Project Hail Mary

Project Hail Mary

By: Andy Weir
Published: 2021
# of pages: 481
Quote: “I feel like Sherlock Holmes. All I saw was ‘nothing,’ and I drew a bunch of conclusions!”

Goodreads description:

A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster.

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 crew mates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Review:

I shouldn’t have even picked this book to review because it’s hard to describe how much I enjoyed the story and characters! Was it the most amazingly well written book? No. Was it super realistic (in spite of the detailed scientific descriptions)? No. Usually these things will annoy me or hold me back from fully enjoying a book, but in this case it didn’t. It was a refreshing read and I must not be the only person who loved it based on its Goodreads rating of 4.57 stars.

If you’ve read (or watched the movie) The Martian, you’re familiar with the author, Andy Weir. He also wrote Artemis a few years ago, but I didn’t think that story was as good as his first and third novels. Similar to The Martian, this story follows a man alone in space who is struggling to survive a situation that has spiraled out of control.

Ryland Grace wakes up alone on a space ship but doesn’t know why he’s there or how he got there. Over the course of the story his memories slowly return. He realizes he has an important job to do fairly quickly, but how? He has no way to communicate with anyone to ask questions.

I recommend this book to all sci-fi fans. Similar to The Martian, there’s a lot of science details that I don’t truly understand, but Weir does a great job of dumbing it down and not overwhelming the reader.

Artemis

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Artemis

By:  Andy Weir
Published:  2017
# of pages:  
305

4Stars

Goodreads description:

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

My opinion:  I read The Martian a couple of years ago and loved it.  I recommended it to my husband and mother-in-law and they loved it as well.  I also enjoyed the movie, but there was something special about the book.  I think what amazed me the most was that it was full of facts and details and all kinds of things that I know nothing about and am not particularly interested in, but it kept my attention and explained things in ways I could easily understand.  That’s a great skill for an author to have and it made me love The Martian even more.

I had heard that Artemis wasn’t at the same level as The Martian and was prepared to be disappointed.  And while it’s true I didn’t enjoy Artemis as much, I was pleasantly surprised and found it to be a great read.  Once again, Weir imparted all kinds of scientific knowledge without losing my attention and I understood it all.

This novel is about Jazz, an immature 26 year old citizen of Artemis, the first and only city on the moon.  Jazz is a smuggler who is estranged from her father.  Her friends have decreased in number over the years, but that’s okay because she has a goal and is determined to become rich without having to work too hard.  She also has her share of enemies, a list that grows as she steps away from petty crime to something more serious.

For most of the book I thought Jazz was around 19-20 years old.  I was a little confused at her references to the past because she made the age 17 sound so long ago.  That’s because she was 26 the whole time!  She acts more like a teenager or very young adult.  She’s sassy and sarcastic as well as being incredibly smart.  I enjoyed her comments and thoughts in spite of the immaturity and of course she grows more thoughtful and mature as the novel progresses.  Say what you will about her low motivation, she will do what it takes to save the city she loves.  Also, she’s often the first to admit that she’s made mistakes and bad choices.

Overall, I’m glad this novel had a different feel than The Martian while still including a setting in outer space and all of the scientific issues that come with living outside of Earth’s atmosphere.  There are similarities between the novels, but I’m glad this wasn’t a not-as-good The Martian.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Fun plot and characters, interesting information that I could understand, but not quite amazing enough to be 5 stars.