Will Byrnes's Reviews > Artemis

Artemis by Andy Weir
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bookshelves: fiction, mystery, science-fiction

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Artemis - image from BusinessInsider.com

Jasmine (Jazz) Bashara has a problem. She is 26 and close to being homeless, which is illegal where she lives. Back on Earth she would have had a lot of company, but living in Artemis, the moon’s only city, population two thousand, laying low is a bit tougher. She used to live with her father, but is too embarrassed to go back, having had a tiny accident in his workplace, smoking weed there with a pal, and…ummm…pretty much burning it down. Oopsy. She sleeps in a tiny space fondly referred to as a coffin, gets by working as a porter, despite her exceptional brain, and aspires to getting her EVA license, which would allow her to make real money, escorting tourists and doing other outside jobs. Too bad she kinda blew her road test.

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Andy Weir - image from Wired

Good thing, though, that she has a fallback, a steady entrepreneurial gig. She moonlights as a smuggler. A steady client of her off-book import biz, a tech billionaire sort, has a plan for taking over a local enterprise. All it requires is for someone to do some unapproved EVA work and blow some things up. The million slugs (local currency – maybe she should be called a sluggler. Ok, maybe not) he offers makes it worth the very considerable risk of moving from her low orbit criminal activity to the much higher orbit of actual felon. But what was that mysterious box she spotted at his place, labeled ZAFO? Unfortunately, all does not go as planned, and now some very scary darkside people are doing their best to put her in a state of permanent eclipse.

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I see Brianna Hildebrand as Jazz

Artemis is a very exciting action-adventure sci-fi tale, with a dose of mystery tossed in. Weir made some effort to hone his character-building skills and it shows.
“I worked hard to make a deeper character than Mark Watney…Jazz is more nuanced. She’s flawed. She makes bad decisions. She’s incredibly intelligent, but she’s always looking for the shortcut.” - from the EW interview
That’s one small step for an author, one giant leap for reading enjoyment. Jazz is fun and relatable, well, relatable enough that we care whether or not she is given a close encounter with an unlivable atmosphere. You might have to suspend your moral perspectives though, as Jazz is what she is, a criminal. Her wise-cracking sense of humor is very appealing, as it was for Mark Watney in The Martian. Each chapter ends with an exchange of messages, from many years before, between Jazz and an Earth-based friend. These also give us reasons to care about her.

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I see Penny Johnson Jerald as Administrator Fidelis Ngugi - image from Hollywood Reporter

As with The Martian, Andy Weir is very interested in showing us space tech, and explaining the relevant science. Unlike the case with his uber hit, he manages to stop himself from loading us up with too much. A bit of corny humor around an experimental reusable condom did not work.

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I kept seeing Oded Fehr as Jazz’s father, Ammar Bashara – image from TV Guide

He looks at the economy and sociology of the moon society as well, including crime, currency, and political organization. This is where his Arthur C. Clarke, hard-science inclinations, meet up with Asimovian social examination, and a Heinleinian feel for dialogue, while stopping well short of the sort of deeper politico-sociological considerations of, say, Ursula Leguin. What he has succeeded in writing is a fast-moving, engaging, fun book that will slip you a little intel about actual moon-base science and planning while keeping you thoroughly entertained.

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Kristofer Hivju, with, perhaps, a bit of a beard trim, could be a wonderful Trond


Review posted – 12/29/2017

Publication date – 11/14/2017


=============================EXTRA STUFF

Links to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pages.

10/4/2017 - On the production of aluminum
A nifty wiki - Life on Artemis

Rosario Dawson reads a bit of Artemis

A small interview bit from Entertainment Weekly
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Reading Progress

December 8, 2017 – Started Reading
December 8, 2017 – Shelved
December 9, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: fiction
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: mystery
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: science-fiction

Comments Showing 1-38 of 38 (38 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim Looking forward to reading this one!


Will Byrnes A fast, fun read


Karen’s Library I had fun with this book. Great review, Will!


Will Byrnes Thanks, Karen


message 5: by Eric (new) - added it

Eric Once again, Will, another great review! I've seen some mixed reviews on this book and I have been on the fence. No more. Looks like a good read!


Will Byrnes Thanks, Eric. Definitely enjoyable, at least it was for me.


message 7: by Ana (new) - added it

Ana Thank you Will, great review. I'm definitely interested for this one. :)


Will Byrnes Thanks, Ana


message 9: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Great review Will!


message 10: by Tammy (new) - added it

Tammy Nice review, Will. I liked this considerably less than you. 😊


message 11: by Shampa (new) - added it

Shampa Paul Thanks Will for the great review. Looking forward to read it :)


William Thank you for the review, Will.

I loved the first half of the book, but was badly disappointed by the second half. Terrible 😢


message 13: by Mike (new)

Mike Enjoyed your take on this one, Will. Great review!


message 14: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, all. Clearly this book had less mass appeal than The Martian, one star less for me. But I still enjoyed it, and the science payload that Weir delivered.


message 15: by Mischenko (new) - added it

Mischenko Great review, Will! Looking forward to this one even more! 🖤


message 16: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, Mischenko


message 17: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin Terrific review, Will!


message 18: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, Paula


Brendon Schrodinger Great review Will. I'm glad you enjoyed i too.


message 20: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, Brendon


message 21: by Renata (new) - added it

Renata Your reviews are always a treat to read! I can count on open, honest personal responses as well as insightful reflection on style and authors voice. I liked your references to other sci-fi authors I’ve lived over the decades. Looking forward to reading this 2018!


message 22: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, Renata. It's a fun read.


message 23: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Curious to see if your actor prophecies come to pass! :)


message 24: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes I always enjoy it when faces of particular actors pop to mind while reading a novel. My history of these things as predictions is not good.


message 25: by Forrest (new)

Forrest I predicted Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange waaaaay before he was cast. Does that count?


message 26: by SNManley (new)

SNManley i don't know this book by name but what a fabulous review


message 27: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Forrest wrote: "I predicted Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange waaaaay before he was cast. Does that count?"
It should. GREAT CASTING!


message 28: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes SNManley wrote: "i don't know this book by name but what a fabulous review"
Thanks, Ooonagh


Abdul Kareem Nice review, will. Your review clearly matches my experience with the book. A very fast, fun read, indeed. I loved it.


message 30: by Will (last edited Jan 04, 2018 09:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, Abdul.


message 31: by Fred (new)

Fred Good review


message 32: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, Fred


message 33: by Erin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin Strong Will Awesome review as always. I enjoyed the read and was bugged a little at the fact that Jazz seemed like a very very close character match to Mark Watney.


message 34: by Will (last edited Feb 13, 2018 09:03PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, Erin. I imagine that embuing characters with too many of our own traits is an occupational hazard for writers of fiction.


message 35: by Lidia Tertiuc (new)

Lidia Tertiuc ok... Let's go read more books gays..:)


Ingrid Wish I had this image on hand while I was listening to the novel!


Lillian I am enjoying the book. I was actually wondering what Jazz looked like when I came across your very good (as usual) review. Thanks for Brianna Hildebrand.


message 38: by Will (last edited May 16, 2018 09:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Thanks, Lillian. I saw Hildebrand in the late, and lamentably canceled TV show The Exorcist. She really seems perfect for the role.


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