Title: Artemis | Author: Andy Weir | Publisher: Crown Publishing Group | Pub. Date: 2017-11-14 | Pages: 305 | ISBN13: 9780553448122 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 (barely) | Source: Library
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.
When I first heard that Andy Weir was coming out with a new book, I cringed a little. But wait – I hear you say – you love The Martian! This is true, I do love The Martian. It remains my go-to science fiction book when I need a laugh or a dose of sarcasm to brighten up my day. However, I have no faith in my fellow man. So, I thought to myself “What are the chances that Weir is going to try to repackage the Snarkonaut we all know and love, and put him in a new situation?” Because this is what he knows works, and people do tend to go with a working formula…
Jazz Bashra is Mark Watney. With boobs. Sarcastic, foul-mouthed, extremely intelligent, a bit rebellious, with a drive to survive.
That’s not the only similarity that exists, though. Artemis begins with the drama of a spacesuit being ruptured. Even some of the jokes from The Martian are recycled in Artemis. Weir’s appealingly (at times) juvenile sense of humor means that boob jokes get trotted out as frequently as possible. And references to other bodily functions.
“Holes in EVA suits are bad.” – Yes, we learned this from The Martian.
“All that hydrogen had met the oxygen at a high temperature and they’d had a brief chat” – Yes, we learned hydrogen + oxygen + fire = big boom in The Martian.
“Rim Shot!” – Sensing a recyclable theme yet?
On the other hand he had some great lines in Artemis that were fresh (from him at least).
“It’s important to vary your profanities. If you use the same one too often it loses strength.” had me giggling.
“Attack of the Moon Woman Who Made Bad Life Decisions.” – Amen, sister.
“Nope!” I said. | I spun on my heel and stormed back into the hallway. “Nope, nope nope!” – This is me. This is me on such an epic level.
“I might have been on the run for my life, but I wasn’t willing to go without email.”
So, given that Jazz is Watney (with boobs), it’s no real surprise that I liked Artemis, is it? However, in comparison to the attraction that The Martian had, Artemis doesn’t exactly measure up. It’s kind of like the first time you drink 2% milk after years of only drinking whole milk. Yes, it’s milk, but it’s not nearly as tasty as the real thing is. But it’s not quite the horrible experience that your first drink of white-colored-water-that-is-called-skim-milk is. And eventually you get used to it, and even start to like it.
Yeah, I had trouble really getting into the book because once the first impression had been made… Well, you only get one first impression. However, by the halfway mark, I was properly enjoying it. A reveal made around the 60% point perked my interest up a good bit as well. I was giggling quite a bit from there on out. Still, it was a solid ‘okay’ and that was it. Weir’s already proved he can make me laugh. Nothing new there.
What saved it (for me) was the relationship between Jazz and her father. Well, that relationship and a few others. Weir is surprisingly adept at writing relationships that make me go gooey. Jazz’s dad loves her. He doesn’t approve of her life decisions, but she is his daughter, and so help him, he’s the only one that can call her an asshole. (As a parent, this is a sentiment I heartily agree with. I can call my kid a jerk. You do it and I’ll hunt you down and pull your underwear up so far you’ll have to gargle with bleach to rinse the racing stripes off your tighty-whiteys. Got me? )
Setting aside my issues with the recycled content, Artemis was an enjoyable read. It was fast-paced. The quips had me laughing. There was just enough danger in the air to make it nicely tense. I’m not really one for ‘heist’ books, so it didn’t hit me right in my G(ood Reads) spot, but it came close enough to give me a mild-to-moderate happy.
I can’t say I’ll be eager to pick up the next book that Weir puts out because if he tries to pull the same tricks in another setting again, I won’t come even close to having a happy. Good, but not great.
I would suggest borrowing over buying.
Buy link: Amazon