Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review | Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis is a science fiction novel from Andy Weir.


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.

I was excited about Artemis for the simple fact that it was a new Andy Weir book. I loved The Martian so I was anxious for more Andy Weir. I was hoping to go into reading it blind, but I spoiled myself to the premise as I was adding it to my Goodreads. Once I saw it was a heist story set on the moon, I had to read it immediately.

There was a level of fun to Artemis. I'm sure a lot of readers will enjoy it. I hoped by the time I sat down to write my official review, the fun aspects of Artemis would overtake my issues, but the opposite has happened. When I look back on reading Artemis, the problems are what I remember most.

Most of my issues revolve around the main character Jazz. This makes sense since there really weren't any other developed characters in Artemis. It was a formula that worked well for Mark Watney's character in The Martian, but I wasn't a fan of Jazz at all.

Not only was Jazz not likable, her character development was problematic. The reader is told on several occasions that Jazz has a sexual history. Why? What does the fact that Jazz has sex tell us about her character? As many times as it was brought up, I assume it was supposed to mean something.

My assessment of Jazz's character is Andy Weir tried to create a badass female character like Devi Morris from Rachel Bach's Paradox trilogy and failed miserably.

Jazz's back story was filled with the awful choices of her youth. I didn't see how her back story was any different from her current story. She was still making awful choices. I wish I could have cared about her, but instead I felt she deserved whatever she got.

Complaints aside, the science in Artemis was fun. The science was a huge part of what I was hoping for going into reading Artemis. Like The Martian, I have no idea if the science was accurate, but it didn't need to be.

At the end of the day, my opinion of Artemis isn't going to sway anyone and it really shouldn't. I wanted a new Andy Weir novel and that's what I got.

I will be excited for his next release, but I'm also hoping it will be a while before we get his next female protagonist.

Despite having issues with Artemis, I came away from reading it waffling between 2 and 3 stars so I'm going to stick with my initial reaction and go straight up the middle with my rating.

5/10: Decent Read

Review copy provided by publisher

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7 comments:

  1. This is one of those authors that will forever have a hard time releasing something people like. Everyone’s expectations are going to be through the roof. This one sounds like he should just stick with male protagonists.

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    1. Oh, yes, there will always be expectations. One thing is for certain: badass females aren't his specialty.

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  2. You're the second blogger who's had issues with Jazz as a sympathetic character. That's too bad. I had high hopes for this one. (But I'm still going to read it.) :)

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    1. I hope you do still give it a try. (And I hope you wind up really liking it! I have seen positive reviews.)

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  3. I agree, a problematic protagonist can affect the whole story. When I look at reviews of Artemis on Goodreads, a pattern definitely emerges where the "meh" reviews are mostly from readers who couldn't stand Jazz! I guess I was lucky, Jazz irritated me at first, but then grew on me :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  4. So from this I'm gathering I should still read The Martian first since I have it and haven't gotten around to it yet. And I was ready to jump into Weir with a female character. Oh well. At least it was a decent read.

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  5. That's too bad, sounds like it had potential but maybe he needs to work on his female protags a bit. I may still read it but I'm not chomping at the bit. Glad to see your thoughts so I know going in what to expect.

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