By Andy Weir
ARC e-book, 320 pages
ISBN: 9780553448122 (hardcover)
Jazz Bashara grew up in the moon colony of Artemis – scheming and smuggling her way through life, hoping for that big break that will make her rich. When one of her loyal customers offers her a huge sum of money to sabotage a company he wants to take over, Jazz agrees. When her plans begin to go awry, Jazz realizes she’s in over her head and that her “simple” crime is at the center of a much larger conspiracy to control all of Artemis.
Artemis was a load of fun to read.
One of the many reasons I enjoyed The Martian was the smart-ass personality of Mark Watney. Jazz is very similar, though a bit more of an asshole. One of those characters that you root for, but also can’t help but grin when they get some comeuppance, you know? She’s a tomboy, though perhaps overly so because with the exception of a few lines, you could change her gender and the book wouldn’t feel any different. This didn’t bother me, but it would have been nice if she felt more authentically female.
Another note on her character is that she’s from Saudi Arabia, yet that’s almost undetectable when she’s not pointing it out. She moved to Artemis with her father when she was six and didn’t keep the faith or much of her culture, so at times her diversity felt more like a popular card to play than an aspect of her character that impacted her story. Just something worth noting.
Jazz is smart and headstrong, which often gets her into as much trouble as it gets her out of. She has quite a few lucky breaks and near-escapes, but that’s what made the story fun. I enjoyed all the incredible escapes and snap decisions that saved Mark’s life in The Martian, and my experience in reading Artemis was no different. I suspended my disbelief and let Jazz and the action take me for a wild ride.
There’s a fair bit of science and technology in this book, but it was easy for me to swallow. Jazz’s tone is that of someone narrating to an audience, so she often explains the inner workings of the city or whatever machinery or tech she’s using. I didn’t feel bogged down, nor did I have any trouble imagining what she was talking about.
I was excited about this book and it didn’t disappoint. I think it’s a light read, as far as sci-fi is concerned and I flew through it over the course of two days. If you’re looking for a crazy moon adventure and a snarky, dickish protagonist who has almost as much luck as common sense, I think you’ll enjoy Artemis.
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.