“PROJECT HAIL MARY‘s” main character Ryland Grace is on a mission to save Earth; however, when he wakes up aboard a spacecraft in outer space, he has no idea where he is, much less why he is there. He cannot even remember his own name. Quickly, he manages to figure out that he has been sleeping for a long time and is still alive thanks to being cared for by a highly specialized robotics system.

As he begins to explore the ship, he discovers that he was not always alone. His two roommates did not make it through the voyage, they are mere husks in their sleeping chambers. Also, as he explores, parts of his memory slowly return, but only in bits and pieces. He soon realizes he has been left to deal with a monumental task — figuring out how to save Earth from a parasite species that is killing the sun.

As he gets to work on this problem, he continues to regain some of his memory, but more importantly, he realizes that he might not have to solve this problem alone.

Technically, “Project Hail Mary” is science fiction, but it reads more like an adventure story. Fiction lovers will almost certainly enjoy it. The author does a great job telling the story in alternating scenes from the present-day action to flashbacks. Bit by bit, the history of the main character is revealed — just the right amount per page. Readers will not have a full picture of how or why Ryland Grace ended up in space until toward the end of the novel, but they will know just enough to make them want to keep turning the pages.

This is not author ANDY WEIR‘s first time writing a compelling and believable science fiction story. In fact, he’s the bestselling author who rose to fame in 2014 for penning “The Martian,” which was later turned into a blockbuster movie.

I was so impressed with Weir’s “The Martian” that I thought he might have a hard time creating something just as good. After reading it, I am happy to say that my fears were completely unfounded. His latest offering is just as good as the first, maybe even better. Weir is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Readers will be left in awe of his grasp of physics, engineering, mechanics and outer space. It is mind blowing how much math and scientific knowledge is packed into this one book. More impressive is his ability to create a story using all these technical elements and still make it interesting for a broad readership.

Weir creates an engaging and compelling plot by including unique and entertaining elements and he has great storytelling timing. He knows how to share a story and build suspense, all while making readers identify and empathize with the characters. Thanks to the excellent character development I periodically find myself thinking about “my friend” Ryland Grace and his quest to save planet Earth. I highly recommend this one.

Jeana Gockley is the children’s librarian at Joplin Public Library.

 

Trending Video