Who knew a story depicting an astronaut on a one – ticket mission to save humanity from catastrophe could be so heartwarming and wholesome? Well, Andrew Weir has done just that, and in the process, has created a beautiful plot full of suspense and unexpected friends.

‘Project Hail Mary’ follows the story of a Junior school teacher – turned astronaut, that adapts to being the sole survivor of a mission to save Earth from extinction. Throughout the course of the book, we discover that Rhyland Grace is drafted into a life saving project, involving every major power in the world, to save our sun from an infestation of alien life forms, known as Astrophage. These tiny life forms are causing the sun to get dimmer and dimmer. As research unfolds, it is understood that Astrophage navigate a migration pattern between the Sun and Venus. However, amongst a cluster of other infected stars, Tau Ceti remains unharmed, so it is up to three intrepid astronauts to uncover the secret to saving our civilization. As the plot develops, Dr. Grace begins to acclimatize to his surroundings, and gradually regains his memory. The climax of the plot unfurls when Grace crosses paths with another life form, also trying to save their race. The two must overcome unimaginable boundaries to form a relationship strong enough to withstand the grave situation the two are faced with.

Andy Weir has molded this book into a fresh format in which the reader only receives context to the situation as Rhyland Grace regains his memory. As a result, the book consists of flashbacks depicting the international effort involved in the creation of the mission, ‘Project Hail Mary.’ In contrast to this, the reader also follows the present events occurring in deepest space, as we increasingly discover the subtle hints pointing to what is to come.

This book stood out to me, as proving to be a vital reminder to all generations that in a time of absolute crisis, humans can and will work together; once again, representing the profound responsibility we have for each other, and our planet.