Book Review: Project Hail Mary (Weir 2021)

By | December 20, 2021

Title: Project Hail Mary

Author: Andy Weir

Year: 2021

Difficulty: Easy.

TLDR: Recommended, exciting but juvenile science fiction.

Hail Mary was fun and exciting throughout; once I picked it up, I only put it down to eat and sleep. While a true to life science fiction novel can be a daunting prospect – for author and reader – Andy Weir does a great job of constructing the characters and plot in such a way that believably, and unexpectedly, delivers an entertaining Armageddon type scenario without overwhelming. Although the extinction of the human race is not a happy topic, Hail Mary is somehow both lighthearted and funny.

While aspects of the story were technically satisfyingly, I often longed for more detail regarding certain plot points. In hindsight, it feels like these aspects were masterfully ignored. The emotional development of the characters was similarly ignored, leaving them feeling stereotypical and juvenile. In other words, it was a book that lacked the best thing about books… detail. I think it is a book designed to be a movie; basically it is the next iteration of the Martian.

So, for those that can forgive a lack of depth, and are looking for a lighthearted sci-fi adventure, look no further than Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary.

Prediction: Project Hail Mary will be a movie by 2030, 70% certainty.

After reading, some questions I had leftover:

  • What happened to Sol during those 30 odd years space travel? Did humanity triumphantly band together to survive or did they tear themselves to pieces as suggested by Stratt? Similarly, what happened to Sol when the beetles arrived?
  • How did Yáo Li-Jie and Olesya Ilyukhina die? Was it part of Stratt’s plan to prevent the crew killing each other or was there something wrong with the gene selection and medical robot?
  • What happened when they finally got to Erid? The ending seemed hurried, and meeting an Alien civilization seemed worthy of more discussion than it was afforded.