A review by leighwilliams
Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir

adventurous challenging funny informative fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


I was aprehensive at first, the writing style was awkward but it improves as Rylands mental state improves. Sci-Fi is not suppose to make me cry, and I definitely didnt expect Andy Weir to be able to make me cry. Rocky is obviously the best character. Stratt can go die in fiery pit. 
Thoughts while reading: 
  • he doesnt rememeber anything at all, yet he has strong opinions on colloquisism right from the start?
  • Weirs writing seems to be regressing with every book he writes, what started as a non-chalant, more natural style has progressed into cringy and juvenile, once you take away the science jargon from the work, whats left reads like it was writed by a 13yr old for a creative writing assignment, which is such a shame because the ideas of this book are brilliant
Around the 70 pages mark the writing improves a lot and stops sounding like it was written by a child, maybe Weir wrote the beginning like that on purpose to reflect Rylands confused state of mind, but it honestly made me seriously consider dnfing the book (glad I didn't) 
  • Just because hes a teacher doesnt mean he wouldnt swear
  • He calls the astrophages an invasive species, when theres no indication at that point that they are, he and everyone else has no idea where they came from, if they evolved on the sun or venus or any other planet in the solar system they wouldnt be invasive, the solar system would be their native habitat
  • Weir has clearly done a lot of research for this book but it seems he skipped over some very basic biology
  • Astrophages are single-celled so they cant be warm bloodied, you could describe them as Homeothermic, but no single-celled organism is able to do thermoregulation, obviously this is an alien so maybe it could but it still wouldn't be described as warm-blooded
  • People always assumed our first contact with alien life would be little green men in UFOs. We never considered the idea of a simple, unintelligent species” - only hollywood thinks aliens are little green men. No scientist worth any merit does, numerous agenies including NASA have been searching for single celled life on mars for years
  • How the hell is he the only person in the entire world who thinking water isnt essential for life?? Astrobiologist have been saying our concept of life in regards to searching for alien life, is too narrow for years. From the BBC ScienceFocus: “some scientists suspect alien life may have evolved to exploit alternative chemicals like hydrocarbons capable of performing the same roles [as water].”
  • 96.415*C “For anything living on earth it would be deadly” he has a doctorate in biology, yet is unaware of the existence of extremophiles? A thermophile is an organism—a type of extremophile—that thrives at relatively high temperatures, between 41 and 122 °C - Thermophiles are found in various geothermally heated regions of the Earth, such as hot springs like those in Yellowstone National Park and deep sea hydrothermal vents. A 30 second google search shows hes wrong.
  • Theres just no way it can infect humans. Besides its been a couple of days and im not dead.” Again hes a biologist yet has no understanding of incubation periods? Just because it hasnt been around humans before doesnt mean it cant infect/harm us, pathogens evolve constantly. Most of the pandemics and epidemics that happen are the result of diseases that previously were only seen in animals evolving to be able to infect humans - bird flu, swine flu anyone? The Stratt ends up having a better understanding of incubation periods than a man with a doctorate in microbiology
  • Very convenient that his amnesic brain is able to pick precise memories to recall just as theyre needed. Hes able to force himself to remember things, how?
  • It gets a LOT better around the 30% mark, Weir is taking a much deeper drive into speculative science fiction than he did in his previous two books
  • How can come rocky needs the clock pushed up to the wall to be able to hear the ticking but he can hear Roland move his finger in the air?
  • How is rocky able to determine that ryland breathes oxygen, yes he tested the atmosphere but that would have only been 21% oxygen so why would he assume that was the vital element, why doesnt he think humans breath nitrogen?
  • Who is stratt and why was she appointed the head of the project when she has no knowledge of even basic science and is extremely undiplomatic
  • “I dont like little dictators in their little kingdoms” does stratt understand irony?
  • On page 236 ryland complains about there being no way to clean his clothes and he has to soak them in water, but earlier it shown the robot/computer doing the laundry...
  • Why is the microbiologist teaching the physicist how space radiation works?
  • Just because the vast majority of scientists are men doesnt mean you should exclude all women and homosexual men as possible candidates its extremely sexist and homophobic. Stratt says its to stop sexual tension but theres no issue of that in current space missions so why does it matter now. But at least ryland calls her out on it but why include it in the book at all?

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