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Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir

12 reviews

bharxhav's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional funny hopeful inspiring mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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dagoth_ur's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25

Ok, I'm gonna split this review into two parts first part is what I think immediately after reading the book, the second part will be a little more thought through, im not really well versed in sci-fi (hoping to change that soon) so I don't have much to compare it to. This review is also just gonna be a bunch of bullet points because im bad at writing.
FIRST PART
  • I enjoyed this book!
  •  The science stuff was easy to understand (for the most part) 
  • I loved rocky so much.
  •  I didn't really like the main dude that much up until
    Spoiler he decided to send the beetles and save Rocky
     
  • sometimes the story felt plot convenient.
SECOND PART
Not much different from my first thoughts, I read some other reviews and watch some reviews I noticed a few more things,
  • pretty similar to the martin
  • I liked this more than the martin (right now the Martin is at a five on my page, im prolly gonna change that to 3.75)
  • Ryland grace is kinda a gray sue, I think that was what I didn't really like about him at first I thought it was just because I thought he was annoying but some other reviews made me realize the word of it.
  • I REALLY wanted to see more Stratt, I liked her sometimes she felt like a stereotypical scientist character but I tend to like those types of characters.
  • I love rocky, really words cannot put how much I loved him
  • I wish Ryland's sadness about his cremates death was more dwelt upon, but I guess he didn't actually spend that much time with them but id be brawling like a baby.
  • Im really glad Rsyland and Stratt weren't a thing thank dear God that would have been weird
  • The ending felt rushed.
  • I liked the pace.

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mamaquiereleer's review against another edition

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adventurous funny hopeful slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5


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leona's review against another edition

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adventurous funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

For some reason I don't really know what to say about this book. I've realised that a lot of people get into reading slumps when they read 'meh' books for too long without any 'wow' books, but for me I think I'm the opposite. This doesn't really have anything to do with my opinions on this book, I just think that maybe I could have gone all the way and given this 5 stars, and maybe rated The Midnight Library higher if I still wasn't trying to recover from Six of Crows - now that book nearly put me in a slump, despite my love for it. 

Anyway, after that little tangent: on to the review! (Also there will probably be a few minor spoilers so... yep.)
Project Hail Mary is definitely a great book, and also a bit out of my comfort zone. I haven't read a great deal of sci-fi other than some YA series and dystopia (if you consider that sci-fi). I also usually prefer the robot and AI side of sci-fi than the alien and space travel side (maybe robots seem more believable to me). This is also one of the most 'science-y' sci-fi books I've read. And I think this is where Weir succeeds so well with this book; he makes sci-fi extremely approachable, even if you know very little science. There were parts where the plot was slow, there were parts where I got a bit bored. But Weir's prose is so digestable, quite chatty / informal in a way, and pretty modern. This makes the more scientific parts land much more successfully, and I would be pretty happy recommending this to most people. 

I haven't read the Martian, so I can't offer any thoughts on how this compares, but from what I've heard, Grace swears considerably less (considering he's a teacher this is probably fitting) and apparently he is very similar to the protagonist of the Martian. I think Grace was a pretty likeable character
Spoiler and Rocky was also very likeable
and I enjoyed seeing his mind work and his memories leading up to the mission. I definitely enjoyed the characters but again, I think I would have liked them even more if not for the excellence of Six of Crows. (I'm sorry, I know, you've had enough of the hype, especially on random book reviews). 

My few criticisms were firstly, I kind of wanted their to be a bit more time spent between
Spoiler Grace and Rocky learning each others language
and I would also have liked some more insight into Grace's Earth relationships. I didn't really like the ending particularly, but I appreciate Weir for doing something that I didn't expect and not doing the obvious. 

I also really enjoyed
Spoiler the realisation that Grace had actually been basically drugged and forced onto the ship. This was completely unexpected to me. I understand Stratt's reasoning to sacrifice three lives for billions, but firstly I thought Grace would choose to go himself, and I also thought that him and Stratt would end up in some sort of relationship or something. I don't know. This is where Grace really grows as a character, he starts his journey a coward, and ends by sacrificing his life for the only thing he actually cares about: his best friend Rocky.


Overall, I think this book was a pretty brilliant, and I definitely recommend it. It achieved it's intention very well in my opinion and my final rating is 4.5 stars. 

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samara's review against another edition

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keepsleep's review against another edition

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adventurous reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0


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annapox's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0


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morganish's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

In case you've been living under a rock, Project Hail Mary is the latest scifi story by Andy Weir. It features his trademark action-survival plots, where the protagonist puzzles out solutions using hard-science-y, jargon-heavy deductive reasoning. 

I haven't actually read his other books, but having seen The Martian film and then having read this, it's about what I expected the book version of his stories to be. Which isn't a bad thing! It's rare that I read something so inline with the expectations set by marketing, at least in terms of tone, plot tension, and delivery. The storytelling is fast-paced and tension remains high for a large part of the book. Andy Weir is like brain candy for people with especially technical brains (or people who think they have especially technical brains). There are a lot of references and viewpoints about the role of science and the nature of life that weave in here and there, but I can't confidently say there's a core overarching theme that the book is laying out. Treat this book like a good time, don't expect much more, and you'll probably be satisfied. 

In terms of the plot, lots of people are comparing it to The Martian, saying that it's the same plot, essentially. I'd say the main story problem and the solution methods are the same (survive/solve logistical problems using hard-science deduction and knowledge), but the plot is very different. And while I can't say much without giving away plot points, I'd say this one has a surprisingly emotional element that I don't remember from The Martian. 

I'm not personally fond of the writing style, but it's straightforward and similar to a lot of pop fiction that becomes really mainstream. A weird and kinda laughable reliance on the sanitized, "acceptable" versions of swear word replacements stood out a bit. Also, there are elements of the American MC working with an international team, but while the technical details are largely in-depth, the depictions of other characters or the intricacies of communicating across cultures doesn't get the same treatment. This probably makes it much more consumable for mainstream American audiences, but was a little disappointing as someone who geeks out over stories that lean into the differences and complexities of other cultures, both real and fantastical. 

The only other thing I'd note is that there are some times and ways the MC have of speaking that are... very cis straight white guy, for lack of a better explanation. So while there aren't a lot of moments that are clear missteps, subtle things like the way he thinks about success and failure, about sacrifice and heroism, about the likelihood of cooperation versus brute force, were noticeable at least to me. It's not the most problematic thing, but something I'm always sensitive to, so thought I'd mention it in case that's a big turn off for anyone else, or just something a reader would rather be prepared for going in. 

Overall, I got a lot more emotionally invested in it than I expected, even if there were some times I wished it was a little bit shorter or the technical explanations were condensed. I'd recommend this for anyone who likes mainstream, plot-heavy, fast-paced fiction and isn't overwhelmingly daunted by science jargon or long-form analysis (think about it like the scifi version of reading a Sherlock Holmes book, in a way). However if your brain absolutely shuts down at jargon, this might be something to take a pass on. Or if you like plot-heavy stuff that gets to the point quickly, you might want to read the first few pages before buying, to see if the opening grips you. 

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silver_valkyrie_reads's review against another edition

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adventurous funny informative mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

I agree with other reviewers that it's best to go into this book knowing as little as possible about the story, so this review will mostly be about my reactions, in general terms:

I loved this story! I also loved The Martian and Artemis, so if there was any doubt, Andy Weir is definitely one of my favorite authors of all time. For those who didn't love both his previous books, I'd say this one is a bit closer to The Martian than to Artemis. 

One of my pet peeves (I was going to say 'in books', but really also in real life...) is stupid people doing stupid things, so I really enjoy how Andy Weir's books are about intelligent people solving problems through science and logic.

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rinike's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0


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