When Ryland Grace wakes up from what turns out to be a years long, medically induced coma he doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there, or the identities of the two dead bodies with him. As his memories come back to him in flashes, he pieces the facts together: the sun is dying and he’s been sent on a last ditch mission to save Earth. But why send a jr. high school science teacher? Weir utilizes his background as a computer programmer to imbue technical details into his writing, making for a more realistic take on space travel. Accurate mathematics aside, Project Hail Mary is above all a story about love, sacrifice, and the unshakable fortitude of humankind. I absolutely loved this book, it made me laugh, brought tears to my eyes and gave me a whole new appreciation for sci-fi as a genre.
The Mountain in the Sea" is a mesmerizing read, like watching an octopus shift seamlessly from one camouflage to another. It is at once a hard scifi novel exploring the mapping of the human brain, a first-contact tale in which the sentient alien species we encounter comes not from the sky, but the sea. It is also an environmental thriller, complete with corporate espionage and weapons tech. But at its heart it is an elegy to the aquatic world we are on the verge of destroying, with perhaps a ray of hope at the end.