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Project Hail Mary

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Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers | Sci Fi & Fantasy
Release Date: May 4, 2021

Of all of the books I've read this year, Project Hail Mary has been my favorite! I don't even know where to start! It's captivating, exciting, and filled with so much great stuff! This is one of those books that you can't put down once your start reading it!!!

I loved how the book bounces between the present and the past and slowly fills you in on how Dr. Grace got to where he is! I loved Rocky, he is my absolute favorite character!

This book has it all! Suspense, adventure, heart, science, space, self-discovery and most of all, hope!

I will be reading this book again (& listening to the audiobook) because it brought me such joy! This book will win awards!!!! I highly recommend this one! Don't miss out on what could be the best book of 2021!

I'm so grateful to Andy Weir, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this ARC ebook in exchange for my honest review.
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Lovers of Science Fiction will rejoice to hear Andy Weir, author of The Martian has written another space masterpiece! 

Project Hail Mary is a suspenseful story about an unconventional scientist Ryland Grace who is on a mission to save planet Earth from a mysterious organism that is eating the Sun. 
This book is a WILD ride! I watch space movies with my stomach in knots and perilously gripping the seat in an anxious mess, typically exclaiming how much I hope never to go to space. This book was like watching a thriller, teetering on the edge of your seat, nail-biting adventure, complete with hilarious dialogue and unexpected deep connection to the characters.

I throughly enjoyed this novel. I am positive it will be a classic for Science Fiction enthusiasts everywhere, I’m also positive even those that often don’t gravitate towards this genre will find deep satisfaction in joining in on Rylands race to save the species.  

Rating:   4.5 STARS

Big thank you to Net Galley and Random House for this ARC
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First off, thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book.

Ryland Grace makes for a fascinating main character - when you start the book, you know as much about him as he does. Because he doesn't know who he is, where he is, or how he got there, for that matter. Much of the backstory is filled in via flashbacks as he slowly regains bits of his memory.

And that's why this review is difficult to write, because half of the fun is in letting the story unfold!

But I will tell you this much - I loved this book because of:

- the clever, inventive MC with a wry wit. 
- a really inventive plot premise
- all the crazy science and math that Weir somehow makes accessible (and if it's not entirely accurate, who cares, he made me feel smart in that I generally understood what was going on)
- fascinating secondary characters. I mean, REALLY intriguing, maddening, and/inventive secondary characters. Rocky absolutely stole my heart.

This book rockets along (pun intended) even with the MC not knowing a lot of anything to start. He has to piece together where he is and moreso what he's meant to be doing, which is a clever way to let the story unfold and keeps the intensity on. When we first meet Rocky, his ally in space, the pace changes, but it's important to the development of their relationship. I love Rocky - he may be my favorite part of the story.

Yes, Ryland Grace is a character very much reminiscent of Weir's Mark Watney in THE MARTIAN,  However, Grace has no hesitation showing/sharing that he doesn't fit in with the people he's working with or the job he's tasked to do, and it humanizes him all the more to me.

There is a lot of science and math in this book, but Weir makes it understandable(ish). Fine, I definitely the premise and my brain didn't explode in the process, so it's a win.

This book is funny, fascinating, fast-paced, and the ending was a true surprise.
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Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is a very, very highly recommended saving-the-world science fiction story. I love, love, love this novel and, in turn, Andy Weir for writing Project Hail Mary (and The Martian, and Artemis, which I enjoyed). After I read The Martian, I personally told everyone to buy it and read it, and I will do the same for Project Hail Mary. This will definitely be on my list of best books of 2021. I may even, gulp, love it more than The Martian, which is still way-up-there on my best books ever list.

Ryland Grace wakes up on a spaceship not knowing where he is, who he is, or what he is supposed to be doing while a computer is asking him what is 2+2. It becomes clear, after some time, that he is the sole survivor, and the task set before him is impossible. His task is to solve a mystery in order to save the Earth from an extinction-level event. Slowly Grace remembers that he was a junior high school science teacher. He also remembers that astrophage, a microscopic alien organism, is somehow eating the energy from the sun, causing it to dim, which will eventually lead to a new ice age on Earth in a few decades. Scientists have determined that all the other stars nearby seem to be suffering with the same affliction with the exception of Tau Ceti. The ship, named Hail Mary, has the task of identifying why Tau Ceti is immune and hopefully saving the Earth.  Before he taught junior high, he was a molecular biologist, but why would he, out of so many better candidates, be chosen to be on the task force studying the astrophage and then chosen be on this mission, which is a suicide mission with no way to return to Earth?

The un-put-downable, extraordinary, riveting narrative alternates between chapters following Grace in the present day on the Hail Mary with chapters of Grace remembering what happened before he woke up on the ship. Information about his past and the present is carefully disclosed and new facts are discovered as the plot unfolds. There is humor in the narrative; I experienced several laugh-out-loud moments while reading. Ryland Grace is an imminently likeable character. He is channeling McGyver, although not quite as much as Mark Watney did, as he figures out what to do. It becomes even more interesting when he discovers an alien spaceship near his ship that is on the same mission he is.

Naturally there is plenty of science and scientific speculation in Project Hail Mary. Yes, this is an outstanding science fiction survival tale, but it is also a story about friendship. Expect several plot twists, nail-biting suspense, jaw dropping moments, relentless tension, emotional reactions, and heart-stopping events in this perfectly paced novel. The final denouement is perfect, absolutely, positively perfect. It needs to be said again that I love Project Hail Mary. It is a phenomenal, remarkable science fiction novel that is sure to become a classic.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest opinion.
The review will be submitted for publication on Amazon, Google Books, and Barnes & Noble
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I am not a sci-fi lover by any means but I loved The Martian SO much that I had to give Andy Weir's newest novel a chance and I am so glad that I did!

This book gets a bit dry due to the extended parts of science stuff.  As you can tell from the previous sentence, I am not into the science stuff.  I think those that are smarter than me will probably really enjoy all the science nerding out but I basically skimmed over this section since I didn't understand any of it.  

Even without understanding most of the science this book is SO enjoyable.  I loved, loved, loved Rocky and would happily read more stories about him!  The friendship he has with Dr. Grace is the best.  I really had no idea how things would wind up and this novel kept me turning the page wondering where it would go next.  

Overall I think this is going to be a smash hit when released.  SO enjoyable and it was a great escape when recovering from the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
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Oh my goodness, this book. I absolutely LOVED Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir! If readers enjoyed his novel The Martian, then I have no doubt that they will enjoy this one. This is a story about survival, friendship, space, new discoveries, and perseverance.

From the first page, we’re thrown into the story and discover things alongside our main character, Ryland Grace. Ryland felt similar yet very different to the MC of Martian. Which is good because I don’t want to read about the same character in a different situation unless I’m reading a series.

Unsurprisingly, Weir’s writing was on point and I loved the characters. Ryland, as we slowly find out, is a total science nerd, is a science teacher, and somehow ended up being a part of this mission. Which he only knows parts of the purpose is at first. Weir went the route of writing present moments and past moments, which I really enjoyed because I was learning everything as the same time that Ryland was … it made for quite the reading experience. It was also an interesting way to see the development of Ryland’s character.

Not being even the tiniest bit science-inclined, a lot of the science and other technical language went over my head. I also tended to just read those parts and not bother trying to understand. Doing this and having to read all of that without understanding did not diminish my reading experience at all.

While I have no idea if the main components of the plot is even plausible, it felt realistic or that it could easily be plausible. The story flowed really well, kept me on the edge of my seat without going overboard with the obstacles, which I appreciate. And that one big moment that happens? Somehow I did not see it coming and it was SO GOOD. Made the story all the better.

The ending was not quite what I was expecting, though it made it a lot of sense. Even if it felt a little bittersweet.
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First of all, thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for access to this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

When a small life form starts feeding on energy from the sun, humans on Earth must find a way to stop them quickly before they go into a mass extinction event. After finding a planet 12 light years away that's star hadn't dimmed, but had this life form, they send out an expedition to this star system to find out how this star is surviving. Once out there, the scientist discovers alien life.

This book was so heartwarming and fun. The relationship between Rocky and Dr. Grace is so cute and wholesome. The beginning instantly grabbed my attention and I was sucked into this story. Some of the middle bits were a little slow. It was a lot of scientific experiments as Ryland and Rocky were trying to figure out how this star was surviving. There wasn't as much action, and there was a lot of scientific explanation. However, by the ending, I was fully invested again. The end was completely unexpected, but I think was an incredibly fitting ending to this fun, cute story. This book has inspired me to read "The Martian" in the future, considering this is my first Weir book I've read. 

I highly recommend this book to sci-fi and non-sci-fi readers everywhere. It's a story about space exploration, but also a story about friendship, discovery, and perseverance. 

TW: alcohol, death, drugs, fire, kidnapping, needles, skeletons, poisoning
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I loved Ryland Grace and his endless optimistic search for creative solutions to life-threatening---for everyone on Earth--problems. But I fell in love with his companion, Rocky. The relationship grew in its warmth throughout the novel and made me that much more invested in the outcome!
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Thank you so much for NetGalley for this opportunity to read this book by Andy Weir.

I don't really love Science Fiction, But this was a fun book.. i'm nowhere near smart enough to understand all of the technical and scientific dialogue in this (i'm also too lazy to fact check and do any research on the concepts discussed), but that did not stop me from enjoying this. 

I couldn’t put this book down. I just adore the snarky tone of his writing, Weir has an uncanny ability to make science understandable and interesting. As he did in The Martian, he draws you in immediately to an everyman type who is faced with a huge scientific problem. In this case, it's not only the survival of one human being, but of our entire planet...
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This story immediately pulled me in - a man wakes up in a spacecraft...and he remembers nothing. Not his name, not why he is there, and not where he is heading. His memories soon begin coming back, and he eventually remembers he is on a mission to save humanity. No pressure! You’re chugging along with Dr. Grace as he begins problems solving and learning about his new environment, doing experiments, and learning how to navigate in 0g. And then the story took a pretty weird turn. And I was not on board...until I suddenly was! Andy Weir charmed me with his characters and writing style so much that I was able to suspend my belief a little further than I normally would have. I found myself smiling while reading which is so corny but true! 

The only somewhat negative thing about it for me, if you could call it negative, were the times when the scientific explanations got a little too in-depth, and my eyes started glazing over a bit. Though I do understand why all of that information was included, I may or may not have skipped over a couple of paragraphs. 

I gave this book 5 stars because I truly enjoyed every page of it, and it left me thinking about it long after I finished reading, which is always a good sign in a book. I still haven’t started a new book because my mind keeps going back to it. I even shed a little tear at the end.
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As a scientist I LOVED this book!! It has everything I never knew I needed! Science, space, sarcasm, aliens, more science! I LOVED the Martian when I first read it, I enjoyed Artemis, but Project Hail Mary was the Martian level amazing-ness! Dr Ryland Grace was such a wonderful, smart, and funny narrator! I really enjoyed being inside his head and problem solving with him! 

There is so much to this book; science (if you couldn't tell), humor, fight for your life, friendship (in many forms), action, and tearful moments. This story will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire ride! I am so thankful for this copy! 

Thank you thank you thank you! 

I will be singing the praises of this book for years to come!
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4.5 stars!

Andy Weir has done it again! He’s made this reader who avoids most books related to math and science love another book that’s brimming with it. He has a talent for taking complex ideas and making them simple and even interesting for someone who generally zones out when anything scientific sounding is introduced. At this point, I think it’s safe to say Andy Weir is an auto-read author for me. While most readers who loved The Martian weren’t fond of his follow-up novel Artemis, I actually really enjoyed it. And for me, Project Hail Mary was the best of both of those novels.

This will be a novel that’s hard to discuss without spoilers since so many surprising things happen right from the opening. But I’ll do my best!

I challenge you to read the first five pages and NOT want to keep reading. What an opening! Ryland Grace wakes up alone with no clue where he is or how he got there. HIs body isn’t responding the way it should and he struggles with the fog that is keeping rational thoughts at bay. He slowly comes to the realization that he’s hurtling through space and his crew mates are dead. While that opening alone is enough to keep me turning pages, Weir infuses Ryland with his unique wit and humor that elevates the story beyond the run of the mill science fiction thriller.

As Ryland’s memory returns, he flashes back to the past and slowly reveals how he ended up as the sole-survivor of this last-chance mission to save Earth. And as things seem hopeless, he finds glimmers of hope in unexpected places. He also just might be the perfect person for the job.

This well-written novel is a mix of things: science fiction, mystery, fantasy, thriller. There’s a diverse cast as the entire planet comes together to save humanity. And I can only hope Hollywood takes notice once again.
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DNF. I really liked the premise but the writing did not work for me at all. It wouldn't be fair to the book if I finished reading and gave it a low rating.
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This book is absolutely amazing. I can honestly say it's my new all time favorite. Just like The Martian there is a lot of science that i tended to glaze over but the story is incredible. I could not put it down.
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Rating: 5/5


Can that be my entire review? No? Well, let me just say this. I am in love with this book!

This is my first book by Andy Weir and wow! I. Am. Just. Lost. For. Words.

The plot of Project Hail Mary is basically this. All of Earth is going to die and it's up to one man who can't remember anything, much less his name, to save it. This book also has some alien life in it but it was done in a super new and interesting way, that I personally have never seen done before!

I was a bit hesitant to read this because of a couple of reasons. 1) Andy Weir is a big name author and I was scared I wouldn't like his work, 2)this book uses the amnesia trope which isn't something I usually enjoy, but wow did I love it in the context it plays in this book, 3)claustrophobic spaces/stories that are set in only one small location are my jam, but 4)this book also has a duel timeline which is another trope I usually tend to dislike, but once again, I loved it in the context of this story! So yeah, you could say I was wrestling with some mixed feelings before jumping into this story, but luckily it paid off really well! And I don't want to jinx anything, but I think this might be a new favorite of the year!

I really don't know what else to say besides that I loved this book! I found it fascinating and fast-paced, I connected so deeply with the characters to the point that I laughed and almost cried my way through it entirely, and that ending! Perfection!

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
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In a last-ditch effort to save Earth from an extinction-level event, a group of astronauts is sent on a desperate mission in a cobbled-together spacecraft. But when Ryland Grace wakes up, he has no memory of his mission or why the rest of the crew is dead. The sole survivor, he must take on an impossible task with no margin for failure.

Andy Weir returns to many of the elements that made The Martian a best seller: a desperate space mission where a sarcastic protagonist MacGyver's his way through with science. Unfortunately, Project Hail Mary doesn't have the mass appeal of The Martian. Ryland Grace is an annoying version of Mark Watney, the mission was less realistic, and the science was overwhelming at times. I didn't connect with the story until over halfway through, and would only recommend this book to strong science fiction readers.
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I’ll be the first to admit that science fiction isn’t my go-to genre. But I read Andy Weir’s first book (The Martian) and loved it. So when I saw this one coming out, I figured it was time to try another sci-fi book. 

It wasn’t my jam. I loved the premise. The sun is losing energy. Microorganisms are eating it up. If that doesn’t change, everything on the Earth will die in 30 years. Ryland is sent to another solar system to save humanity. 

But, at about a third of the way thru, it just got too weird for me. I’m good with fantasy novels, but I just can’t get onboard with aliens. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Though it’s not for me. If you’re into space, science fiction and smart, interesting leading men, then give it a try. I can see how others would love it.
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Ryland Grace wakes up aboard a spaceship with two dead crewmembers beside him and no recollection of how or why he got there. Then slowly he begins to put the pieces together. He was placed in a medically-induced coma and he’s on a mission to save Earth from another Ice Age and mass extinction.

I really enjoyed this one. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is an absolute celebration of science and human ingenuity, filled with humor and heart.

It also places an interesting spin of the alien first contact trope. Instead of sentient, human-eating alien predators, humanity’s threat is tiny invasive space algae that are eating our sun’s energy. You can’t shoot them or ask them to leave, so now it’s up to Ryland to get creative and figure out how to get rid of them.

Lastly, I think it’s important to note that this is very much a hard science fiction novel. It’s got a lot of scientific exposition in it. If you’re a science nerd, you’ll probably geek out over this one, but for others, it may make the book more difficult to get into. I admit that it’s been a while since I took a physics class, so some of the science went over my head, but I just nodded along, like, yeah, that sounds about right.

All and all, I’d say this book is very tonally similar to Andy’s previous novel The Martian. It chooses scientific hope and optimism in the face of despair, and that I think is beautiful.
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I absolutely LOVED "The Martian" by Andy Weir. I loved it because it read as science fiction that could ultimately be feasible in our current world. It bridged a gap from astrophysics to humanity in a way that, if I couldn't fully understand it, I could fully support and cheer for it.

"Project Hail Mary" was close to that. When I started it, I thought it was going to be the best science fiction book I had read in a while. It was exciting, mysterious, and I loved the use of flashback for supplying the history of the present situation that the main character found themself in.

And then the science came. And it was so much science, It was pages and pages of science. The science overwhelmed not just my brain, but the entire book. I think the story was sacrificed for the sake of the science, and it made what could have been a real page turner into a bit of a slog.

Ryland Grace wakes up to find himself in space, alone, on a mission that will make the difference between Erath surviving and not. But he can't seem to remember who he is or why he is here. He is the only soul alive to complete this task....or is he?

I don't know that I WON'T recommend this book to people, because I think others may absolutely love it. I am a bit hesitant to recommend it to anyone who isn't a die hard science fiction fan. Because with "The Martian," there was mostly fiction with a a bit of science. And this seems to be mostly science with a bit of fiction.
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My rating is more of a 3.5 but not up to 4 stars. There were just too many times when it all felt like it was going to morph into The Martian but was pulled back from the brink just in time. I loved The Martian, it actually had me breathless at times - not so with Hail Mary because I even put this one down for long stretches and felt no compulsion to dig back in. I even made a trip to the book description page on Amazon at one point to see if I might have chosen a middle grade book by mistake. Not impossible for Weir to want to do something like that but logical thinking said that the science would have been quite a few shades too tough. The Earth is in crisis and this ship is sent on a suicide mission to fix the problem or everyone on Earth dies. Maybe a little too far fetched to believe all of these problems can be solved by one human? Maybe the ending was expected? Maybe it was too predictable? Yes, yes and yes.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for an e-galley of this novel.
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