I listened to Hail Mary by Andy Weir on vacation. Addictive with a unique concept and storyline, I easily slipped into the story narrated by Ray Porter, Weir delivers an engaging science fiction thriller.
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x
A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the #1 ‘New York Times’ bestselling author of ‘The Martian’.
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crew-mates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.
I found myself hooked from the start as Porter provided the voice of protagonist Ryland Grace. The tale shares two time lines, before the mission and during the mission as Ryland and two others travel through space on a mission to save earth. This cinematic thriller has it all from a suspenseful story angle to intelligent life in deep space.
Weir’s stories teeter along the line of realism, but he knows how to hook his readers. I was more than happy to swallow the little red pill and travel along with Ryland to save the world.
Alien organisms on Venus and global warming could mean the end of civilization. A task force led by Stratt has scientist and labs around the world studying these organisms and devising a plan to save our planet. Ryland, a middle school science teacher, published a paper that had him pulled for the project.
Ultimately Ryland and two scientists are chosen to travel to the Tau Ceti galaxy. A plant there seems to be unaffected by the organisms. It’s a mission to save the world that will take almost two decades.
When Ryland wakes in deep space, his fellow travelers are dead and he has no memory of what has transpired. Slowly his mission comes back to him and we the listener discover why he accepted this one-way ticket off planet.
He soon discovers he is not alone in space. I so want to say more, but spoilers darling. Like in The Martian, Weir provides a story with characters that grab and engage you. From the dangers they face to the discovers I was all in.
Weir entertains, presents impossible scenarios that test our humanity. While aspects may appear far-fetched, the alien organism threat felt realistic, although I think mankind is far more likeable to wipe us out then outside forces. I would like to think that there are heroes who would accept this mission and that we would react the way Ryland did when confronted with the unknown and different survival scenarios.
Weir will make you ponder life beyond our atmosphere, from organisms to extraterrestrial life. He will also make you laugh from the copyright lawsuits to the MacGyver moves in the space lab.
Project Hail Mary will rank among my favorite audiobooks this year and Ray Porter’s narration was stellar. From his tones to inflections he enhanced Weir’s tale and brought the characters to life. When almost seventeen hours pass like six, you know it’s a fantastic listen.
Fans of The Martian and the Murderbot Series will enjoy Project Hail Mary. I recommending listening!
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges: