Artemis by Andy Weir

Posted On 13 November 2017

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artemisI must confess that I requested and picked up a copy of Artemis with very little knowledge of what the book was about – I don’t think I even read the blurb to be honest because I enjoyed Andy Weir’s book The Martian so much that there was never any doubt in my mind that I wanted to pick up his next piece of work.  I can genuinely say that Artemis doesn’t disappoint.  It’s a wonderful piece of storytelling with quite a thrilling plot, magnificent world building and bristling with sci fi goodness.

The story is set In Artemis the only city on the moon and the main protagonist is called Jazz.  Jazz is one of those characters that can be a bit impulsive and when she has a golden carrot waved under her nose she pretty much jumps at the offer.  Straight in she goes with both feet and not a care in the world, totally oblivious to the fact that she’s about to put her life in danger when she uncovers a twisted conspiracy that could have serious implications for all the other inhabitants.

Now, I had a really good time with this book but that’s not to say that I didn’t have some issues and I’m going to mention those first so that I can then finish with all the goodies.

My immediate thought when I first stated to read was that Jazz reminded me very much of Mark Watney, so much so that for the first few pages I didn’t realise that I was reading from a female perspective – now, that’s probably my own doing in all fairness but it did give me a bit of a jolt.  Added to that was Jazz’s continual quips – which at first I didn’t find as amusing as intended.  Again, this had a MW feel – and whilst I liked his commentary in The Martian to me it felt more natural given that he was by himself and was facing a very real life and death scenario.  I think basically I got off to the wrong start with Jazz when I first started reading and this made it more difficult for me to like her at first.  I usually like my characters flawed and Jazz definitely ticks the boxes on that score but the problem is, not that she makes mistakes, but she has a certain arrogance or lack of humility in admitting when she’s at fault.  Thankfully this is something that is addressed as the story progresses but at times she comes across as a bit petulant, she has this angst or anger going on which when you really drill down into the story seems to be without foundation.  The whole not speaking or seeing her dad is a prime example.  I’m not going to go into the whys and wherefores of what exactly happened but I felt for sure that he must have done something terrible to have alienated her so much.  Like I said though – she did grow on me and eventually I came to see that some of her attitude was more a defensive layer and that she probably put herself in a lot of ‘bad’ situations as a way of punishing herself.

So, that out of the way, to the positives of the story.

The plot itself is really intriguing and had me hooked very quickly.  I loved the way the storyline developed and the cunning way that the whole conspiracy was integral to the future well being of Artemis and it’s future operations.  I also thought that Artemis was really well drawn.  A fascinating city to read about that felt so well grounded and clearly with plenty of research not to mention intelligent ideas.  In fact that’s fairly symptomatic of the whole story – clearly Andy Weir does his work.  He doesn’t just write a flimsy outline and expect you to fill in the gaps and get on board with what he says – just because he says it – his ideas come across as credible, you can actually imagine yourself living in this City on the Moon, working and living in one of it’s poorer sectors or if you’re really lucky visiting as a tourist.

I loved that part of the story is told in the format of letters from a friend of Jazz’s who she has been corresponding with for many years.  I thought this showed a different side to Jazz and also helped to fill in some of her history.

And, finally, I loved the ending.  It seemed to be one of those conclusions where things keep going from bad to worse and I seemed to be saying in my head ‘No!’, NO! NOOOOOOO! more often than not.

Long story short, I found myself, in spite of a shaky start, being thoroughly entertained by Artemis.  I think I got off on the wrong foot but Weir managed to bring me round.  So, if like me you find yourself with a few issues as the story sets out my advice would be to press on.  Not everything is as it first appears and Jazz definitely succeeded in winning me over.  I can hold my hands up and say that my initial feelings for her were a bit hastily drawn and I simply needed to give her the space to tell her tale without being judgemental.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.



28 Responses to “Artemis by Andy Weir”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Unlike you, I did not feel that Jazz’s voice was an echo of Mark Whatney: if I had, I would not have enjoyed “Artemis” as much as I did, since Whatney’s overall attitude grated on my nerves after a while and was the main reason I did not finish “The Martian”. Jazz is different: IMHO her flaws are exactly what endeared her to me, and made me enjoy this story.
    And on a side note, I had several “NOOOO!” moments as you described them… 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      She definitely grew on me but at first I just felt slightly annoyed with her at times. I did enjoy this though, I loved the City, the sci-fi explanations and the plot – the ending was excellent, and yes, you’ve probably noticed I’ve had to hold my hands up in the review and come clean that Jazz won me over and I was a bit hasty in my original observations.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Captain's Quarters

    Excellent review matey! I am having great fun reading all the varied takes on this story. Me review will be up tomorrow as I am still writing it. Arrrrr!
    x The Captain

  3. Carmen

    Great review, Lynn! I’ve read other bloggers having the same quibbles with Artemis than you did, but it’s good to know that one has to keep reading to really get and understand the story.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks – even though my little blips were eventually addressed I wanted to raise them here because I do think it’s important to read on with this one. Jazz did eventually win me over.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Ashley Rae

    I struggled with Jazz. She seemed so much younger than mid-20s. I couldn’t shake that feeling throughout the entire book.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I can see where you’re coming from. For me, I struggled with her but then felt like she redeemed herself.
      Lynn 😀

      • Ashley Rae

        I still struggled with her character, but she definitely had someredeeming qualities. ☺️

  5. Deanna Reads Books

    I totally understand what you mean with the quips, it annoyed me a little bit, but I liked the story overall. I’m glad you enjoyed this one too!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I enjoyed this – at first I undoubtedly had little niggles, part of me, on reflection can’t help thinking that ultimately I was comparing this to The Martian. I wonder whether my thoughts would have been different if this had been my first book by this author?
      Lynn 😀

  6. Tammy

    I’m loving this too. I actually feel the same, I feel like Jazz is a female Mark Watney in many ways. I hope to finish soon and get my review up this week!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I read another review which helpfully pointed out that Jazz, being raised by her father, was something of a tomboy – I hadn’t really thought of that and it’s a good point.
      I look forward to your review.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Yeah for such a smart young woman, Jazz can be supremely short sighted when it comes to jumping headfirst into hairy situations! But seeing her use her cleverness to get out of jams is a thing of beauty! I gotta say, I didn’t get a Mark Watney vibe from her narration, though I can definitely understand why some would feel that way. Their share a similar style of humor, though I think Jazz’s jokes skew a bit younger, though I that also might be because Watney uses more technical language.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I thought Jazz seemed younger than her intended age – to me she came across initially as having ‘angst’ or anger about things which I was puzzled about. Eventually of course these issues were cleared up but I think maybe that’s what gave her more a ‘teen’ vibe for me personally. It’s so interesting to see all the different reactions from readers. I eventually warmed up to her but it wasn’t quite the same as how I felt for Mark Watney. In fairness to the author I feel a bit guilty for comparing the two and I’d love to know how I felt about this book if I hadn’t read The Martian – or equally, if I read them in the reverse order. Can’t undo what’s been done though.
      Lynn 😀

  8. imyril

    …I get what you mean by the Watney vibe – it was the reason this was a DNF for me (Mark’s narrative voice was my least favourite thing about the Martian, so finding the same thing here put me right off).

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m just loving all the different reactions to Jazz. I have to say that initially she just annoyed me. I came around and I think various issues were for me resolved but I had a moment there where I almost stopped reading too so can completely relate.
      Lynn 😀

  9. sjhigbee

    I really loved Jazz – I know several young women of the same age who very much reminded me of her – to the extent that I felt Weir was basing her on someone fairly specific. I didn’t feel she had much in common with Mark – she’s too flakey for a start. Mark would never get himself into such a muddle and while she does often resort to a humorous quip, I felt it was a facade to hide her rising sense of being out of her depth. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review, which as ever was well written and carefully reasoned – thank goodness we don’t all feel the same way about books:))

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think for me the whole talking to the reader idea feels very much like the first book so perhaps that’s why I had the Watney vibe going on. In terms of Jazz, she grew on me, but at the beginning of the book she just came across as lazy and too ready to cut corners and not put in the legwork, the whole idea of making money fast on the back of a dodgy deal being an ideal example. What I ended up liking about her was that she was intelligent enough to work out how to get out of the situations she’d put herself in, that, and the fact that she really cared about not hurting others because of situations that she’d caused. I think the humour was definitely a defensive mechanism though like you said – a facade to hide her unease. And, by the end of the story I think she’d definitely learnt a few invaluable life lessons. 😀
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        Oh yes – I sensed what had derailed her was the stupid mistake where she messed up with her father. And from then on she just lurched into a pattern of behaviour designed to punish herself.

  10. jessicabookworm

    Lynn, I am really pleased to hear this is good. It is definitely on me and my dad’s wish list! I think I can understand why you might have easily got off on the wrong foot with Jazz, because lets face it Mark Watney is a tough act to follow 😛

  11. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I agree, it’s not perfect, but it is entertaining (which was my most important criteria for it)

  12. Jennifer | Book Den

    I tried going into this blind, too, but I spoiled myself to the premise before I could read it. You aren’t alone in thinking Jazz was male at first. I wondered if she was intentionally written that way.

  13. ericarobyn

    Wonderful review!! I had so much fun reading this book 🙂

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks – it was very entertaining and Weir is such a good author.
      Lynn 😀

  14. Friday Face Off : A cover that is Futuristic | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] book that I read by this author, I loved The Martian and couldn’t wait to read Artemis.  Here is my review and here are the covers for my book this week : Artemis by Andy […]

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