Wow!! Project Hail Mary is not the typical genre that I read. I have not read The Martian but I have seen the movie.
Project Hail Mary grabbed me due to the creativity and life and death problem solving required while in space. The collaboration between the US, Russia and China to create the Hail Mary spaceship inspires us to think about what is possible if we work together.
The primary story focuses on the importance of relationships, even with extraterrestrial beings who communicate, eat, move, and look very different from humans. The innovative ability to learn about each other to communicate and care about each other is heartwarming.