip-flops, I couldn’t decide if he was good or bad and I dreaded the end of the book. Turns out, Ryland Grace is a human and Weir captures that perfectly in his narrative style. Grace is a teacher on Earth because he is considered a bit of a joke after writing a paper on the creation of life, he teaches kids and in all honesty, he has a bit of an immature streak in his sarcastic and dry humour, but that only serves to make him more accessible to the reader. In space, Grace is a survivor and an adventurer, his true nerd-self comes out and it is hilarious to read. I really enjoyed him as a protagonist and narrator.
As a huge fan of The Martian and Artemis I was anxious about where Weir would take us next, throughout the narrative you question why Grace is on this ship in space? why is he the only survivor? what is he doing? But to unravel the story, Weir interweaves a past narrative and as everything becomes unravelled you get the sense of oooooooh! You really can’t beat that dawning realisation as everything falls into place which is why it’s staying top of my 2021 books for a while! Project Hail Mary gave me a serious book hangover but I loved it! And even though it is one man stuck in space I can promise you it is nothing like The Martian!
Audio Lovers! As well as recommending the physical book I’d highly rate the audio! I’m about halfway through and loving it, the narrator is perfect!
I know my review is sparse but I really don’t want to spoil any part of Project Hail Mary for anyone! Please reach out to me on any platform (I check instagram most regularly) to discuss in more detail!