williamjm Posted January 2 Share Posted January 2 I finished Andy Weir's Project Hail Mary. I really enjoyed reading the book, despite feeling that it does have some big flaws. The best bits of the story all take place aboard the Hail Mary, which is fortunate since this makes up the majority of the novel. After trying to do something a bit different with Artemis and not really succeeding Weir has returned to the type of story that worked well in The Martian, a lone scientist isolated from the rest of humanity desperately trying to use his scientific knowledge to solve a seemingly intractable problem. Unlike The Martian this is about more than mere survival of the protagonist, it's also about trying to save humanity from an apocalyptic threat. This time round the protagonist also has an unlikely collaborator, which does provide some of the best scenes in the book. I don't know how plausible all of the science in this, but I think the book does a good job of capturing the thrill of scientific discovery and solving problems. I think the book's weakness is the flashback scenes where we learn how Grace got involved with the mission. In the main plotline where Grace is narrating what he is doing I think his character works well enough, even if he is eerily like The Martian's Mark Watney except with less swearing. However, Weir's attempt to write Grace having normal human conversations with other humans in the flashback scenes often feel painfully stilted, nobody really seems to talk a real person or have more than a couple of personality traits (and have some national stereotypes if they happen to be non-American). This part of the plot also requires a lot of contrived and unlikely decisions being made to get Grace into position where he would be going on the mission. I think the parts of the story in space are good enough to make up for the other weaknesses but I think the book might have been better if the flashbacks had been omitted. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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