Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Onyx

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We all know Andy Weir for his well researched and very human portrayal of the shipwrecked astronaut in the book and film "The Martian". "Artemis" is a more recently released book (2017) that I read this weekend.

Artemis is the 1st person narration of the hijinks gone too far of young moon base resident Jazz as she uses her considerable intelligence to do the wrong thing in a series of illegal escapades that nearly kill everyone in the only lunar city. In many ways, your basic ethical criminal caper story.

Overall, the book reads a bit more innocently than The Martian, as if it was written earlier or written to be more accessible - almost like YA. But what it lacks in sophistication it makes up for in being so pleasant to read. A page turner.

As you would expect from Weir, the plot revolves around the realistic mechanics and economics of life on the only moon settlement - tourism, aluminum, glass and oxygen industries. The small population of the city keeps the cast more mainstream as there is no room for vat-grown ninjas, theoretical physicists, space captains or gun runners. The characters are mainly tourists, administrators and technicians. It is provincial in feel without seeming unrealistic - like a story set in an out of the way small town.

For Hard SF fans there is reasonable amount of good science and engineering, for people who like good characters the protagonist is cheeky and interesting. The only reason I think anyone would dislike the book is because it has a certain naivete that reminds me of Podkayne of Mars. If you just pretend you're reading a 40 year old story you might feel comforted.

This would be a great book for a long plane ride. Fun, reasonably gripping and with enough clever details to make you think about the book when it is over.
 
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Rodders

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Nice review, Onyx. I still need to get The Martian but this looks like it could be enjoyable.
 

Vertigo

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Interesting Onyx, I've been a bit wary of this one; I loved The Martian despite its several scientific inaccuracies but I have heard bad things about Artemis. Specifically that Jazz is basically just Mark Watney, that her humour is that of a 12 year old boy, that Weir struggled to get a different voice for this book and (possibly most worrying) that he trivialises Islamic practices with his handling of Jazz. Maybe that's not entirely fair, I don't know, but it has held me back from going for this one so far, though it is on my list.
 

Lucien21

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I thought the book was ok, I had issues with the pacing. The detailed science explanations worked in the Martian, but this was supposed to be a more crime/heist drama and it slows the pacing too much.

Also the lead character was just basically Mark Watney with boobs.
 

Onyx

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Specifically that Jazz is basically just Mark Watney, that her humour is that of a 12 year old boy, that Weir struggled to get a different voice for this book and (possibly most worrying) that he trivialises Islamic practices with his handling of Jazz.
Jazz is another really smart and smart alecky character, like Mark, but she's also a loser. Your call whether that makes her the same or not.

She isn't Muslim, though. Her father is. It is only disrespectful to Islam if it is disrespectful to acknowledge that young people sometimes leave the faith

There is a part detailing how her inventive father builds a prayer wall that allows him to better pray toward Mecca, and how Jazz thinks the direction all seems a bit arbitrary given the different solutions people living all over have for the direction of Mecca. Is that offensive?

I thought the book was ok, I had issues with the pacing.
I read it in less than 6 hours, so I didn't notice the pacing. I had just read the Fellowship of the Ring, so the pacing certainly didn't seem slow anywhere, but I know what you're saying.
 

Vince W

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Having just finished Artemis I must agree with Onyx's review for the most part. The story was interesting and well thought out overall, but the continual need to prove how smart Weir is via his main character's constant need to explain the same things over and over takes you out of the plot. I would have preferred he concentrated a little more on character development and less on 'moon physics yay'. It comes off as slightly pedantic.

That said, it was a light read and fairly enjoyable. If I was 10 years old again I would love this book. For me, Artemis = The Martian light.
 
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