Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is so good on audio that it basically creates a standard by which all novels and audiobooks should strive to meet.
The only way that an audiobook can ever be as good as Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is to have a rare combination of an innovative writer who has perfected a winning writing style, combined with an innovative narrator, Ray Porter, that happens to be perfect for the material. I’ve got to say, I was so pumped and excited while listening to Hail Mary by Andy Weir that I desperately carved out every available minute I had to listen, completing the 16 hour and 10 minute book over three days. I worked, drove kids everywhere on earth, prepared meals, gardened and did chores. The audiobook was so good that I looked for physical things to do with my hands so I could put my headphones in my ears and tune back into Project Hail Mary.
The book starts with a man waking up alone in a room. He has no clue where he is. He has no memory of his own name. Using Weir’s brand of scienc-ing, he figures out that he is somewhere in space, alone. The rest of the crew is dead, sadly, although he does not remember who they are either. Eventually, Ryland Grace remembers his name, and all the Catholics in the world chuckle, as the Hail Mary is full of Grace.
As Grace sciences more and more, he discovers that he is aboard the Hail Mary, and he is literally saving humanity from a form of extraterrestrial life that is feeding off of the sun. If this life-form does not stop eating the sun’s energy, the Earth will die in a matter of a couple decades.
Project Hail Mary is a suicide mission, and Grace realizes he will never make it back home. He’s out there to figure out how to save humanity, upload the data on one of four mini-space ships attached to the Hail Mary, and send them shooting off into space to make it back to Earth.
Every single chapter of this book is suspenseful. Like The Martian, you’ve got a funny guy going out to space, he finds himself alone, and he has to solve problems constantly to keep himself alive. While all the situations in the book are explainable to someone with a high school science education, no, they’re not realistic. If you’re looking for realism, this isn’t your book. Every unrealistic plot line is, however, explained with real scientific ways that it could possibly occur, which in science fiction, is more realistic than most.
I’m just going to tell you that if you ever read another book in your life, make it this one. Oh, and listen to it on Audible. In this particular book, the audible version takes a five star book and makes it five times better. Five times five is 25 stars. I give it 25 stars. Out of five. This book is pure story, pure entertainment, and the performance is going to win all of the awards. There will be no other competition for audiobook awards this year. Ray Porter wins it all.
I’m even going to do something I’ve never done before and share some guy’s YouTube review of this book because he enjoyed it as much as I did. Believe me, it’s incredible and you must read it. Like now. I’m stopping the review right here so you can please go ahead and start listening now.