Kemper's Reviews > Artemis

Artemis by Andy Weir
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2017, arc, crime-mystery, thriller, sci-fi, bad-guys-rule

I received a free advance copy of this for review from NetGalley.

M-O-O-N. That spells Andy Weir’s new novel. (OK, if you haven’t read Stephen King’s The Stand that joke won’t make sense to you, but rather than think that’s a failure of my review I’m going to say that it’s your own fault for not having read The Stand. Serves you right.)

It’s the near future, and there’s a city on the moon called Artemis. Jazz Bashara is a young woman who has grown up there, and knowing the place like the back of her hand makes it easier for her to hustle a living legally by being a porter who hauls stuff around. Illegally, she makes money on the side with a smuggling business. If she could get her EVA certification she could make a lot more by showing tourists the sights outside, but a hardware problem makes her fail the test as well as nearly killing her. So when a rich guy offers her a huge payday to perform a dangerous act of sabotage on a business rival Jazz takes the gig. Things don’t go quite as planned and soon Jazz is in danger of being deported back to Earth or murdered, and she isn’t sure which one would be worse.

Just to get this out of the way: No, it isn’t as good as The Martian. But it’s still a pretty fun read and got a lot of the stuff I liked about that one so no shame there.

Weir has built up a lot of detail about life on the moon from the nuts-and-bolts stuff science stuff as well as how the Artemis society functions. One detail I particularly liked is that the moon citizens trade in ‘slugs’ which stands for ‘soft landed grams’ which is a weight based credit system to have things shipped from Earth.

We’ve also got another likeable lead character in Jazz just as we did with Mark Watney in The Martian. Jazz is a borderline criminal, not an astronaut, but like Mark she’s got a can-do attitude mixed with a fun way of explaining all the technical stuff to the reader. She’s also got a similar smart-ass nature, and that could have gone wrong because snarky leads can turn into annoying joke machines if not done well. Yet Weir never lets it get away from him and keeps it funny.

So why not as good as his first book? While it’s great that Weir made his main character a young woman who is a lapsed Muslim he didn’t exactly do anything with those traits. Jazz could have easily been a young male of any religion so it seems like an easy nod to diversity rather than incorporating anything that might have deepened her. Also, while this one has Jazz getting into plenty of predicaments it lacks the tension that The Martian had its best. Granted, one is a survival story and one is more of a sci-fi thriller so it’s comparing apples to giraffes to some extent, but I just never felt like Jazz was in any real danger whereas I legitimately didn’t know if Watney would make it off Mars.

Still, it’s got the same kind of enthusiastic attitude of his first book, and it’s nice to read about smart people doing smart things. This isn’t great literature, but Weir has an entertaining style. He’s also great at blending science, story, and humor into a nice little sci-fi stew.
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Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Great review Kemper! I was skeptical due to the very bi-polar reviews of this book, but hey, you convinced me.


Holly  B I just started this one and am enjoying it so far! Great review!


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I'm glad I read your review Kemper. Sounds fantastic. It still remains on my TBR list. Great review


message 4: by Monica (new) - added it

Monica Great review! I'm definitely looking forward to this one.


Reader Extraordinaire Great review! I quite enjoyed reading The Martian, looking forward to reading this. I guess the jokes on me, haven't read The Stand yet.


Michelle Curie I'm so excited for this aaah


William Wonderful review, Thank you. I'm jealous you got an ARC. I tried hard! Can't wait to read it.


message 8: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Not everything needs to be great literature, and enthusiasm can go a long way. I enjoyed The Martian more than a tick-box assessment would predict, and this sounds similar in that respect.


message 9: by Mara (new) - added it

Mara What kind of sick, twisted human hasn't read The Stand?
I mean, me before 2014, but that doesn't negate the previous statement in the least!


Kemper Cecily wrote: "Not everything needs to be great literature, and enthusiasm can go a long way. I enjoyed The Martian more than a tick-box assessment would predict, and this sounds similar in that respect."

It's very similar to The Martian in tone which is what I really liked about it.


Kemper Mara wrote: "What kind of sick, twisted human hasn't read The Stand?
I mean, me before 2014, but that doesn't negate the previous statement in the least!"


Mara! Where have you been?


message 12: by Basia (new) - added it

Basia Oh that was so funny, your The Stand comment. Thank you. Thank you for you and all your reviews!! Awesome.


Kemper Basia wrote: "Oh that was so funny, your The Stand comment. Thank you. Thank you for you and all your reviews!! Awesome."

Glad you like them.


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