Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary is a new hard science fiction novel by Andy Weir the author of the Martian. I received an early copy through NetGalley. The story follows Ryland Grace the only survivor on a mission to save Earth and humanity and he is the worlds last hope. However, he doesn’t know that because he doesn’t remember his name or what he’s supposed to do on this mission. But its up to him and an unexpected ally to find the solution to an extinction level event that threatens all life on Earth.

Project Hail Mary is very had to talk about without spoiling some aspects of the plot and story. I really like book though most of the science went over my head. Ryland Grace is much more of a Mark Watney style character so if you liked the Martian I would recommend this book. At this point to say anything else I will be getting into spoilers so stop reading if you don’t want to know anything more.

The story is told through Ryland Grace’s perspective but switches between current events and the memories of his past that tells the read who he is and why he is on this mission. Because he doesn’t have his memories we are thrown into the story and learn with him what is going on. Through the flash backs we learn that something is causing the Sun of get dimmer and if not stopped then it will cause catastrophic problems on Earth. It is soon determined that this is happening because of an organism called Astrophage is feeding on the energy of the Sun. I’m not going to discuss any of the science of the book because that is one aspect that I had trouble understanding but I got the overall plot, relationships, and emotions of the characters. Grace determines that he is on this space ship because they were headed to the one location that the Astrophage do not seem to be affecting.

Shortly, after waking up and remembering what he is meant to do Grace sees another space craft that he knows can’t be from Earth. He ends up communicating with the other space craft and meets an alien life form that is very different from humans. Grace calls him Rocky. They learn how to talk to each other and together the figure out how the Astrophage work and how to stop them. As they figure out what they need to do Grace finally gets back all of his memories and why he is on the ship which he now knows is a suicide mission. I don’t want to spoil the whole ending but together Grace and Rocky save their planets and Grace gets to do what he’s best at in the end.

Book Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet(Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

27213244The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chamber is the first book of the adult science fiction Wayfarers series. The story follows the crew of the tunneling ship Wayfarer as they take on a new crew member Rosemary Harper and the new jobs tunneling jobs that become available.

Tunneling ships create wormholes in space to connect different planet and locations. The crew of the Wayfarer is a culmination of different people and aliens that have become family to each other. The stories plot is that the Wayfarer as been given the job of creating a tunnel to a distant planet held by a race that just agreed to join the rest of the galactic society. However, the plot is not the main focus of the story the characters are.

Don’t read this if you’re wanting something where the plot is the focus. The characters are the important part of this story. The story is told through vignettes from the perspective of the different characters and crew members. They are a found family that might be different species but they love each other.

I absolutely loved this book. Though I love all different types of book some that focus more on the story than character and visa versa. However, this books strength lies in how well realized all these different characters are and their relationships to the rest of the crew. Everyone has their own history, story and some even secrets but they all are part of this big family that will do what ever they have to to keep each other together.

Artemis by Andy Weir

34928122Artemis by Andy Weir is a science fiction novel where Jasmine (Jazz) lives on Artemis, Earth’s first and only lunar colony. When her get rich quick plan falls apart she learns how the colony is truly run and what she has to due to try to save her friends and family while also not getting crested. An interesting story on how a lunar colony would be run though not as funny as the Martian its entertaining.

Jazz doesn’t feel like a very realistic character but her personality and the high jinks she is involved with are very entertaining. The blurb on the book makes it seem like the heist would be the main focus of the story but it happens about half way though the book and the rest of the story is Jazz dealing with the fallout and things not going to plan. I don’t think Artemis would work as a real city as there is no real police force just Rudy who gets to beat people up or whatever he wants to keep everyone in line and everything running like it should.

I like Andy Weir’s witting connecting both science fiction with science fact but at times it felt far more technical that it needed to be which lead parts of the book to be boring. I personally liked the premise of the story more than the story that is told. The main thing that I didn’t like which caused me to rate the book lower is the fact that Jazz begins and ends the story at the exact same place and there is not much character growth.

The Cloverfield Paradox Review

Cloverfield_paradox_posterSo I finally sat down and watched The Cloverfield Paradox which I liked the most out of the Cloverfield movies so far. The movie starts out with some info dumping about how Earth is running out of power sources and so the world has sent a team to a space station to work with a massive particle accelerator to attempt to find a new power source. When the experiment works all hell breaks loose on the space station has they ended up breaking the fabric of reality. Though it is a science fiction movie I would classify it more as a body horror such as Alien or the Thing than just straight sci-fi.

I’ve never loved any of the Cloverfield movies and this ones no exception though I do like it better than the others. In Cloverfield, I felt like the characters were very annoying and I didn’t care what happen. It doesn’t help that I have never been a fan of found footage movies either. 10 Cloverfield Lane on the other hand was a movie that I like the concept of but found the movie as a whole very boring. So, I didn’t have high expectations for Cloverfield Paradox. Though I don’t think Paradox was needed as part of the Cloverfield series I did like the concept of the movie and I wasn’t bored. If any of the Cloverfield movie got direct squeals I would want it to be Paradox as I feel like it has the most that could be done with it given how the story and ending is set up. It is the only Cloverfield movie that has any real horror in my opinion. 

As the movie progresses it starts to feel like they characters are trapped in space where no one can help them which preys on the fear of the dark and unknown. The one thing that I’ve always disliked about theses movies is that most of the characters are just unlikable with few redeeming factors. For instance in Paradox, Ava’s arc does work  as she wants to stay in an alternate world where her children are still alive but she doesn’t think what thorough the consequences of if she stays and there is a version of her in the world. And then there’s Jensen who was on the other ship and who’s reality is in jeopardy who comes off as a bitch who just wants everyone dead so, I was very happy that she ends up dying.

Paradox also is the movie where the explanation for how the alien invasions happened in the other movies is supposed to exist. This is never really explained, just that in accidentally ending up in an alternate reality and then jumping back to their own unleashed horrible monsters. I do feel like Paradox has the best ending out of all the Cloverfield movies just because its slightly more hopeful than the other two but the ending of these movies are never very good.

Rolling in the Deep and Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant Review

Mira Grant aka Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors and these books are no exception. Under Mira Grant, McGuire writes Science Fiction and Science Fiction Horror novels which if your a fan of Michael Crichton I feel like you will love.

23634011Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant is a novella about a research vessel going to the Mariana Trench to find Mermaids. Commissioned by the Imagine Network (which feels to me like if you combined the Discovery Channel fake documentaries with Asylum the creators of Sharknado),  the scientist think that the company sponsoring the trip is just going to film a mockumentary but they end up finding real mermaids who are not kind or beautiful. This book is technically a prequel to Into the Drowning Deep but it works as a stand alone. However, if you want to have no information about what the mermaids are like and the twist at the end of In to the Drowning Deep read the full length novel first. I didn’t know about the novella when I first read the novel so they work in either order. I didn’t connect to the characters as much due to how short the book is but what is there is great. It made me want more from this world and story.

34523174Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant is a science fiction horror novel about a research ship going out to the Mariana Trench to find mermaids and what happened to the ship, the Atargatis, that went out seven years previously. This is a reread for me and I loved it just as much as the first time I read it. The characters are amazing and complex from the woman who convinced Image that mermaids existed, the sister of one of the missing from the previous expedition, two big game hunters and many others. The wonderful thing about McGuire’s stories is she adds diverse characters in a way that is natural, they are diverse because our world is, this includes deaf sisters and a journalist who is both a lesbian and autistic.

The best way I can describe it is the book is everything I didn’t know I wanted out of murderous mermaids. These are not the pretty ladies of the sea but monsters from the deep that humanity has long feared. The character that you dislike or hate have a reason to be there and get what they deserve and those that you love must survive horrible circumstances to make one of the biggest discoveries of the world. The ending is left open ended enough for a possible squeal but doesn’t leaving anything hanging. I absolutely love these books and hope that a squeal will happen.