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Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Sci-fi

Project Hail Mary

by Andy Weir

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Quick take

A riveting, surprising, and triumphant story of one man's heroic space odyssey to save civilization as we know it.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Supernatural

    Supernatural

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy

    Buzzy

Synopsis

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 crewmates 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.

Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Project Hail Mary.
Project Hail Mary

Chapter 1

What’s two plus two?

Something about the question irritates me. I’m tired. I drift back to sleep.

A few minutes pass, then I hear it again.

“What’s two plus two?”

The soft, feminine voice lacks emotion and the pronunciation is identical to the previous time she said it. It’s a computer. A computer is hassling me. I’m even more irritated now.

“Lrmln,” I say. I’m surprised. I meant to say “Leave me alone”— a completely reasonable response in my opinion—but I failed to speak.

“Incorrect,” says the computer. “What’s two plus two?”

Time for an experiment. I’ll try to say hello.

“Hlllch?” I say.

“Incorrect. What’s two plus two?”

What’s going on? I want to find out, but I don’t have much to work with. I can’t see. I can’t hear anything other than the computer. I can’t even feel. No, that’s not true. I feel something. I’m lying down. I’m on something soft. A bed.

I think my eyes are closed. That’s not so bad. All I have to do is open them. I try, but nothing happens.

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Why I love it

Before I was a science-fiction writer, I was an engineer, which means I learned to see the world in numbers. In fact, I tell my daughter that everything is numbers, from music to technology to sports. Numbers are the cause of and solution to every problem. That makes math a superpower, and one of the things I adore about Andy Weir is that his heroes use math and science to get out of any jam.

Project Hail Mary continues that tradition. When Ryland Grace wakes up alone aboard a strange spacecraft, he must discover why he's hurtling through the cosmos far from Earth—and why he can't remember his life. As he puts the pieces together, the secrets of the titular project are revealed, twisting and turning the story in ways that really shouldn't be spoiled at all. The surprises keep coming chapter by chapter, making for a fast, fun read that puts you right alongside Ryland as he solves—with math, of course—the universe's greatest mysteries in an epic attempt to save planet Earth.

For a book driven by science, Project Hail Mary is fueled by so much heart; it’s also about hope, the human condition, and unlikely friendships. Those things all come together for a story that is so many things, from riveting discovery to laugh-and-cry characters to fist-pumping ingenuity. Oh, and it's one heck of a page-turner. And it'll make you want to thank your high school science teachers. If that's not the best testament for this book, I don't know what is.

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Member ratings (12,109)

  • Hannah K.

    Ypsilanti, MI

    My new favorite book. It was so smart, funny, heartwarming and insightful. I’m not usually a sci-fi fan, but this was amazing. It made me laugh and cry in the best way. I will read it again⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Kristi B.

    Overland Park , KS

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️! Can I give this more than 5 stars? Wow what an amazing book! Very detailed but very emotional!! I can’t believe how personal the author made the alien. One of the best books I’ve read!

  • Amanda S.

    Cedar Grove, WI

    Absolutely amazing⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Couldn’t put it down, loved the scientific jargon and explaining. Storyline was very creative, and descriptive, almost like watching a movie. Hands down would recommend.

  • Amanda D.

    Clear Lake , IA

    Quickly became one of my all time favorites— great storyline, loved the author’s character development and writing style, and the science of it was very intriguing and thought-provoking!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Malinda M.

    Havre, MT

    I absolutely love Andy Weir’s humor, and “Project Hail Mary” didn’t disappoint. The humor gives the book much needed levity, as it did in “The Martian.” Ryland and Rockys’ relationship was fantastic.

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