Oh my various gods, a new Andy Weir book!
My love for The Martian hit its prime a few years before this blog happened, so you may not know quite how far it stretches, but let’s just say that it’s in my top ten of all time (and I have read well over a thousand books in my life to put that in perspective). I freaking loved it. So, naturally, I jumped all over the chance at having an early read of Artemis, and thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley, I was allowed to do that very thing. Yaaaay!
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.
“You know why I’m here, right?”
“No idea,” I said. “Is it something Canadian? Do you need to apologize for shit that isn’t your fault? Or hold a door open for someone twenty meters away?”
Oh, you. Making my Canadian ass laugh out loud in the middle of the night, waking up my poor, poor tragically not-Canadian husband. (Also, as a slight aside, I do both of these things on the regular. What? I have no concept of how far away is too far to hold a door… plus it’s a little fun watching awkward people sprint to my very welcoming open door, lol.)
This book was everything I hoped it would be, to put it plainly. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Something like The Martian would be difficult to top. This one didn’t top it, in my opinion, but it came pretty close.
It has all the wonderful sciencey science that you’d expect, and hell, if all the science isn’t actually feasible if a city on the moon existed, then it sure as shit sounds like it is. It sounds like it knows what it’s goddamn talking about. I have no idea how a welding torch would work in a vacuum, but I’m pretty sure it would work how this book says it’ll work. It’s got all the snark, nerdy humor, and thrills that I hoped for as well.
I started this one thinking that I could read it in short spurts between chores and work and sleep. What happened was me starting it before bed, and then reading until the wee hours, reading until my eyes hurt, and reading until I sort of regretted reading so late because work was creeping up on me… and I ended up doing it all in one huge spurt. #phrasing
Jazz is a fantastic character, who I wanted to win, even despite the moral grayness in which most of the stuff she does resides. It was refreshing to have the protagonist be an Arab woman. Actually, I loved how multicultural Artemis was depicted, in general. Many cultures on Earth were depicted on the moon in different characters that we meet. My favorite was Rudy, Artemis’ policeman, a former RCMP officer, who is, sometimes (in Jazz’s eyes anyway) more or less Dudley Do-Right. And yet, he isn’t a one-sided or stereotypical character. He’s realistic. I know dudes just like this guy in real life.
There is a mystery unfolding as this book goes, and I couldn’t guess at any of it. I got blindsided several times as more and more of the plot was revealed. I’m usually a good guesser, but this one blinded me (usually with science, as it happens). It really did keep me on the metaphorical edge of my seat. It certainly kept me awake long enough to finish it despite being tired, so make of that what you will.
Definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year, so it’s pretty safe to say that this one is definitely worth your time! If you liked The Martian, or if you like science or space in general, you will very probably like Artemis.
Also, yes I will apologize for shit that is not my fault. It drives my husband insane. He can’t make me stop doing it, though. ;D
Thanks again to Crown Publishing via NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book!