It’s best to get into PROJECT HAIL MARY without knowing anything about it – even the inside cover flap. Andy Weir’s third book, following his massive debut of THE MARTIAN, is set in space, which is all I’ll divulge about the plot itself (and is as much as the cover tells you).

I will say that Andy Weir’s strength in PROJECT HAIL MARY may also be his weakness. He dives deep into technical calculations, logical proofs, and explorations of the inner workings of theoretical biology and physics. But it is a science fiction novel, after all, so whenever things start to get pseudo-science-y or assumption-based, Weir leans into detailed technical explanations. And don’t worry – if you’re not passionate about angular momentum, fuel calculations, or chemistry, that’s totally fine – overall, PROJECT HAIL MARY balances this writing style with a highly compelling story and an almost conversational flow that makes the book a page-turner.

Yet, this leads to the only minor weaknesses of the book. The character explaining all the above to you becomes a know-it-all, and although Weir works this into the story, it feels like it was an excuse for him to dive deep into explanations. This leads to the second weakness – Weir overexplains a few details, shirking mystery, implication, or subtlety. Luckily that doesn’t happen too often, and the benefits of his writing style outweigh any problems I had.

PROJECT HAIL MARY is available wherever books are sold. I switched off between reading on my phone and the hardcover edition.

Tarush Mohanti

Tarush Mohant is a playlist curator and music explorer, the creator of illussongs (illustrations of songs), and has a fitness plan motivated by action movies (running, climbing, swimming, hiking).

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