Do you believe in God? I know it’s a personal question. I do. And I think He was pretty awesome to make relativity a thing, don’t you? The faster you go, the less time you experience. It’s like He’s inviting us to explore the universe, you know?
I wasn’t sure, when I just started reading Andy Weir’s novel Project Hail Mary, if it would be the book for me. The voice of the main character, Ryland Grace, is pretty annoying at first. Chirpy and a sort of kindergarten tone and yeah: totally not what I sign up for in a book. But since I loved The Martian I decided to give it a chance anyway.
So glad I did!
The novel tells the story of a man who wakes up in a space ship, with no personal memories about himself (even his name takes awhile to come back to him) but a brain full of science. It takes him a while to figure out even that he’s on a space ship. As the story progresses, his memories slowly start coming back. This was one thing I loved much more about this book than The Martian. The science itself is much more integrated into the story, because the memories connect with the science he needs to figure out, whereas in The Martian it was more clunky (I flipped through the sciencey chunks on that one, I confess).
I feel like most of the reviews on this book don’t really mention the details of why Dr. Grace has to go to space, so I will keep my review similar. He has some grand adventures in space that I loved experiencing with him. His slightly childish tone gets less annoying (and maybe it goes away altogether, I’m not sure), and the other characters just bring the story to life.
Yesterday morning, when I had about 75 pages left, I read a bit before we left for our little Sunday-morning adventure. (Still can’t hike or walk any distance bigger than about a mile, so I’m severely limited in my capacity for adventure). I realized as we drove up the canyon that while I was loving the colors and the walk and our conversation, there was a part of me still stuck onboard the Hail Mary. The book isn’t fine literature by any means, but man. It was so much fun. And the worldbuilding is skilled enough that I wanted to get right back inside of it once we got home. Which really reminded me that reading can sometimes just be fun if I let it. (I don’t do fun books very often!)
I think Project Hail Mary will be one of my favorite books this year, but it did leave me wondering:
How do all of the various planetary beings on Star Trek all live together on one ship? Their atmosphere requirements must be vastly different.
Kind of an odd place to jump to, I know, but books can make you make unexpected connections.
(this is book #1 on my autumn reading challenge. It does not fit into any of the categories, alas.)