Can’t Wait Wednesday : Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.

Take a look :

Project Hail

A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian–while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

Expected Publication : May 2021

Top Ten Tuesday : Cover Love

ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic :

Cover Freebie

If you ever stop by my blog you’ll know that I frequently focus on book covers because I like to show my appreciation for that side of the business – my only problem with this week’s theme is sticking to 10 (I might find a cunning way to cheat). I went with ten colour themes. Check out this buffet of beautiful covers:

ANaturalHistoryPoppy1Wood2HuntingPartySilentTheIronWarofGodsQueensoftheFoundryside RD4 clean flatriversrunPrinceofShadowClayQueenWitches3HS1Wielder'sStorm's Breath52099370._SY475_The raceTheNesting2Deep3OnceFoundry2TheAdamCityofBrass2The Usurper - Ebook - David J. WestSWWWitchGods3Behind

The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) by Andrea Stewart

Bone

My Five Word TL:DR Review : Even Better Than The Hype

I loved this. It’s a great start to series. It’s creative, has excellent world building, characters you can really get on board with and fantastic imagination and it hints at so much more yet to come.

Set in a world of floating islands the early chapters get off to a very dramatic start when one of the islands sinks killing thousands of people. This is where we first meet Jovis, a smuggler and one of five pov voices. I must say I loved Jovis and his animal companion Mephi. I think it’s fairly safe to say that Mephi is going to be a firm favourite with many readers.

A little bit of history about the Empire. The islands were previously ruled by the Alanga – powerful, magic wielding entities that were highly destructive. We don’t really learn much about them in this instalment other than they were defeated by the magic of the first Emperor. That magic is passed down to the heir and is used to maintain control. The fear of course is that the Alanga will one day return and the fact that some of the ancient artefacts seem to be behaving rather oddly (for example statues opening their eyes) certainly fuels this fear.

Magic is used to create ‘constructs’ that help the Emperor maintain control. Constructs are made up of all sorts of body/animal parts and the magic that fuels them comes from bone shards removed from the Emperor’s subjects at an early age during a ‘Tithing’ ceremony. The shards are placed within the constructs and are used almost like a computer chip, to give the construct its own code at the same time as using the person’s life force to fuel the construct. Of course, people are becoming resentful of this process. The tithing ceremony itself is dangerous and painful and the shards, once placed within the construct slowly drain the donor of energy and life. This resentment is in fact the force behind a mounting rebellion that is gaining popularity across the Empire.

The story is narrated through five different POVs that help to give an all round view.

Lin is the Emperor’s daughter. She lost her memory five years ago following illness and whenever she recalls something from the past the Emperor rewards her with a key to one of the many locked doors within the palace. Lin’s story helps us to gain information about the constructs and the way they work.

Jovis relentlessly searches for his missing wife – she was abducted seven years prior and he sails the seas in pursuit of his only clue – a boat with a blue sail that was seen departing the island at the time of her disappearance. He’s a wanted man, his smuggling having earned him something of a reputation and he unwittingly becomes almost a saviour to the people, gaining hero status when he rescues a number of children before they can have their shards removed.

Phalue and Ranami are a couple who share a stormy relationship. Phalue is the daughter of one of the island’s governors. Ranami is one of the islanders, her life and upbringing provide a sharp contrast to the lifestyle of the governor and in fact their relationship is used to highlight the difference in the class system – the downtrodden, underfed famers at one end of the scale, living in abject poverty and working long hours for very little reward and the overfed, over indulged Governor at the other with his opulent lifestyle and scant regard for the masses.

Finally we have a character known as Sand who lives on an island with others who all seem to suffer from some form of memory loss. This is an intriguing element to the story and I confess I completely went down the wrong track with this particular thread. I won’t discuss this element further only to say this promises to be an intriguing element of the next book.

In terms of plot. Well, I would say that this has an almost ‘set up’ style feel to it. Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t a negative remark – this has great pace and I couldn’t put it down – but by the conclusion I would say that what has really been established here is a feel for the people and place plus the promise of so much more yet to come.

Criticisms? I don’t really have any to be honest. I think, as with any book with multiple povs, there will be firm favourites and povs that readers are more keen to return to. I would also like to learn more about the world depicted here. I love the asian influences and the idea of the constructs and the magic used, plus there are a couple of twists that were very eye popping. Basically, I want more and I want it now – so not really a criticisms but a desperate desire to visit this fascinating world again.

Overall, this is a very impressive debut. The writing is polished and there’s a stunning amount of imagination and creativity at play here that certainly provides plenty of food for thought. I can’t wait to read the next instalment.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks. The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4.5 of 5 stars

#SPFBO 6 – Cover Love (8)

Artboard 1
300 books           10 Judges            1 winner

The 1st of June marked the start of the sixth Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (details here.)  My Introductory post is here.  This year I’m aiming to shine a little bit of focus on some of the books either through posting excerpts to act as teasers for potential readers or through posting some of the covers and highlighting the book that way (not just for my own books but other entries).  The invitation is open to all authors from the competition – if you’d like to post an excerpt then give me a shout in the comments (also, if you’ve contacted me recently and I’ve not responded please give me a(nother) shout, I’ve noticed recently that a lot of my comments have gone straight to Spam or Pending so I may have overlooked something.

As part of the competition there is a cover contest.  The details can be found here.

So, this week’s chosen SPFBO covers are all about the women. Check these out and see if you have a favourite:

Friday Face Off : A cover with a pattern

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

A cover with a pattern

I can’t wait to see what everyone came up with this week – I’m thinking that there has to be a few possibilities for this theme.  I’m pleased this week to be able to return to another one of my more recent books.  An unusual tale based in Australia and filled with unusual folklore : Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings.  Not a lot of covers for this one but both are perfect for this week’s theme:

My favourite this week:

flyaway2

Both the covers are similar and I like both but I prefer the cleaner look of this one and the font appeals to be more than the all capitals approach on the dark cover.

I’ll be updating the list in order to include forthcoming events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share then let me know in the comments).  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.

Next week – Minimalistic, lacking clutter

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers) (I’ve added some new themes – some of these are slightly different, in order to avoid too much repetition I’m trying to make the themes more of a suggestion that everyone can interpret how they like.  

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18th September – Minimalistic, lacking clutter

25th September – A very busy cover full to bursting with detail

2nd October – A standout font

9th October – Mist/fog – “A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.”

16th October – Spider web – “Farewell, Aragog, king of the arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you would never forget!

23th October – Ripped/torn – interpret it as you wish

30th October – Forest/jungle – ‘None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.’

6th November – Planets – “You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.”

13th November – Bright – ‘The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades’.

20th November – Words only – “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

27th November – Modern sci fi

4th December –  Fae – or fairy??

11th December – Lake – the mysterious lake

18th December – Highly Stylised

25th December- Freebie – or day off.

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