I enjoyed so much The Martian, that when I saw Andy Weir had a new book out, I jumped on it, without reading the synopsis. That’s what I do with authors I’ve really liked…
Does this sentence sound familiar? Yes, this was the exact same sentence structure I used to begin my review of Sourdough. Unfortunately, things didn’t work as well for me with Artemis. And I may need to reconsider my blind jumps…
This time, Weir no longer sends us on Mars, but on the Moon. The heroine is Jazz. There are 3 confusing mentions of her age, but I believe she’s 26. Originally from Saudi Arabia, she arrived at 6, so she basically grew up on the Moon. She lives in Artemis, the only city there.
At first, I was intrigued at how the author would present that city. The administrator is a woman, the former Kenya’s minister of finance – with a wink I guess here towards diversity in fiction. Well, apart from that, it’s not too exciting, to tell the truth. Why bother move there, if you basically find there all our common problems, with unfair hierarchy, major gaps between the rich and the poor, and horrible housing conditions for the latter group?
Jazz is definitely not rich and has no real job so far, so she survives by smuggling contraband from Earth. But one day, one of her regular clients offers her big money for a special job. It’s definitely tempting, though if she’s caught, she will be exiled to Earth, a place she absolutely does not want to go back to. Only considering the technical challenges, she accepts, totally oblivious of major and much more dangerous forces at stake behind the whole deal.
This sounds like a mix between mystery and scifi, and could definitely be promising. There were some nice suspenseful scenes indeed.
And there was some potential in the letters that Jazz exchanges with Kelvin, living in Kenya.
Alas, the story was totally bogged down for me with A LOT of technical words, including tons of chemistry and physics. If you thought there was too much technology in The Martian, it was NOTHING compared to Artemis!
Besides, I really could not stand this young geeky (though the geeky part I like), vulgar superwoman. My rule of thumb for an author is that you have recourse to so many f* words, it reveals the deficiency of your vocabulary, and really I’m wasting my time reading your book. Plus, I found some passages really rude and of bad taste. For instance:
I looked like a leper. Or a hooker who gave hand jobs exclusively to lepers.
If I had not requested it, I would not have taken time to finish reading it and reviewing it.
VERDICT: Potentially interesting mix of mystery and science-fiction. But very disappointing result.
Author: Andy Weir
by Crown Publishing Group
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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook free of charge from the publisher through Netgalley.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.