I just finished reading Artemis, by Andy Weir!
This is one of those rare cases where I didn't like the characters much, but the book was so plot-driven that it kept me going. I read this book incredibly quickly and enjoyed the science of it. I will be slightly ranty about some character building, so watch for that!
"Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first."
Okay so I've heard a lot of mixed opinions on this book. I found myself to be in the middle of all of the controversy. As a science nerd, I really loved the science blabbering, as well as the chemistry-based plot! It was super well thought-out in the chemistry side, and I appreciated how well the science was explained.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the pacing. Although I'm someone who loves short chapters - and this book's chapters were quite long - it is written in such a way that I always wanted to know what happened next, a la Da Vinci Code. As a result, I read this book in less than a day.
This story is about Jazz, a Saudi-Arabian girl who lives on the moon. She's a smuggler, helping get mild illegals onto the moon and to their recipients. She's super smart, thus a multimillionaire asks her to vandalize a company that creates oxygen for the moon-city, in order to provide oxygen for the moon on his own, for people to pay him. Needing money, Jazz agrees, but as expected, things go wrong.
As much as I enjoyed the plot and keeping up with what was happening I had a hard time with what a lot of readers seemed to have a problem with... Jazz.
Oh man Jazz was annoying. It felt like Andy doesn't know how to write female characters - she's the only one with a real role in the book, and she has the mindset of a 15-year-old boy. She was 'perfect' - smart, rebellious, good-looking, sarcastic and known by all. She always got told that she was smart enough to do something other than a low-paying job, but she never looked into it, even though she kept mentioning needing money. Her humor was forced and just off, and she never, ever let herself be feminine without either receiving shame or shaming herself.
I think Andy Weir tried to be diverse but it just all fell apart - while I did enjoy that the moon colony came from Kenya, it felt like all of the random countries mentioned were mentioned for the sake of being mentioned. Same goes for varying religions and sexualities. It would be really interesting for someone from one of these countries, religions, or someone from the LGBT community to read this, I'm curious to know what you think of the representation. I'm hardly one to talk - being white straight and atheist - but something about it just felt forced.
That's all I have for today! I'm giving it 3/5 feathers - I loved the plot and reading process, but I feel like this book was problematic in some regards.
Have you read Artemis? What did you think of it? Let me know!