Review: Science Fiction · Review: Thriller

Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Jazz is officially a porter and unofficially a smuggler on the moon colony, Artemis. She has lived a life of misspent youth and squandered opportunities, and hates the word potential, which she too often hears applied to herself. When she’s offered the job of a lifetime, she sees the enormous paycheck and takes it, despite the extreme risks.

Jazz very quickly discovers that she may have bitten off more than she can chew, and finds herself on the wrong side of the mafia she never knew controlled her world.

This was a really fun read.

Andy Weir doesn’t disappoint the fan of The Martian. Artemis has a new story and new characters, but with just as much energy and humor in the tone, a sci-fi setting that doesn’t skimp on explaining the science and technology, a hyper-intelligent protagonist, and a fast-paced plot with ever-rising stakes.

Reading this book, I found myself reflecting on the sublime joy of reading the work of a writer who can carry a humorously engaging tone, write a gripping plot, and also keep us up to speed with the science without feeling like we’re reading a textbook, or something contrived. The science is as much a part of the plot as any other element, and I really appreciate that.

One of the main plot threads of this book, Jazz’s relationship with her father was my absolute favorite. It was a story that built up slowly, and by the end of the book, I was deeply, deeply touched by this element of the book.

I also loved reading about Jazz’s friendships. Every friendship had a character, and a history, and these were another wonderful part of the story.

The “romantic” plot, on the other hand…I could have done without this. It was a lust story more than a love story, and Jazz’s attraction to the guy seemed more a byproduct of his attraction to her than anything—which felt a little odd. But I was also put off this guy because his awkwardness is portrayed not so much as general awkwardness as this “inability to talk to women,” or “inability to talk delicately about women,” which to me indicates that he has trouble seeing women, or at least attractive women, as people. So of course I had creepy! vibes about him throughout, which meant I was very much not onboard with the attraction.

But maybe this is the intent. Jazz is shown to have had very poor taste in men in the past, so maybe this latest guy is supposed to be the latest model of definitely-not-right.

Jazz got extremely lucky an awful lot throughout this story. It’s not just once or twice, but consistently, from beginning to end. It’s not only the several tension-building life-threatening situations that she survives, but also the several occasions on which she makes guesses about what action to take that all turn out for the best.

But, for all of my nitpicking, I did very much enjoy this book. I look forward to the future works of Andy Weir!

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