Project Hail Mary [Book Review] #FathersDay

June 18, 2021

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Any Weir (cover) Image: an astronaut is tethered and floating in space near a gold and black object

Genre/Categories: Science Fiction, Space Mission, Friendship, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Middle School science teacher Ryland Grace finds himself on a desperate space mission to save planet Earth. He wakes up on a spaceship hooked up to tubes without a memory of how he got there or how the two people next to him died in their beds. Although he senses he knows them and realizes their importance, he can’t remember his own name or his purpose for being there. In dual timelines, we hear Ryland’s backstory (as he regains his memory) and experience the dangerous present reality. Ryland finds an unexpected ally in his quest to save Earth from extinction.

My Thoughts:

5 Things to Tell You About Project Hail Mary

(attempting to do this with minimal spoilers!)

  1. Lots of science, math, and engineering talk but that doesn’t hinder the main gist of the story or overpower the themes…lots to ponder and appreciate in Project Hail Mary even if you’re not a science/math/engineering person.
  2. Ray Porter is the superb audio narrator/actor…I HIGHLY recommend the audio version for Project Hail Mary. In fact, I can’t imagine reading it in print. I felt like Ryland Grace himself was sitting in my living room relating a fantastic yet believable story.
  3. Ryland Grace is an extremely likable character, an everyday “awww shucks” kind of guy, a popular middle school teacher, a curious scientist, an admirable and selfless friend, and a relentless and innovative problem solver. Like many of us who go to work each day, he shows up and never quits.
  4. I love a book with thought-provoking themes and Project Hail Mary absolutely does not disappoint! Themes include sacrifice, friendship, hope, love, saving the world, curiosity, reluctant heroism, determination, grit, survival, unknowns of space travel, risk-taking, problem-solving, accepting the unchangeable, rolling with the punches, and appreciating cultural differences.
    My husband reflects: “Three concepts struck me and they all boil down to values: (1) loving others (caring and mourning for his friends who died, Ryland and his unexpected ally looking out for each other); (2) helping others (as a teacher….his first love, helping during the initial planning and preparation phase of the mission); and (3) giving back (Ryland ultimately commits to helping his country and accepts the responsibility and the cost). Ryland’s decision and actions at the end (no spoilers) are significant points of discussion and speculation.
  5. This is a memorable and satisfying read that will make a fabulous book club selection and/or buddy read. In fact, it might be a perfect Father’s Day gift! (this weekend in the U.S.). My husband and I listened to this book together and we both enjoyed the listening experience and our discussions immensely. In a book club discussion, I’d love to speculate about the future!

Highly Recommended: Even though science fiction is not my usual genre, I’m thrilled that I took the chance to read Project Hail Mary. Plus, if you are a “read the book before the movie” type person, you will want to read this before the movie starring Ryan Gosling comes out! Recommended for fans of The Martian, for readers who love science fiction, and for those who appreciate a compulsively page-turning and (eventually) heartwarming story. I predict it will be the buzz-worthy book of summer 2021. Compelling and unputdownable. Please consider the audio version!

Content Considerations: appropriate for science/math-minded middle school and high school readers; minimal profanity; heavy emphasis on evolution.

My Rating:  4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

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Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (cover) Image: white text, an astronaut is tethered in space near a gold and black object

 Project Hail Mary Information Here

Meet the Author, Andy Weir

Author Andy WeirANDY WEIR built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time.

He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail.

He lives in California.


Is Project Hail Mary on your TBR or have you read it?

Happy U.S. Father’s Day!

Dad and me as a baby

my dad on a fjord in Norway

Dad and me at graduation with my masters

My dad and me as a baby; my dad on a fjord in Norway; my dad and me at my graduation (masters)

My father has been in Heaven for several years now, dying on Father’s Day in 2009.

Text: Dad...Remembering you is easy, I do it every day. Missing you is the heartache that never goes away. Image: a father and young child walk hand in hand (backs to the camera)

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
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~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.


36 thoughts on “Project Hail Mary [Book Review] #FathersDay

  1. This one didn’t really appeal to me until reading your review. I am glad that you and your husband both enjoyed this one Carol. I did not read The Martian, but my husband and I both enjoyed the movie. I am going to see if I can get the audiobook. Wonderful review.

    Liked by 2 people

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