"Human beings have a remarkable ability to accept the abnormal and make it normal."
This may be Weir’s third published novel, but it is a direct spiritual successor to The Martian. Come for the astronaut adventure, stay for barrage of chaos and successive problem solving. It’s the same brand of “show-your-work” sci fi that leads the reader through mountains of calculations in an approachable, almost casual narrative voice.
It’s tough to write a full review without spoilers. The backstory and context are revealed as punctuated streams of flashbacks that the protagonist and the reader are discovering together. In the end, there is something for all sci-fi readers here: whether you are drawn to the astrophysics, engineering, microbiology, climatology, or interstellar apocalypse. It exists somewhere in the Venn diagram of Ludlum’s Bourne Identity, Crichton’s Andromeda Strain, and Chiang’s Story of your Life (Arrival). While some of us read a bound copy, others listened to the audiobook and agree that it the narrator did a great job, Project Hail Mary is definitely well-suited to the medium.