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★★★★☆ Another outer space read from Weir
By ~~Luanne~~ on Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:58:37
I'm betting you've either read or watched Andy Weir's first novel, The Martian. (Or like me - both). I was excited to see that he has a newly released book - Artemis. I was hooked by this line from the publisher..."- a heist story set on the moon." I love 'heist' novels. (And movies) But every heist tale needs to have the right protagonist. Weir has created an interesting one in Jasmine Bashara. She's bold, brilliant, irreverent, daring and is an 'ethical smuggler'. But things get bigger than just some low level smuggling for Jazz. All she has to do is the impossible - destroy four 'harvesters' - and a million slugs ($) are hers. A new space suit, an apartment with a bathroom and her debt paid off. But with every heist movie there are of course, snags. And there are some big ones in Artemis's plot. (Although on finishing the book, I do think caper would be a better descriptor than heist.) Weir's dialogue throughout the book is snappy. But, I found some of the jokes to be borderline juvenile and the sexual references fell flat for me. There are letters to and from a 'penpal' on Earth that Jazz has had since she was in school. I enjoyed the discourse between the two. But even in this personal format, we never really get a look at the 'real' Jazz - the one behind the flippancy. She does seem written for the screen almost. I did enjoy the supporting cast, especially tech wizard Svoboda. Weir has a background as a software engineer and ''devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics and the history of manned spaceflight." Without a doubt, his work benefits from this detailed knowledge. I don't read a lot of sci-fi and found I got a little bogged down with some of the details of air locks, chemicals, welding etc. Of course these details are integral to the plot, but I enjoyed the descriptions of the city and daily life on this imagined city on the moon much more. Not as good as The Martian for me, but still an entertaining read. ~~Luanne~~
★★★☆☆ Only so-so
By JinksB on Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:34:59
I really enjoy Weir's writing style and sense of humor, but they're the only things that kept me reading. The main character, Jazz, is totally unrealistic. She knows all, or can learn it online in an hour or two. This worked in "Martian" because we expect a NASA-trained astronaut to have massive technical knowledge and excellent problem-solving skills. Not so much here, at least for me. I did enjoy Weir's vision of what a moon colony would be - grand digs for the super-rich versus tiny "coffin" quarters for the worker bees, the Tranquility Base historical site, etc. Weir had a heckuva job trying to follow up his amazing debut novel, so comparing the two might be unfair. But I still give it only 3 out of 5 stars.