Author: Andy Weir
Published: November 14, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction
Obtained: Book of the Month
Synopsis: Artemis is the first and only settlement on the moon. Jazz Bashara is one of its citizens, and she’s a smuggler. One day, she accepts a job from a billionaire, one that jeopardizes her safety and that of her family and friends. What follows is a race to get herself out of a sticky situation, all while trying to save her city.
I’m going to start by saying this book is not in a genre I typically read. Honestly, I can’t think of a single science fiction novel that I’ve already read. But, I decided to branch out a bit and try something different. So my Book of the Month pick for November was Artemis and I decided to add it to my December TBR.
The Science Behind Artemis
That being said, I’m still thinking about this novel. I’m having trouble rating it appropriately. It was a quick read for me, but the science within the story was a little too complicated for my non-sciency brain. I liked that Jazz Bashara, who was the first person narrator, really helped explain most of the science in ways that I could understand. But there were some parts of it that went straight over my head and left me completely clueless.
It was interesting imagining an entire city on the moon, though. There were some great descriptions of the city itself, and the map at the beginning helped. It was difficult for me to imagine people just sort of floating around with lunar gravity, and an entire city that was enclosed in bubbles with no sunshine coming in the windows. When I finally got a good mental picture, it was pretty awesome.
Jazz – A Character I’m Sure Some Loved to Hate
Jazz isn’t a very likable character. I must admit that, at times, I found it hard to like her as well. Despite that, she’s very easy to relate to. She hasn’t lived a sinless life by any means, but most of her transgressions stemmed from being the only child with only a father and living on the moon. We’ve all had our teenage moments where we treated our parents like crap. It’s part of life.
Many of her difficulties in life are her own doing, which makes it easy to understand why most people weren’t fans of hers. She’s extremely intelligent, but doesn’t apply herself enough to land a good career and make decent money. Instead, she’s a delivery girl who has a smuggling operation on the side. Easy money. Dirty money. Which is okay for her.
She’s estranged somewhat from her father, and doesn’t practice her Muslim faith at all. But she’s lived in Artemis since she was a small child, which makes her a great person to fight for the city she loves so much. Despite her misgivings, I found her relatable.
The Dialogue and Writing Style
Based on the above about Jazz, I’m sure you can imagine the writing style of Artemis. She’s got a biting sense of humor and is extremely sarcastic to pretty much everyone she comes into contact with. I really loved that about her character. And this was consistent throughout the whole novel, not just portions of it. It helped with Artemis being written in first person, too.
“My cart is a pain in the ass to control, but it’s good at carrying heavy things. So I decided it was male. I named him Trigger.” – Jazz Bashara
But some of the dialogue was a little forced for me. I found myself cringing at times because it seemed a bit too cheesy for my taste. It wasn’t natural, but it did reflect the initial writing style sometimes.
There were some things I loved about Artemis, especially the plot, but there were some things that just fell short for me. Not being a huge science buff, a lot of that just wasn’t to my taste. I do like space, though, so watching all of this play out among the lunar landscape was quite unique. If you’re into science and space, this is a great choice to read. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Memorable Quote: “There was something weird about being on the moon and fighting for your life with a stick and some fire.”