This review is spoiler-free!
Received from Netgalley for review. All opinions are my own.
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.
Can you tell I’m super behind on my reviews? Because I am. Majorly.
Anyway, so. Yes, I’m stalling. Why? Well. I don’t want to make this one. I really, really don’t.
I had such high hopes for this book, because The Martian is my favorite sci-fi book out there and I was expecting Artemis to be some sort of reawakening or something entirely too high in the expectations category. Needless to say, it definitely wasn’t. It was a decent book, don’t get me wrong! But absolutely nothing compared to The Martian. I could probably wax poetry about The Martian, and I HATE poetry.
Artemis … well.
I know I shouldn’t compare books like this, but I couldn’t help it. Not when it’s the same author and I did a dumb and had ridiculously high expectations.
Jazz, our main character, read a lot like Mark Watney (from The Martian). Wasn’t really a problem for me, because I love Mark. However, the thing about it really was that it just didn’t seem to fit in with the general atmosphere of the story quite as nicely. For The Martian, it worked spectacularly, because Mark was fighting for his life and coping with that trauma by making light of it, and that meshed really well. With Jazz, it doesn’t work as well at all. She’s funny, sure, and it’s nice seeing a female character with a more unconventional side of humor to her, but it felt pretty out of place at times.
Another issue I had was redundancy. Even though it took me a while to read this one, facts I already knew would get pulled up and re-explained, and I’d already remember them from the first time I heard them. Maybe there was a big gap between the first and the second time (it would make sense then), but because I remembered the fact pretty easily, I’m thinking there wasn’t. It wasn’t horrible, but it was kind of annoying.
So, the best parts. The best parts, by far, were when Jazz was in a pickle and had to smart her way out (I love seeing that kind of workings of a character) and when Jazz was an outright brat and people called her out on it. It was honestly wonderful seeing a main character being called out on something, because I don’t see that nearly as often as I would like in books. Also, the place the book is set in, Artemis itself, sounded really cool. I wish there had been more world building there, because I was super interested in that side of things.
All in all, not Weir’s best work in my eyes. But, then again, I’m starting to think there’s not going to be a whole lot that can hold a candle to The Martian in my eyes, so maybe take everything I say with a grain of salt.
(Also, read The Martian if you haven’t already. Seriously. It’s so good.)
Thanks for reading!