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Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

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Artemis by Andy Weir // VBC ReviewArtemis
Andy Weir
Published: Nov. 14, 2017 (Crown)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

The Moon. Long a dream of mankind to not only visit, but maybe—someday—to colonize. In Andy Weir’s Artemis, that dream has become a reality. Let me say this before I go any further into this review: if you are looking for a book that reminds you of The Martian, keep looking. This is NOT “The Martian: Take 2.” In many aspects, other than the science and space part, it is about as opposite as Weir could get. So if you’re looking for a sequel or a re-hash, then you will not want this book. Having said that, the story was pretty good, though not quite to the level I was hoping for.

Artemis focuses primarily on Jazz Bashara, a first-generation moon colonist. She works unloading cargo on ships that come to the moon, working to save for a mysterious goal that is not made clear until towards the end of the book. Living on the moon is extremely expensive, unless you’re one of the wealthy or a tourist who has spent their life savings to make the trip. So, to supplement her income, Jazz also does some illegal smuggling—and when her best customer offers her a way to make more money than she would know what to do with in one go, what’s a broke girl to do? Of course, this being an Andy Weir book, things don’t go as anticipated.

The setting descriptions in Artemis were stellar (see what I did there?), probably because space is what Weir does. The moon, the domes—they all have a haunting desert feel that makes some of the parts more nerve-wracking than they might otherwise be. A nice touch was that each of the domes in the book is named after an astronaut.

The characters, however, were not as strong as I would have liked. This being Weir’s second book, and the first to have more characters play an essential role within the story, some of his characterization suffered. Even Jazz felt less developed than I would have liked, and she was the most complete character of the bunch. There just wasn’t a lot of sympathy to her in many aspects, and when the storyline goes off the rails, which it did in a couple of parts, then that character empathy is what will often keep a reader going.

As for the story—once it picks up speed, it is fairly relentless. Barring good characterization, the other thing that will keep a reader going is the story itself, and the pace often plays a part. In this case, the story has a couple of gaping holes (no spoilers), and as a reader—you have two choices. Continue on because the possibilities are too intriguing, or quit. I chose option number one, and I’m glad that I did. If you can get past those spots that will yank you right out of the story briefly, then the remainder of the book is fast and pretty darn good.

The two biggest problems readers may have with this books are either that it isn’t “The Martian 2.0,” or those plot holes I spoke of. If you’re okay with number one, and you can get past number two, then Artemis is a pretty decent sophomore effort.

Sexual Content: None

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