Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir (4/5)

11 Oct

I’d put this one off for ages because I felt it couldn’t live up to Weir’s first novel, The Martian. I’ll say right away, it didn’t. But that doesn’t mean this was a bad one. I was finally pushed to read it because a book club at my library had picked it for their third quarter meeting. I’m friends with the librarian in charge of the group and she asked if I’d read it and I had to admit I hadn’t but wanted to. That put me between a rock and a hard place! I took a lazy Saturday and powered through this one. It made for good reading between my naps.

Cover image via Goodreads

Artemis by Andy Weir.

Other books by Weir reviewed on this blog:

The Martian (and movie review)

Summary from Goodreads:

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

The plot in this was great. It was gripping and it moved well and there was no down time between events. That was a major reason I read it so quickly and let it eat up an entire Saturday. My issue with this book was Jazz. She didn’t feel genuine to me. I understand that she grew up in a frontier town that’s so different from the Midwestern life I know that it could be hard to relate to her, but she was so different that she didn’t seem like a woman to me. Maybe because of the male writer, it wasn’t going to feel right, but still. I also felt like I was being babied a bit by Weir. He’d say something about lunar gravity or laws and follow it up with a sentence that actually started with, “Remember,…” in case I’d forgotten we were on the moon. That bugged me a bit. Ok, a lot.

In addition to Jazz, all of the characters seemed a bit off to me. Her father was the most realistic and it’s because he reminded me of an overbearing father whose daughter will never live up to his expectations. That happens on Earth, too! The other people were off and I think that could be explained away as people who fit in on Earth aren’t going to emigrate to the moon. It seems like a weak excuse, though. I wish some of them had been a bit more believable, I really do. I’ll just focus on the plot and continue to enjoy this one.

Because other characters were so minor, Jazz was still my favorite character. She was so smart and so resourceful that I had to love her at least a bit. She often had her heart in the right place, but she didn’t always do the right or logical thing. She was like Gru from Despicable Me.

I couldn’t relate to these characters and that’s part of why I struggled to enjoy the book. It was like reading a western but set in space. With a lot of science. And a female lead. It just wasn’t what I was expecting and I guess I was a little let down by it. It was a fun heist-like plot, but it didn’t move me in any way.

Image via The Daily Californian

I liked seeing Jazz’s plans play out. She was smart and always had to think things through because of her surroundings. Welding is basic but welding in a vacuum with an EVA suit on is not. She was very resourceful and smart and I liked seeing her ridiculous schemes come to life. I wonder how many of them would have really worked. I guess we’re still a few decades from finding out.

The beginning of the book frustrated me. It was a long lead-in to be introduced to the characters. The rest of the book moved so fast that this really stood out to me. A lot of things were explained slowly and it developed Jazz’s voice, but it didn’t develop her character or the plot much for me. I think it could have been cut.

Justice is different in Artemis. There’s not a lot of consequence for right and wrong and Jazz takes advantage of this. Is this better? Is living somewhere where destroying property is OK if you defeat a mob? Or almost killing everyone is OK as long as they don’t actually die? There’s a lot of grey area in law in the first place and Artemis thrives on that. Jazz takes advantage of it. Is that really OK?

Writer’s Takeaway: Weir clearly does a lot of research. He has a section in the back of the book explaining how you can travel to space for about $70,000 in his economy and why that can rationalize the existence of a colony on the moon. When you read his books, it’s clear he knows what he’s talking about. He doesn’t let the science dominate the book, though. It’s still a work of fiction and this book was much more about Jazz and Artemis than it was at all about how to create a sustainable moon colony.

I enjoyed this book but it had its flaws. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

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Related Posts:
Artemis by Andy Weir | 10thandnoble
{Audio Book} Review: Artemis by Andy Weir || Questionable jokes and a better second half | Flying Paperbacks
“Artemis” by Andy Weir | NardiViews
Review- Artemis by Andy Weir (2017) | Total Inability to Connect
Artemis by Andy Weir (Book Review) @andyweirauthor @DelReyBooks #Artemis #CityOnTheMoon | Always Trust in Books


3 Responses to “Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir (4/5)”

  1. mybookworld24 October 15, 2018 at 8:22 AM #

    I tagged you


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