Amaze, amaze. That’s what I felt about this book. It was hard to put down, much better than my previous read by this author. I’m finding it hard to write about though because I don’t want to give too much away- part of the tension and delight in reading this was discovering what was going on right along with the main character in the story. He wakes up on a space ship as the sole survivor. Doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there, can’t even remember his own name. Has to scramble to figure everything out, and soon it becomes apparent that his mission is incredible crucial. There’s lots of problem solving and things going wrong, especially (of course) at critical moments. Practically up to the very last page, there’s a tense question to be answered: did it work? was all his effort in vain?
The best part: there is an alien encounter. And it’s the best written idea of aliens I’ve ever come across. From how uniquely strange the entity is, to how they manage to build a basis for communication, felt very probable to me. The plot is gripping, the story remains engaging throughout, the characters become more likable as you learn more about them. I didn’t at all get bogged down in math or science terms this time- it was kept simple enough for me to follow (but, does that mean an actual scientist or astronaut would find this novel boring or eye-rollingly absurd? someone will have to tell me). Really interesting that the crisis this book presents is exactly the opposite of what we’re facing now. Instead of building on the looming catastrophe of global warming, the story flips that scenario around (without ignoring it entirely). Very clever and thought-provoking. And man, the ending. I sat up late in bed to finish it. Really good. If somebody makes a movie out of this novel, I’ll be very eager to see it.
Borrowed from my teenager, who borrowed it from a teacher.
Note: the last two reviews linked to below have some spoilers.
I have this waiting for me at the library because I’ve seen so many good reports of it. Can’t wait.
I just answered my own question, ha, by reading enough reviews- yes, some people say this writer is like the Dan Brown of science. Appealing to the masses. Makes me cringe, because I can’t stand Dan Brown, but I loved this! Oh well!
I absolutely love your reaction to this one. I felt much the same, and I can only imagine what kind of movie this could be turned into. With today’s computer technology, I think a very believable version of the alien character could be constructed.
I’ve seen that same plot idea used in other books (not used very well, poorly written self published books). Sounds like this one used it much better! Hmm I was going to say I bet this was the original use of the idea, but it was just published last year, so maybe not.
It is kind of a repeat of his plot for the Martian- one guy alone in space, having to solve tons of problems all by himself. (Until he meets the alien! which is the best part)
I liked this too, and I absolutely was not expecting to! I had heard SO many bad things about Andy Weir’s second novel, and I kind of wrote him off, but then like twelve people told me Project Hail Mary was better. And it was! I legitimately enjoyed it a lot.
Did you write about it, Jenny? I like to link to other reviews . . . or maybe it’s mentioned on your podcast (which regrettably I don’t listen to quite often enough). Yeah, I have no interest in reading Artemis after seeing quite a few negative reviews about his portrayal of a woman’s mindset.
This was a fun one, wasn’t it? For me, Rocky was absolutely the very best part! 😀