Book Review: “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir

Cover of "Project Hail Mary" by Andy Weir
Cover of “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reading “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir! It’s been a little while since I last reviewed a sci-fi novel, so I thought it was a good time to do so.

Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?”

Plot Development: 5 out of 5 stars

The overall story was well-developed. The author’s use of transitioning between flashbacks and connnecting them to the present/current events of the story was well-executed. I also enjoyed reading the side-plot of Ryland meeting Rocky and working with him to try to find a way to save not just his world, but Rocky’s own as well.

I was pleasantly surprised by the ending – based on how difficult things got for Ryland and Rocky to survive the events of the book, I thought for sure that one of the two would die (if not both). However, both lived—in a way that makes it satisfying, and not just because either have plot armor. Both get very close calls at different points in the book, so them figuring out how to survive makes the story even more satisfying.

Worldbuilding Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I don’t read a lot of sci-fi (at least not currently at the time of writing this post). However, I found the worldbuilding of this book fairly easy to understand. The writing style of the book helped with laying out most of the concepts and terms discussed in an easy way for me. This helped me understand at least the gist of the book’s world, even though I might not understand everything.

When aliens were introduced a little later into the book, it didn’t feel jarring or out of place. Perhaps it’s because it’s a sci-fi novel, but the way the author integrated Rocky and his species was clever.

Character Development: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I loved reading Ryland Grace. He has to be one of my favourite protagonists in a long time. It’s easy to sympathize with his situation, even when he hasn’t recovered most of his memories about why he’s on a space mission as is. Watching him stumble through recovering his memories, trying to figure out how to survive, and complete what his mission is was fun to read.

Rocky was also another fun character to read. The reader can barely understand him (and same with Ryland, who struggles at first with a language barrier he and Rocky have). Despite this, he was endearing to read the whole time.

Even though most of the other characters only appear in flashbacks, I felt that I had an overall good grasp of what they’re like as people. This is helped by how Ryland recounts remembering them. He also gives his own opinions on what those other people are like. This helps show the reader what impressions the other characters put on Ryland.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

If you want to read a book about space survival, this might just be the book for you!

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