Hail Mary by Andy Weir

I almost wrote off Andy Weir forever after reading reviews of Artemis. I really liked his book the Martian which even got made into a pretty nifty movie. Some may not like long descriptions of ‘science-y’ problem solving, but it was good for me. It was like those human survival stories but in space. After his success in The Martian, he released Artemis.

One look at the bad reviews for Artemis had me running for the hills!

this book is a masterclass for how male authors should never write a female character. like, never ever ever. i honestly have >never read such terrible characterisation before and i can only think of two reasons for why that is.

  1. andy weir just copied what he wrote for mark in ‘the martian’ and pasted it into this book. or,
  2. andy weir has somehow managed to never meet a woman in his entire life.

In space, no-one can hear you yawn…

I can imagine that publishing a second novel is kind of a suckfest, especially when your debut novel was a grandiose bestseller. How do you follow up? Can you even recreate the success and drive of the first one? So I did not go into Artemis hoping I would enjoy it as much as The Martian. Even so, I was disappointed.

I quickly got the message to avoid Artemis. Recently, I started to hear good buzz about Hail Mary. I saw it in the used bookstore and flipped through it. I was intrigued. Checking the reviews for Hail Mary made me even more interested - 4.6 stars! As I just finished some heavy novels, I thought let’s sit back and read something ‘light’. We all need some ‘book popcorn’ now and then.

In Hail Mary, it feels like Andy Weir has found his niche. Space + big problem + jokes + science! Weir sort of reminds me of Dan Brown. When I pick up a Dan Brown novel, I know what to expect. I know it won’t be a literary masterpiece, but it will be fun and keep me turning the pages! This is exactly how I felt when I read “Hail Mary”. It felt familiar but interesting enough I wanted to stay up late and see what happens next.

The main plot of Hail Mary is similar to The Martian, though it is setup in a different way. In Hail Mary, the main guy wakes up in a spaceship and doesn’t even know his name. Eventually, he discovers he is on a mission to save humans from extinction. He needs to do lots of ‘science’ things to complete his mission.

If it wasn’t winter right now, this would be a perfect beach read. It has an interesting story, some humour, and nice twist on The Martian formula about half-way through the book.

Rating: ★★★★

Book #111 in my #ReadingChallenge2021

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