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Artemis: A Novel Hardcover – November 14, 2017
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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About the Author
ANDY WEIR built a career as a software engineer until the runaway success of his debut novel, THE MARTIAN, allowed him to pursue writing fulltime. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He lives in California.
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Top customer reviews
The story is engaging and the character appealing in a novel that is stuffed full of action, suspense, and drama, as well as some good science, engineering, and this time economics. In short, Andy Weir has done it again. One cannot wait to see what the movie is going to be like.
But, like I said, it is a delicate dance, and sometimes there are going to be a few missteps or even complete toe stomps.
Jazz has lived in the moon town of Artemis since she was six years old when her family moved from Riyadh. Despite her obvious intelligence and quick mind the girl can't stay out of trouble and is the first to admit she has made some "poor life decisions". That's why she lives in a tiny closet-sized bunk in the ghetto pod and makes rent as a delivery person. She pads it with some smuggling on the side like the monthly shipment of black market cigars for her BFF, the resident billionaire. It's also why she and her dad are semi-estranged.
All this, and more, I accepted as reality until the BFF billionaire hires Jazz to pull off a caper that smelled as bad as month-old fish. It was at this point I had to laugh out loud. What he asks her to do might have made sense if his reasons why weren't so damn red flag suspicious. I knew exactly what would happen next but boy howdy, I had no idea how outlandish it would get.
The tale, while totally crazy and impossible, is actually a great story. It moves fast and takes place within the span of maybe a week. There's a lot of nerdball technology and tons and tons of textbook science that made my eyes cross (I remember the same experience reading The Martian). And the characters, while no more than skin deep in complexity, are likable for the most part. But, again, it's a delicate dance.
There are times the narrative reads like a film treatment and after the popularity of The Martian, this is probably not too farfetched. The dialogue is this book's weakest point; it's immature and padded with vulgarities and locker room talk. There is no way I would ever discuss my sex life with my dad, especially if he were a practicing Muslim like Jazz's father. And Jazz, while in her twenties, comes across as a horny teenage boy. I laughed when her character told another she needed to give him lessons in how to talk to women when I was thinking the author needed lessons in how to think like one. Thinking and talking like a woman is not the author's strongest talent.
The last quarter of the book rockets along at breakneck speed but I found myself skimming because the author spends a lot of pages describing the hows and whys of the science involved when breaking into a building on the moon. And then there's the end--I did a complete face in palm plant when Jazz weaseled out a trouble with an outrageously weak argument that read like a teenage boy bragging to the principal.
Weir writes thrillers that keep you engaged and entertained, and he does have a good sense of humor, a little heavy on the sarcasm, but still amusing. I enjoyed Artemis but even though he made me believe there is a town on the moon, he just couldn't get me to buy it.
Except that the characters, even Jazz, are so one dimensional you can anticipate what they are going to say or do months in advance. Jazz's character and her failings are never quite explained, and Weir gives her dialog that would make a 17 year old boy blush. Jazz manages to anger everyone on the moon colony of only 2000 people but is capable of hiding out in such a small space and isn't detected. She takes payment to sabotage a large mining operation and when that fails agrees to disable an entire smelting operation and the main source of oxygen for the colony. But it gets better - after she destroys the smelter she and others realize that she's unleashed a gas into the entire moon colony that will kill everyone unless of course she runs a gauntlet and takes a heroic action.
The characters and plot really don't make sense. The fact that she could disable a smelting plant without being seen after being caught earlier in another sabotage operation doesn't add up. The fact that no one thought there could be a downside to destroying the major oxygen producer on the planet seems impossible.
I'm not sure if Weir wrote this book to cash in on his Martian success and simply rushed the book, or if The Martian was a winner because he had so much assistance in writing the Martian and lacked it here. I can't recommend this book to anyone.