A review by leona
Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir

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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