December 29th 2017 – January 1st 2018
If you look on the books subreddit, the discussion for Artemis by Andy Weir can come across as people being unsure of the age of the character, and not being a huge fan of the way Jazz talks. As a side note, I do not recommend going into that thread if you haven’t read the book. If you haven’t read the book, this review doesn’t contain spoilers, so you’re safe.
Artemis is a relatively light read, if you don’t mind a lot of technical scientific discussion mixed in with quite a bit of immature dialogue and cursing. That being said, I really enjoyed it.
I don’t want to fully compare this book to The Martian, I don’t think it’s a fair direct comparison, but I will say this: I think that these two books aren’t really in the same category. The Martian felt much more realistic than Artemis did. It wasn’t the location, they both take place off of Earth, for me it was the amount of time that had surpassed. Both novels are very well researched, extremely technical, and have snide main characters. However, since more time had passed between present day and Jazz’s time in Artemis, it felt more like future science fiction than The Martian did to me.
The main character of this book is Jazz Bashara, a woman who grew up in Artemis, which is the lunar colony in this novel. Jazz is a criminal. She smuggles things into Artemis and does other small criminal-ey things. Her character is not for everyone. Jazz can come across as annoying and a bit of an ass at times, and definitely does not act her age. I found Jazz to be really funny and smart, even if her knowledge was a bit over-convenient to the plot line. I enjoyed her relationship with her father, and how underneath everything, she was really a good person who was trying to do her best.
This book is about a heist. As I said earlier, no spoilers, so I’ll just say that the heist has to do with control over production in Artemis. The plot is fast paced, and I flew through the 305 page book in less than two days. This book has two flaws: it’s characters are polarizing, in that the audience is either going to really enjoy Jazz, or really want her to shut up, and the plot is very convenient. Much like The Martian, Jazz knows exactly how to solve whatever problem comes her way.
This was a great book to start 2018 on. It was quick, fun, and provided just the right amount of sass that I was looking for in science fiction. With a fun, diverse cast of characters, I gave this book four stars. The only thing that could have made this book a five star book for me was if there was less convenience in the plot, or if Jazz didn’t have all the answers herself.