Project Hail Mary is destined to be a classic of first contact books, up there with "Rendezvous with Rama" and "The Mote in God's Eye" (it's actually better than those books). You might be thinking 'yeah, but reviewers are always hyperbolic in their claims'. I feel compelled to mention that I've never called a book an 'instant classic' before, and I'm not making this statement lightly. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put it down. The rate at which discoveries unfold is perfect, the irreverent tone is extremely readable, and the science is fascinating.
Andy Weir took everything great about The Martian, refined it, and used it to create a vastly more interesting world. The familiar elements are there, all well-executed: a lone joke-cracking scientist (this time with an alien compatriot!), fun survival problems that need to be solved by the hyper-competent protagonists, and teams working together toward a common goal. In addition to the familiar elements, Weir adds some immensely fun world-building which feels just as polished as the rest of the story.
There are some plausibility issues, but they're the best kind -- things like "here is a mysterious material that has these shocking properties, what could we do with this if it existed?"
I think that this book is best enjoyed without knowing too much about it up-front, so I'm not going to give a plot overview. I'll just conclude by saying that it's the best book I've read in years, and I give it my highest recommendation.
You can find the book here: Project Hail Mary (as an Amazon Associate Compelling Science Fiction may earn a small amount from qualifying purchases, which helps with server costs). As always, I did not receive any incentives (financial or otherwise) to review this book, but I was sent an early access copy by the publisher.
Take care everyone!