A review by stormywolf
Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir

adventurous hopeful informative lighthearted 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? Yes


 Audiobook Read by Ray Porter
Unabridged Length: 16.2 Hours
Listened at 2x Speed

Audible sure does know how to do a great production. Even though there was only one narrator, the chord-based alien was still allotted, not only music tones for untranslated speech (and I assume completely original ones at that), but also auto-tune-sounding English speech. At least some form of post-production editing was done to Rocky's voice, which made the recording that much more unique. I always say how much adding music makes audiobooks that much more special, and considering a character completely revolves around it, you can bet it really made a difference. Thanks! 

Mr. Porter was a delight unto himself. So many accents and inflections, I was surprised how many characters he made sound completely distinct from one another. Enough, so, that I would easily recognize them after chapters of absence. Some of the accents/voices did speed up a bit, making my 2x playback speed more difficult to maintain at times, but it was mostly fine to follow along with. And I absolutely loved how much character he gave Ryland, in even just a well-placed sigh now and then, he was that much more real—definitely a stand-out in first-person narration.

There was one part early on where I assume some math got recalculated and corrected in the ebook, because it was WAY off the audio. But other than that, the two were a lot closer than many of the audiobooks I've experienced recently. The Chinese and Russian writing that appears in the book was presented as just that—"something written in ______"—and the music notes in the text were actual tones in the audiobook, which, as I mentioned before, was a pleasant and welcome surprise.

Overall, a great performance and production on all counts. I think the only way to improve it would be to make it a full-blown audio-play with a larger cast and sound effects, but as audiobooks go there's not much I could ask for. Definitely a great experience for audiobook regulars or newbies alike, and I'd especially recommend it to anyone who might not be comfortable with the technobabble and science terminology that gets passed around at various points. Heck, just getting to hear Rocky is enough reason in itself to give the audio a try, so what are you waiting for? 

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