Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is another cool space engineering adventure by the author of The Martian. Here our adventurer wakes up on a spaceship and needs to find a way to save the earth from astrophages. A lot of engineering and dry humour later, well you will have to read for yourself.
Read: 1x | First: May 2021
This was another great read (listen) and it had many of the characteristics of Andy Weir’s previous books (The Martian, Artemis). It was fun, showered you with cool engineering and physics problems, and didn’t take itself too seriously.
Ryland Grace is the protagonist of the book and the sole survivor of the space journey that has taken place before the present time. Because of the medically induced coma (he thinks), his memory from before is fuzzy and the reader is presented with bits and pieces throughout the book. Or in other words, that is used as a convenient way to tell the backstory.
It’s interesting to see the reluctance that he started with, that he even didn’t want to go in the end (and that Strat drugged him), but throughout it all, he did want to do the science and contribute to the survival of humanity.
Whilst at Tau Ceti (a nearby solar system) he meets an alien who is also the lone survivor of his mission to save his home system. He and Rocky (who looks like a huge spider) learn to communicate (the latter speaking in musical notes, and not having vision but echolocation) and become friends.
After a lot of science, some major screw-ups, and a visit to a local planet, the two figure out how to stop the astrophages from consuming the sun(s). Instead of coming back a hero, Ryland comes back to save Rocky and go to his solar system.
There, Ryland ends up a teacher (which he was before too) and the book comes full circle.
All and all, amazing book, and definitely one to re-read someday.