Review: Artemis by Andy Weir


Title: Artemis

Author: Andy Weir

Pub. Date: November 14th, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher:  Crown Publishing Group

Pages: 305

Format: eGalley/Netgalley

  

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’d like to preface this review with how much I REALLY wanted to LOVE this book! I’d read so many glowing reviews for The Martian and having missed that spaceship, figured maybe this would be the one to get me wanting to read all things Weir…sadly, this wasn’t the case. This doesn’t mean I won’t be reading The Martian, it actually has me all the more curious to see whether this was just a case of…well let’s just get into it shall we. Artemis is based on a heist that is pulled off by our MC Jazz Bashara, a Saudi Arabian who was born and raised on the Moon city. As soon as I met Jazz, we hit it off! I love me a good sarcastic character who as they say has no hair on her tongue. Jazz is intelligent, resourceful, cunning, and at the very heart a HUSTLER! haha! she is after the $$$ & has pretty much got the business of smuggling in illegal goods on lock. There isn’t anything that enters Artemis without her knowledge. With the exception of drugs, Jazz will get you anything you need for the right price. Jazz mentions a specific dollar amount (astronomical) that she MUST earn in order to something…it’s never quite disclosed to the reader & I kept reading hoping that by the end it would be revealed only it never was. She has some high profile clients on the Moon & one of them recruits her to pull off a big heist. I won’t reveal what that actually entailed since that would be spoilery but I could’ve used more heisty action.

We follow Jazz as she makes her rounds working her legit regular day job which isn’t anything fancy or high paying, as well as her side hustle. It is inferred that Jazz is so intelligent, she could have an amazing career if she only cared to apply herself. We do see Jazz get herself out of some sticky situations using brilliant ingenuity. I really enjoyed meeting some of the supporting characters in this world & then others not so much. Although I began enjoying Jazz & getting used to her self-deprecating humor, I soon became aware of how excessively male characters were pointing out her promiscuity. Jazz rolls with the comments & never denies anything & yet she has no sexual encounters in the book whatsoever which left me a bit confused as to why she’s depicted as being Queen of casual sex. So, I think it’s safe to say that I was a bit dissapointed with the representation of women. I cannot draw comparisons with the well loved Mark Wattney in The Martian, but I also won’t ignore what I do know of that character & how eerily close Jazz resembles him.

Here’s where it gets a awkward…besides the fact that the only other two women in this book were at odds with Jazz, upon meeting one of them, Jazz assumes the woman is Latina due to having a “Latina complexion.” This left me a bit confused as to what that looks like exactly being that I’m a Latina woman with family from Puerto-Rico, Salvador, and Argentina…over the holiday weekend we took a family photo and the range of skin tones ranged from white to olive to black with blue, green, and brown eyes. In another scene, the author breaks the fourth wall to assume we the readers don’t know what a niqab is by stating “Okay, you can stop pretending you know what a niqab is. It’s a traditional Islamic headwear that covers the lower face.” which again left me with a raised brow and a icky feeling. I was prepared to give this book all the love for it’s diversity but by the end saw how left it went with its efforts and assumptions.

One of things that lured me to request Artemis on Netgalley was its setting…who doesn’t want to read a heist that takes place on the Moon?!?! Over joyed to dive right into the world building, I went in confident this book would suck me in. I LOVE world-building & it only comes second to my love for well fleshed out characters. The city of Artemis is 1 of I believe 5 dome-like cities. The book comes with a pretty cool map that gives you a better idea of what it looks like. Since Jazz is very mobile all throughout the book, we get to familiarize ourselves a tad bit better with this world & I really enjoyed seeing some of the other cities. Now, there is mention of Artemis being the property of Kenya but unfortunately that’s as far as we get in terms of info. which I was a bit bummed out over because I wanted more on that connection. On the writing front, I will admit that I struggled with info dumping. The many scenes where we get Jazz walking us through the particulars of welding & the science behind it left me wanting to get back to the main story line in a hurry. I have a love for the subject of science however, the focus on welding took some of the fun away from the fact that we were on the Moon.  The ending left me feeling as if there is potential for more story & I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still interested in Jazz’s story, which means I guess you can say I’m conflicted…

*Many thanks to Crown Publishing Group, Netgalley, Goodreads (also won a physical copy) and Andy Weir for the eGalley copy of Artemis in exchange for an honest review.


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22 thoughts on “Review: Artemis by Andy Weir”

  1. I think you’ll like The Martian way more – I was also quite disappointed with what I get from Artemis vs. what I expected, and the Latinx issues made me frown a lot (I’m Brazilian… my mom is blonde and green eyed, my grandparents are blue-eyed, my father is Arab descendant… so I was confused about the whole “Latino-looking” thing too…).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I own a copy of The Martian on e-book & will def still give it a go, it’s the only reason I haven’t yet watched the movie lol. After bouncing it off a few other readers I realized this wasn’t just me picking up on things that come off as not quite right. My 6 year old daughter is Bi-racial & many would say she doesn’t appear Latina but she is, there isn’t just one look or complexion. I Really tried enjoying this book but by the end there were more awkward moments than entertaining ones. Thank you for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review for this book Lilly, and I’m glad to see you enjoyed it as well. 🙂 I haven’t read The Martian but I’ve heard so many amazing things about it, and I’m hearing a lot of amazing things about Artemis as well, so I need to get around to both of these books at some point (I would say soon but I know what my TBR list is like at the moment). I love sarcastic characters too, and the idea of a heist on the moon is definitely an intriguing concept, but ohh that’s a shame about the way the diversity turned out. Just based on your review it does seem a little off in places you know?
    Still great review, and it seems like you enjoyed this book for the most part which is good to see. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! I still plan on reading The Martian but this one was just not as enjoyable as I’d hoped due to the poor representation of women & the awkward dialogue when referring to minorities. I really wanted to love it but we can’t love them all. Thank you for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right. 🙂 And yeah I definitely get that, I’ve heard good things about The Martian so maybe that will be one you enjoy more but in the meantime plenty more books to get around to right! 😀
        That’s all right. 🙂 ❤

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    1. yes! plenty of conflicted emotions & ultimately i didn’t end up disliking Jazz, I just thought she got the bad end of the stick when it came to her narrative. I got the feeling they were leaving room for more, thanks for confirming Kim. I’ll def still check it out, I just hope it’s a step up cause I really did enjoy enough of the story to still be curious. Thank you for sharing your reading experience Kim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry this book didn’t meet your expectations! I was actually looking forward to read this book but recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of mixed reviews for this book which is making a bit hesitant to pick this up. I’m not in a hurry to read it but I might give it a shot someday. Great review btw! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Raven, we can’t love them all & it’s been a while since I’ve read one I didn’t enjoy too much. I’d say give it a shot if still interested. I’m still going to read The Martian since I’ve heard only good things. Thank you for reading 🙂

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  4. I’ve heard a few reviews say that you could tell it was a man writing a female character rather than it being believable but while there were a couple of bits which were a little off I think I just went with it (or was probably preoccupied keeping track of the plot). I have to admit I didn’t pick up on the Latina complexion thing. I do however have a bit of a tendency to skim over descriptions of people (for some reason they just don’t register with me). I can definitely understand why it would be annoying though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, I’ve also heard & read that Jazz sounds very much like Mark and pretty much all of his male characters. I also went with it because I was into the plot however, I got tired of the male characters pointing out how sexually active they perceived her to be. The Latina complexion part left me shaking my head more than anything but I powered through until I reached other awkward bits that overpowered my enjoyment. Thank you for reading & sharing your thoughts 🙂

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  5. Hmm that part about “Latina complexion” wouldn’t sit well with me either, but I didn’t know what a niqab was until I read your review, so some of us would’ve needed the explanation. I’m not sure yet if I’ll read this though. I liked The Martian but thought all the characters sounded like Mark and other reviews I’ve read of Artemis have said something similar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand that not everyone would know what a niqab is but perhaps I should’ve mentioned that it was the way he presented the assumption “Okay, you can stop pretending you know what a niqab is”…this got a serious side eye from me & couldn’t begin to imagine what a niqab wearing reader would interpret that as. I still plan on reading The Martian & hope to have a better reading experience. Thank you for reading & sharing your thoughts 🙂

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      1. I thought that might be why you mentioned it – how it was presented in the text – after I submitted my comment. Totally got what you mean there.
        The Martian was a fun read so I think you’ll like it.

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  6. Haha I appreciate your honest review, I stated in mine that it was clear the writer was a man because of how Jazz was written, but I still liked her a lot and enjoyed the book because it was a lot of fun. I never noticed the other things you said about diversity but you’re absoutely right!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Annie! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the book, it certainly had many enjoyable moments for me as well. I haven’t given up on Andy yet, so we shall see. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

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  7. It seems that you and Trang share some similar thoughts on this one! I was expecting rave reviews initially but am getting the impression that the science and other elements droned on a bit too much. With that said, it seems there is still some promise in Jazz and the setting, so I will leave it on the back burner 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could’ve handled heavy science but this was more like ramblings on welding & after a while it became a chore to read. I think Jazz was done a disservice lol & I’d be hella interested in your thoughts so please let me know if you pick it up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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