Published by Crown Publishing Group (NY) on November 14th 2017
Genres: adult, science fiction
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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.
First things first, I have NOT read The Martian. It’s on my very large list of books to read, but I haven’t had the chance to get to it yet, and now after reading Artemis, let me just say I’m not going to be in a hurry. I know, I know, so many love it, but I absolutely hated the voice in this novel, and I’ve read several reviews that state it’s very similar to the voice in The Martian (and works better there), and I just don’t want to go through that again anytime soon. There are excessive exclamation points littered all over the book, and every now and then the voice is super stilted. I felt like I was reading a childish attempt at fan fiction.
There are some great gems like these:
“Having taken a good dump, the basin returned to level and the harvester sat idle.”
“My plan was working! I giggled like a little girl. Hey, I’m a girl, so I’m allowed.”
“The biggest time sink was when I had to run and hide from the debris. I knew what I had to do–I just didn’t like it. I’d have to blow the remaining two at the same time. Please don’t quote that last sentence out of context.”
Could Andy Weir please never write from a woman’s perspective, like, ever again? Women do not think this way. We do not think about taking dumps, we HATE giggling, and sexual innuendos like that are clearly only from the male gaze. Poor Jazz Bashara.
And there are a lot more glorious quotes where those came from, I’d just rather not vomit while looking for them.
But that’s not all. There is a LOT of welding in this book. Look, I’ve got appreciation for people that work in skilled trades–I mean, my father does it for chrissakes–but what I do not want to do is read about it. Know why? Because it’s fucking boring, that’s why. There is so much welding in this book. SO. MUCH. Even the climax of the book has a major welding scene, and how is THAT supposed to be tense and exciting?
It’s not all bad though. It’s readable when it’s not being boring, which, is like half the time. The world-building is decent, and I definitely liked the moon city of Artemis. The science and technology descriptions worked and were written in a way that I could mostly understand. And most of all, I did like reading a book set on the moon. I think that’s a first for me, and it definitely makes me want to find and read more.
Artemis gets a solid three stars from me (but not more) because I appreciated that the author tried to be diverse, writing a Saudi protagonist on a Kenyan-run moon base, and including gay characters as well, but the writing was super weak and the voice was absolutely horrific. That’s the best I can do.