It's good good good

I dare you to try putting down this sci-fi thriller

Over the last ten years, we've developed a holiday tradition of spending Christmas Day road-tripping between our two families. That's 8 hours of driving. How do you enjoy 8 hours of driving? A great audiobook. During our last road trip, we started Project Hail Mary. This time we couldn't wait to finish it until Christmas Day, we just had to listen through the night because we couldn't stop it.

This one is good, good, good. Ryland Grace a high school science teacher wakes up in another star system with no memory of how he got there or why. He is the last surviving member of a desperate mission to save humanity from extinction. Once he regains some memory he must use everything he knows about science and engineering to save the world.

This was a thrilling mystery that unraveled throughout the story. Ryland and the reader are slowly fed memories of his mission and goal while figuring out how to survive in space and collect vital data. While the flashbacks could be difficult to follow on audio I found the dual mystery box style of understanding the characters and the mission to be incredibly engaging.

I was pleasantly surprised by how humourous it is. For a book that is about a man alone in space, Weir doesn't keep the reader stuck in Ryland's mind. There is still interesting dialogue and physical humor as Ryland wakes up and is battling with the robot arms that have been tasked with taking care of him. Listening to Ryland talk to even just himself is full of humor and personality. This is equally science fiction and buddy comedy. The conversational tone is really brought to life in the audiobook.

“I’m a scientist! Now we’re getting somewhere! Time for me to use science. All right, genius brain: come up with something! …I’m hungry. You have failed me, brain."

As I reflect on this read, I don't have any complaints. Even the imaginative science behind their work in space feels real. The book was obviously well-researched. As an engineer, I related a lot to the work of just trying different tactics to accomplish your goal and seeing what eventually works.

“It's a weird feeling, scientific breakthroughs. There's no Eureka moment. Just a slow, steady progression toward a goal. But man, when you get to that goal it feels good.”

Overall, this was fabulous. The mysteries kept me extending my sleep timer for "just one more chapter" all night long. The humor warmed my heart. The science fascinated and engaged me (and even my husband). This year's Christmas road trip will have stiff competition following Project Hail Mary.


Better on Audio
Science Fiction
Science Fiction Fantasy