In the sci-fi novel Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, former high school science teacher Ryland Grace wakes in a strange hospital, fresh from a coma and bleary with various medical drugs. Once he recovers a little, he notices several strange things: first, his companions in the odd medical wing are dead and he’s devastated. But he can’t really recall how he knows them, or why they’re here. He can’t remember much at all, really - not even his own name. Grace also notices that something is strange with the way that objects fall. Somehow pulling from scientific knowledge he doesn’t know how he possesses, he figures out he’s on a ship. As the novel progresses, we learn that Earth has been doomed by sun-demolishing algae-like aliens. Ryland Grace has been sent on a mission to figure out how to stop them. Luckily, a surprising companion joins him, and together they attempt to save their species from extinction.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s surprisingly realistic for a sci-fi novel, with easy-to-understand explanations for scientific phenomena. It also subverted many of the clichés that novels of the genre often fall into. I finished it in just a few days, determined to reach the end and find the solution for saving the planet. However, I tired of some of the dialogue and conversation between the characters, as it got pretty annoying after a certain point. Nevertheless, the book certainly sparked my interest in biology and chemistry, and it almost made me want to pick up my science homework. Project Hail Mary is a great book for anyone looking for a fascinating mystery or who loves science. I would rate it three stars out of five.