Project Hail Mary – Andy Weird

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 476
Release Date: May 4, 2021

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 crewmates 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.


Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian–while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

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I was a little skeptical going into Project Hail Mary because I thought Weir’s last novel, Artemis, was terrible. So, I’m happy to report that Project Hail Mary is a return to form.

Weir excels with slightly goofy male characters. Readers are introduced to Ryland Grace, a science teacher who finds himself at the center of a project aimed to save all of humanity. He’s an incredibly relatable character. He reminds me a lot of Mark from The Martian: a funny and engaging character who is smarter than almost everyone in the room, but doesn’t act like it.

The only criticism I had with Project Hail Mary and the reason I rated it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is the length. There are sections of the novel that feel slow despite everything that’s going on. Also, some of the science experiments/explanations feel long. Project Hail Mary could have easily been around 100 pages shorter.

I would describe this novel as wholesome. It’s a feel good story about very real and devastating consequences we as a planet will one day face. All I’ll say about the ending is that it made me happy and satisfied.

Overall, Project Hail Mary is a mix of The Martian and Arrival: wholesome characters, an exciting world ending problem, and enough science to keep readers engaged. 

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Have you read Project Hail Mary? What did you think?

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