Reviews

Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir

kachu's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted fast-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? No

4.5

gentryatkinson's review against another edition

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5.0

Absolute solid 5 star book. I don’t even know where to begin! I laughed, I cried, I shouted. The author did a great job of explaining all the intricacies of math, science, and astronomy without dumbing it down.

chenisejones's review

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adventurous funny hopeful 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

4.0

rel0503's review

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

3.0

attyintx's review

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5.0

Well written space adventure. The ending pushed it to 5 stars for me. Cried at the ending, so perfectly heartfelt and wonderful.

caithall99's review

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

5.0

elise_reads_books's review against another edition

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

5.0


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caarlaelise's review

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adventurous challenging emotional funny inspiring tense fast-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

4.75

cathman's review

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5.0

"I remembered a lot over the past couple of days. Looks like Project Hail Mary was a success, because here I am, in another star system. Tau Ceti, I assume. It makes sense that I'd mistake it for the sun. Tau Ceti is very similar to the sun as stars go. Same spectral type, color, and so on.
And I know why I'm here! Not just in vague terms like "Oh hey, the world's ending. Make that not happen." But very specifically: Find out why Tau Ceti wasn't affected by Astrophage."


Life on Earth is in big trouble. Scientists at an observatory in St. Petersburg discovered a line emitting infrared light at a specific wavelength, leading from the sun towards Venus. Why these particles were moving to Venus, and why they were glowing, seemed a curiosity at first. But then it was discovered that the sun's output is decreasing - slowly now, but the rate is increasing. The energy produced by the sun will be down 5% in 20 years. That's devastating. Ice age. Crop failures. The end of the world. The nature of that line, known as the Petrova line, is now of vital importance. A probe sent to Venus recovers samples and humans discover - life. Microscopic, extraterrestrial life. We need to know more about it and how to stop it.

Which is where Ryland Grace comes in. Now a junior high school science teacher, he has a doctorate in molecular biology. Before leaving academia, he wrote a paper combatting the assumption that all life requires liquid water. It didn't win him many fans among his fellow scientists. But it did stick his name in enough people's minds that Eva Stratt from the Petrova Taskforce came calling, recruiting Grace to study the sample from Mars. He doesn't think he's the right person for the job. But when Stratt wants something, it's not optional. So Ryland Grace studies the lifeform. They received the name Astrophage, as they're consuming the sun's energy. They emit IR light when they move; they can convert heat energy to mass and emit that light to propel themselves. This propulsion contains enough energy that quantities of Astrophage can be used for interstellar travel. And that means there may be a chance for humanity. Data shows that the same thing is occurring with other stars, Petrova line and all, showing that Astrophage can spread from one solar system to another. Tau Ceti, a star about 12 light years away, isn't experiencing the same dimming, even though it's close enough to other star systems that it seems that it should be infected. That's how Project Hail Mary came about - a spaceship powered by Astrophage, on a one-way interstellar flight to Tau Ceti to discover how it is resilient to Astrophage. Data will be sent back to Earth, but the crew won't.

Ryland Grace, however, currently knows none of this. He awoke in a hospital like setting with no memory - not his name, profession, how he wound up here. There are two other people in the room with him, but they're no help on the memory front, seeing as they've clearly been dead for quite a while. Grace's observations of his environment are enough to tell him he's not on Earth. Memories return bit by bit. At least by the time he arrives at the Tau Ceti system, Grace remembers enough to start the necessary research to hopefully save Earth. Oh, and it looks like another ship got there first.

Y'all. I loved this. The storyline switches between Ryland Grace's present aboard the Hail Mary, and his past, as his memories return, starting with the day he first heard about the Petrova line from an astronomy listserv. This allows us to learn more about Astrophage as he did. The enthusiasm for science and discovery is strong throughout. There's acknowledgment that a lot of the actions taken to deal with the Astrophage issue will definitely have bad long-term effects, but if they don't take those actions, there won't be a long-term. I love the friendship that Grace forms. And what a great ending. It's been a while since I've read The Martian, but I think Project Hail Mary is my favorite book from Andy Weir thus far. I laughed, I cried.

Along with those who've enjoyed Weir's other works, I could see this being a good read for those who enjoyed Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (one of the stories in this collection was adapted into the movie Arrival).

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the eARC. Project Hail Mary will be published tomorrow, May 4th.

sdeleiris's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated

3.75