Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Just to be clear. I loved The Martian. I got wind of a little while before it got really popular (thank you, Writing Excuses podcast!), got my book club to read and discuss it and devoured it in no time. I also liked Artemis (not as much as The Martian; but apparently more than many other readers).
When I heard about Project Hail Mary and Peter Weir's return to gritty, science-based storytelling and interstellar setting, I knew I had to read it. It had to be my kind of book. Then, I started reading and felt very let down. A first-person account of waking up out of a coma, confused and in a closed room didn't pull me in. I almost gave up before the main character finally started having flashes of memory about who he was and what he was supposed to do. His recollections of Earth and the other characters brought some actual life, albeit stick-figured, cliché-ridden life, to the stage. I stuck with it.
When Rocky showed up, I was as charmed as anyone. And I've got to hand it to Mr. Weir, he came up with some intriguing science-based mysteries to unravel during the second half of the book. The entire story gave me flashbacks to stories from the middle of the previous century, and not always in a good way. There were a few nice modern touches and genuine effort was made to avoid too much handwavium. But I still feel like there was plenty of that.
I give the first half of the book 2.5 stars and the latter 3.5 stars for an average of 3 stars and some hope that the next book from the author is more well rounded and modern.
Disclosure: Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Ballantine Books for providing a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.
View all my reviews