Book Genre: Science Fiction,
Book Series: N/A
Released: 11/14/17 by Crown Publishing
Pages: 384 Price: $27.00 Hardcover
Links: Goodreads, Author’s Site
Buy the Book: Amazon Artemis: A Novel
Source: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Let me start this review off by stating that I love The Martian, I mean really love that book. If you follow my blog then you already know this because it seems like I am constantly pimping the book. I have reviewed it three times after all…(all linked in this review) I was super excited to get my hands on Mr. Weir’s second title because I have also enjoyed many of his short stories that he has published on his website. Let me also get this out-of-the-way, Artemis is not as strong a story as The Martian. It simply isn’t. That’s okay, though, there was a lot to live up to in The Martian and that doesn’t mean that Artemis isn’t a thoroughly enjoyable book because it is. I’m still giving it five stars, not that I think they are equal, just that The Martian probably deserved like ten stars from me.
Before I started my review I decided to check out some of the other blogger’s thoughts on Artemis and found a mixed bag, some glowing some more critical. I tend to agree with many of the points of either type of review but they didn’t sway my opinion and decision to give this book five stars. Let me tell you why.
Lets start with Jazz who seems to receive most of the harsh criticism from reviewers. Yep she is a little rough around the edges and it can be difficult for a male author to capture the essence of female-hood. Not that it can’t be done, but it can be a challenge, just as the opposite can be true of a female writing a male. The tendencies to get carried away with stereotypes can be strong, also sometimes the character can come off feeling a bit off. Personally I liked Jazz. I thought she was well written, sure a bit awkward at times and juvenile, but that isn’t necessarily mean she isn’t authentic. When you take into account the history of the character I think Jazz is pretty true to form. She was a young girl raised by a single father on the moon. She is a tomboy and probably didn’t have a strong female role model in her life. I think she works and have known people in real life like her. She was smart and funny and I appreciated the strong moral code she lived her life as a smuggler under. She was flawed but redeeming which makes for a pretty strong character in my book. Just because you might not like someone and think they are awkward doesn’t mean they are lacking.
Now for what I love most about Andy Weir’s books. The science! I love that his science fiction is based in real science. He doesn’t cheat, at least to my non-scientific liberal-arts fine art-degree mind that is. I might not understand everything he explains in his stories but I love the fact that he takes the time to anyway and doesn’t make me feel stupid in the meantime. I also enjoy how the lead character talks to the reader, breaking the fourth wall can be tricky. Easily overdone but not in this instance. Weir uses it to keep the reader engaged and invested in the story not to mention for comedic reasons. I loved it!
On last point in this book’s favor that I feel has been overlooked in all the reviews I’ve read thus far. The diversity in this book is amazing! I can’t think of a more diverse cast of characters in any book that I’ve ever read, and there have been quite a few. I don’t know if this speaks more to my reading taste or the industry in general but one of us needs to expand our horizon’s more. This book was amazing in this regard. Jazz is a Muslim Saudi female who is the hero of this story!!! I don’t want to spoil anything else (that was leaked already by Mr. Weir on Facebook) but this book does an excellent job of portraying a diverse blended society. One other thing I noticed in this book was the lack of Americans. I’m sure they were there but most of the main functions of this society were not run by companies or people from The United States. Hmm. I wonder if this was a bit of social commentary by the author of what might happen to a powerful society that rejects science. I think it does.
Is the book perfect. No it can feel a little awkward at times but it was still fun and the ending was amazing. I can’t wait to add this title to my home library permanently. I also can’t wait to share this review and book with you my followers and my library patrons.
My Rating: 5 Stars