Science Fiction

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir Review

One thing I will never stop craving is watching great science meet an excellent storyline — and have a baby. Sorry for the visual, but you know that by baby, I mean a NOVEL! And Project Hail Mary is a sci-fi thriller for the ages.

Prepare to get your space geek on for an all-out science-fiction extravaganza because Andy Weir has done it again. You’ve got your lone wolf astronaut (Grace), who’s stuck somewhere in outer space. The rest of his three-man crew didn’t survive their comatose multiple-light-year trip out of Earth’s solar system. And now it’s up to scientist Grace, who’s suffering from some form of amnesia, to save humanity. Those are literally the stakes. The Hail Mary is humankind’s last shot at survival, and Grace the guy to do it — to discover how to stop the microbe Astrophage (Greek for “star eater”) that’s been feeding off Earth’s sun with extinction-level consequences.

Grace is in Tau Ceti’s orbit and ready to figure out why the star is immune to Astrophage when he realizes that he’s not the only spaceship out there. Humanity is not the only species threatened by Astrophage. 

“Knock-knock-knock

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.” 

Andy Weir

Enter the sweetest space alien EVER — Rocky. Rocky has a carapace and looks a bit like a spider. My aversion to spiders should make him a no-go as far as favorite sidekicks go, but you cannot help but LOVE this not-so-little guy who is (literally) too hot (we’re talking burning) to touch and prefers to sleep while someone’s watching him (it’s a cultural thing). 

“Good. Proud. I am scary space monster. You are leaky space blob.” He points to the breeder tanks. “Check tanks!” 

Andy Weir

Grace and Rocky don’t speak the same language. Obviously. This is a Weir book, not a Disney movie. Nevertheless, the two are some of the brightest minds in their respective galaxies and start picking up on each other’s languages. Equally, they realize that a team of two against Astrophage will increase their odds of success.

“He puts his claw against the divider. “Fist my bump.”

“Fist-bump. It’s just ‘fist-bump.’” 

“Understand.” 

Andy Weir

Grace and Rocky’s unlikely friendship adds a human/alien element to a plot that might otherwise be bogged down by science-speak. And at the end of the day, we’re here for the characters, the relationships, are we not? Even though the science and the science-speak really are amazing. A marvel of a thing to behold. This book is as close to perfection as a thing gets for me.


Book: Project Hail Mary
Published: Del Rey
Pages: 478
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Stars: 5/5

Penguin Random House kindly sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.

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