PLOT: 5/5 CHARACTERS: 5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 5/5 SCIENCE: 5/5 OVERALL: 5/5
“Human beings have a remarkable ability to accept the abnormal and make it normal.”– Andy Weir, Project Hail Mary
Sci-fi as a genre is not read much by the masses due to its seemingly difficult technical language that many would find going over their head. But what if, despite the scientific jargon, I say that you will love Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary for the sheer brilliance of the writing and because of its unforgettable main characters?
Ryland Grace is one of the coolest middle-school science teachers ever born, but one day he wakes up to find himself on a spaceship, with the feeling that he has woken up from a deep deep sleep. He doesn’t know why he is there, and most importantly, he cannot remember his name and what he is supposed to do there, yet he finds himself well-fed and physically fine.
In the form of recollections, he gets these vague random memories and has to piece them together one by one to solve the mystery of finding his purpose on a totally different star system that is many many light years away from Earth.
Finding the corpses of two of his crewmates doesn’t do him much good, and he figures that everything that has to be done, has to be done all alone, until an unexpected ally turns up in the form of Rocky and together, they combine science and engineering to make it the biggest outer space mission ever encountered by humanity.
Will he remember his purpose on the spaceship?
Will he and Rocky be successful in saving their planet?
“Knock-knock-knock– Andy Weir, Project Hail Mary
No, that’s not creepy at all. Being in a spaceship twelve light-years from home and having someone knock on the door is totally normal.”
MY THOUGHTS –
OH, WHAT A BOOK!! First off, hats off to Andy Weir – this book was phenomenal.
Despite being a doctor with a great interest in sci-fi, there were so many areas in the book that went way beyond my head.
But did it deter or hamper my reading in any way?
Did it make me stop and say what the heck?
NO, NOT AT ALL!! Mainly due to our protagonist, Ryland Grace, a delightful and extremely funny guy whose attitude of never giving up solves the problem at hand. Despite the grievous and confusing circumstances, he is always fascinated by what he finds, and that topped up by his eternal good faith, is what pulls you while reading the book.
“Once again I’m struck by melancholy. I want to spend the rest of my life studying Eridian biology! But I have to save humanity first. Stupid humanity. Getting in the way of my hobbies.”– Andy Weir, Project Hail Mary
This book has been written very smartly. It does get complex, but it’s mixed with great humour, which is sometimes even dark.
The research for every bit has been so well done that at no point one will feel there is a loose end, while all of it combines quite wonderfully together.
At various stages in the book, there are moments where you are like Oh shit!! What now!! What will happen? but our leading hero Ryland and his supporting actor Rocky steer the ship while stabilizing a big fight, and managing a minor calamity and the process keeps repeating…a perfect rollercoaster one can say.
Project Hail Mary has been formatted in a way that Ryland himself is narrating his daily escapades along with the past glimpses, mainly his memories, which amalgamates quite well with the current story situation, making reading so much more engaging.
Rocky as a character is perfect. I am not getting into the details about his existence to avoid spoilers but trust me he and his unique one-liners aren’t to be missed. The least I say about the story the better, as it is a story that needs to be read and cheered for, for you will find that the end is just fitting!
I am not usually a fan of big books, this one being 450+ pages, but still, it’s one of my favourites and it will forever be an inseparable part of my library for me and my daughter to revisit later in life.
Project Hail Mary has been so successful worldwide that it will now be adapted as a movie featuring none other than Ryan Gosling as Ryland Grace and Emma Stone as Rocky, and is to be released in 2024. If that doesn’t convince you enough, then you also have 3.85 lakhs of readers on Goodreads telling you that the book is a sure 4.5-star read.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on this one now!