Andy Weir is also a master at throwing us the most astounding hold-your-breath curveballs, enough to make us physically heave a sigh of relief after it is all over.
Andy Weir’s latest novel describes a mysterious cosmic adventure that is made stellar with a peculiar alliance.
By Udeshi Seneviratne, Illustrator
Andy Weir, the author who brought us The Martian, takes us on another interstellar journey with Project Hail Mary. Much like the previous hit novel, the story intimately follows the untimely adventures of an astronaut, who maneuvers space travel by solving problems as they come. This time around though, he is not alone!
We discover early on that the astronaut, Ryland Grace, upon waking up finds himself as the only one of his crewmates to survive the space journey. He must then grapple with his spotty memory to recollect how he got here and what his responsibilities are on this ship to another galaxy. It is revealed after a few flashbacks that the astronaut is put on a mission to save planet Earth from a curious bright line that drains power from the Sun. If that was not enough to deal with, Grace warily gets introduced to an actual alien lifeform!
As a person with absolutely zero space science background, it was intriguing to see how Grace manipulates spaceship material and uses various formulas to solve pitfalls as they occur. Weir is also a master at throwing us the most astounding hold-your-breath curveballs, enough to make us physically heave a sigh of relief after it is all over.
Aside from the hysterical wit and meticulous conundrums that are familiar aspects in his books, Weir enchants readers with a warm companionship between two small beings who, by chance, encounter each other in outer space. While true friendship was the last thing I expected when I picked up this novel, it has become an element I will try to look for in all future space-related science fiction writing.
Project Hail Mary reads a lot like a compelling mystery novel. Why is Ryland Grace on the spaceship? Where is he going? What happened to his crew? And how will he get back? These questions occupied my mind so often that flipping the page was absolutely necessary.
The novel works as a satisfying puzzle as things slowly fall into place. If you are a person that enjoys page-turning mystery, problem-solving experiences, and outer space settings, you will likely enjoy this book that has all of those things and more combined.