Project Hail Mary - can science save humanity?

Posted by Lore on Fri, 12/10/2021 - 20:18

I really enjoy the fact that Andy Weir emphasizes Science in his science fiction writing and when he paired that focus with a memorable main character in The Martian it resulted in a compelling story and follow on movie. In his second book, Artemis, he kept the science strong but he lacked that solid main character and the result was just ok. Now he is back with his latest offering, Project Hail Mary, and once again science takes the center stage from the very first page of the book. The main character starts an un-named individual that has been woken by a computer who is asking him simple questions, yet he is unable to answer them. He is just too weak, and his throat is too dry, for him to utter anything intelligible but the real question is why? and where is he? He's in a small room, that he has no memory of entering, and there appear to be two corpses in the room with him. It's time for some science!

Because the joy of this story is in discovering the facts along with the main character I don't really want to spoil that by revealing too many details of the plot. Suffice it to say that the main character is steeped in scientific know-how, even if he doesn't know his own name, and he instantly gets to work on solving the mystery of his circumstances. That process starts slowly but it eventually unravels into a story that is much larger in scope than The Martian and in my opinion, just as good. The double mystery of figuring out his present circumstances while also needing to recover his missing memories allows the story to be told in a unique way that isn't too predictable. Even though this is heavy on the science it also adds a good does of fiction that makes it all the better and I highly recommend it to any fan of The Martian.

The audiobook version is read by Ray Porter and he does a great job of it. I think listening is a solid option here because Ray's performance adds a lot this method of story telling.