BOOK TITLE: Artemis
BOOK AUTHOR: Andy Weir
PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
November 14th 2017
GENRES: Colonization, Cyberpunk, Hard Science Fiction, Science Fiction
CHECK IT OUT AT: Goodreads
BUY IT: Buy on Amazon
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.
Confession: I never read The Martian.
I’m not really sure why. It hit all my must read buttons. It just never made it to my must read pile.
And I saw the movie. My rule is always read the book first. But, if you don’t read the book first, don’t go back and read it after, especially if you liked the movie. It never works.
So, when I had a chance to read Artemis, I balked a bit – because I hadn’t read Andy Weir’s first book and I hate being a bandwagon jumper. But I read the blurb and had to dive in.
And it was SO WORTH IT!
Jazz Bashara is the type of young woman who drives the mother in me crazy, but also the type of young woman I wish I had been. Brash. Brave. Smart. Funny. I imagine her pretty, but I don’t know. I really don’t think Weir ever really went into her looks, which is nice.
But, despite her unlawful activities, Jazz has a huge streak of honesty and fairness. She’ll scoot the law as much as possible, but will not lie about it. She dabbles in half truths until confronted, and then she’ll come clean.
And she doesn’t cheat her friends.
Because of these foibles and attributes, Jazz comes off as very likable, driving the story well. Jazz is a perfect antihero, working as a criminal to save her home city from organized crime and destruction. Her brains and her guts give her what she needs to pull off her schemes.
Then there is the setting. The city of Artemis, on the moon, was just perfect. The city is any American city (although it’s not an American city) in the early 21st century. It’s been in a state of old west style frontier town, but the crime is organizing and the gangs are threatening. Artemis needs some intervention, especially after Jazz inadvertently speeds the process along in her bid to get rich quick.
Weir shows off his science chops in Artemis, and he seems to know of what he speaks. Reading articles about him and his writing process show he knows what he’s talking about and researches his topics thoroughly; which all comes through on the pages. He understands the science in science fiction enough to explain it well to a non-science person like me, and he writes the fiction part well enough to satisfy my need for good fiction.
In Jazz, he deftly portrays a young woman from a Muslim background (although she’s pretty much nonreligious), especially for a non-Muslim man. He doesn’t work hard to make her hot or sexy, although her swagger seems to do that all by itself. She’s confident and self conscious at the same time, like most women I know. He doesn’t try to make her into some science fiction sexbot, which I kind of expected. She seems pretty realistic, in my opinion (and it’s the only one I’m giving right now).
I love science fiction, but it’s hard to find good science fiction that isn’t geared toward teens or young adults. Artemis is perfect, filling in the science and the fiction parts for my adult mind.
I enjoyed Artemis immensely. Lots of fun and adventure.