Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Artemis - Andy Weir

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. Read an excerpt of Artemis.


bermudaonion said...

I only saw The Martian and I didn't love it the way most people did so I'll probably skip this.

Icewineanne said...

So glad you enjoyed this for the most part. I really enjoyed The Martian, both the book &film. He had quite a few technical descriptions in that book too, so i think i'll skip this one & wait for the film ;)