The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the earth, Ryland Grace is hurtled into the depths of space when he must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. From the author of "The Martian".
... the modern sci-fi master sends a lone astronaut on an intergalactic mission with existential stakes and a winning sense of humor ... a complex, science-filled story that’s also about empathy and friendship found in the most unlikely of places ... Weir’s parallel story line structure mostly works ... The beginning backstory and later revelations about the days leading up to launch are essential and clever bits of character development, though in the middle of the book, the past sometimes disrupts the momentum of Ryland and Rocky’s team-building exercises and bonding as ride-or-die science bros ... if you dug Weir’s original self-published hit or the Oscar-nominated Matt Damon film, get ready to enjoy this, too. Weir’s well-crafted book is an epic story of redemption, discovery and cool speculative sci-fi made all the better with a couple of perfect strangers turned BFFs.
Weir’s writing emphasizes what it feels like to be a human body navigating an inhuman environment ... Project Hail Mary is an elegant inversion of The Martian: Instead of humanity working to save the life of one person, here is one person working to save all of humanity ... Weir is a master of the narrative splice, and Project Hail Mary cuts between Grace’s memories of Earth and his present in space. The effect serves not only to keep the story propulsive; it also suggests a fundamental continuity between terrestrial realities and cosmic ones.
... a sensible course correction that supersizes the strategies of his most successful book ... In fiction, an unambiguous technological crisis can be oddly comforting, and the novel works best as we piece together the situation alongside Grace, whose memory loss is less an essential plot point — apart from a passing revelation toward the end, this isn’t a story that treats amnesia as a source of surprises — than a device for parceling out information. The main character’s isolation, which was so crucial in The Martian, is a similarly convenient excuse for Weir to downplay messy human issues in favor of a cleverly organized series of challenges that Grace himself compares to 'a video game' ... For readers who can forgive its shortcomings, the result is an engaging space odyssey. While Mark Watney confronted a succession of escalating obstacles, Grace tends to resolve each setback almost immediately, and his relentless quips read like the output of an algorithm that was fed nothing but Joss Whedon scripts ... Weir’s default voice allows for the painless delivery of facts, but it limits the emotions available to our hero, whose usual reaction to astounding events is to nerd out briefly at their awesomeness ... demands to be judged by the standards of hard science fiction, and it honors the laws of physics to an extent that makes comparable novels seem like playing tennis without a net. At its best, the genre is a delightful game indeed, and many literary virtues can be sacrificed to its potential pleasures, which include awe, strangeness and other effects that Weir never really achieves. For a sense of wonder, we can wait for the movie, which may even touch on the unspoken dread — implicit in the myth of the competent man — that Watney once expressed in a rare moment of doubt: 'No more getting my hopes up, no more self-delusion and no more problem-solving.'