Monday, December 4, 2017

ARC Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Title: Artemis
Written by: Andy Weir
Published: November 14, 2017 by Crown Publishing Group

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. **** Like a lot of people, I absolutely loved The Martian and was so excited to read another book by Andy Weir. But then I found out it was about a smuggled living a moon base and I needed it immediately. And I am happy to report that Artemis was so incredible.

One of the things I loved about this book was the tone. If you read The Martian you are probably familiar with Andy Weir’s tone. It was not just that book, Artemis is just as fun, action-packed, and full of science. I’ve read my fair share of science fiction and without a doubt the ones that I like most are the ones that do not take themselves too seriously. Artemis is one of those books that does just that. And while it isn’t as laugh out loud funny as The Martian it was still very light-hearted and I really appreciated that about it. It made it all the more entertaining and interesting in that way.

Those light-hearted moments were balanced out well with more intense action-packed moments. This was definitely a book full of action and tension. When your main character is a smuggler you know hijinx are afoot. And they definitely got up to some hijinx here. There was a lot to this book. In parts it had a heist novel sort of feel to it, where in other moments it felt more like a dystopian or a political thriller. I will say however that things didn’t feel quite so life or death as in The Martian. I don’t know if that was a reflection of my perception of things or the nature of the plot. Because there was definitely a lot to this plot so things got a little more muddled at times. A lot of thread to unfold before you could really understand what was happening. However, there were plenty of moments that had me on the edge of my seat worried about how everything was going to develop. There were plenty of moments of adventure, narrow escapes, and lots of surprises. Plus things definitely built to an exciting conclusion that had me emotionally invested which I really enjoyed.

I was also a book full of science. I mean it is science fiction so that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. But the thing I like most about Andy Weir is that the science is so accessible. He has clearly done his research and understands these concepts very well but he doesn’t overwhelm the reader with them. We know exactly what is happening and why it is happening but we don’t get bogged down with the details. It mostly helped to establish the world and to honestly ground the book. Often with speculative fiction like this it can get very, well, speculative. But with Artemis, and both of Weir’s books now, it felt realistic in the fact that it might be possible. All in all, it made for a very compelling setting and works for this book.

As for the characters, I enjoyed them but I have to say I don’t think I liked them as much as those in The Martian. It’s not really fair to compare that book to this one but I really can’t help it, especially when it comes to Mark Watney who is one of my all-time favorite characters. Now don’t get me wrong, the characters here were really engaging. I liked Jazz a lot. She’s tough, resourceful, and incredibly smart. She’s got a biting wit and can take care of herself. All things that made her endearing and great main character but she’s also a character who had to grow on me. I didn’t really know until the end of the book exactly how I felt about Jazz. But I did really like the secondary characters. Jazz’s dad was amazing. I liked how they had a complex but loving relationship. And I liked her friends Svoboda and Dale. They had a great report and complicated histories which made things interesting. When it really comes down to it. I have to say these were some great characters.

On the whole I really loved this book. It was a great second book from an author that I thoroughly enjoy. The tone blended the light-hearted and serious, the plot was full of adventure, the world was engaging, and the characters were compelling and likable. It was a fantastic read.

I give Artemis by Andy Weir 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you loved The Martian then definitely check our Andy Weir’s next book. Artemis has all the hallmarks of what made me love The Martian. But even if you didn’t read that you should still check this book out. It’s a great read for hardcore fans of science fiction or those just breaking into the genre.

Have you read Artemis? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks fir stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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