I think it’s pretty safe to say that The Martian is one of my favorite books. It’s One of the books that got me back into reading heavily (and subsequently starting this blog), and reminded me how much I love science fiction. Naturally, Andy Weir’s newest novel, Artemis was one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year. Not only did a preorder a signed copy (thanks Barnes & Noble!), I downloaded the audiobook the minute it came out, and started listening right away. We just won’t talk about how much I got done at work that day.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(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.
I went into Artemis knowing only that it was about a criminal named Jazz living on the moon, and that it was written by Andy Weir. And I think that made my reading experience a bit better, since everything was surprising. I liked that there were sort of different stages to the mystery, and just when I thought something might get resolved, another thing happens and complicates everything. Weir is very good at writing suspense into sci-fi, and this novel is no exception.
While I enjoyed the story itself- I found myself sneaking in fifteen minutes here and there during work because I couldn’t stop thinking about it – the characters were my favorite part of this novel. I loved the diversity in this book, particularly that of the main character. As someone who is half Arab, it made me really happy to see an Arab, female main character in sci-fi. I also loved the feminism in this book; many of the leaders are female and most, if not all, of the female characters are portrayed as intelligent and independent. This book also includes LGBT representation, as well as a cast of characters who I felt accurately represents the world as we know it (i.e. at least half of the characters are people of color representing a variety of countries and cultures). I liked that each person’s culture played into the story as well. I do think Weir did a great job telling the story from a female perspective, something male authors don’t always pull off well.
That said, this book definitely lacked character descriptions. Normally, I wouldn’t mind all that much, but, in this case, it led to me developing an impression of a character that was completely off, resulting in a WTF moment when he/she developed a relationship which a character I’d assumed was much younger. I did notice that age came into play when it came to female characters, so I had a clearer vision of them than the male characters. Just something to be mindful of.
As for the writing, it was classic Andy Weir. If you liked the writing of The Martian, you’ll like this. The science was there – something I know many people weren’t fans of, but I loved – as was the sarcasm. It was a fun, exciting read, and I loved listening to it.
★★★★☆ – Artemis was a great book, but I had to bump it down a star for two reasons: 1. it didn’t quite live up to The Martian, and 2. it left me with SO MANY QUESTIONS. Really, there are a lot of open ends, which doesn’t usually bother me, but there were a few things I thought should have either been resolved, or left out of the plot entirely. All in all, though, I had a ton of fun reading this and would not be opposed to a sequel. Just saying.
Artemis is in bookstores now (and currently available for more than 50% off on Amazon).
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose Artemis as one of your two free books. I highly recommend the audiobook – Rosario Dawson does a brilliant job reading it!
*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission for purchases made through this post.*