Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Artemis ~ Andy Weir (earc) review [@andyweirauthor @CrownPublishing]

Crown Publishing Group
November 14, 2017
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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.

If humans ever had to colonize the moon - or simply really wanted to - I think Andy Weir might be able to tell us what to do.  His imagining of Artemis, the first city on the moon actually makes sense and, at least seems like, it could work.

This book gives me answers to questions I didn't even know to ask. (But I am sure someone reading it would have.) So, while I couldn't have known to questions those elments of how living on the moon works, knowing how makes it that much

There were definitely bits I did not understand - though Jazz or other characters explained them, somewhat - but it didn't really matter. It all makes sense once it's done and as a part of the bigger picture.

I love that Jazz is a (sort of) criminal who grew up on the moon, who needs money, and who is incredibly smart and resourceful.If The Martian's Mark Watney was a, "nerdy MacGvyer in space," then Jazz is a slightly less nerdy, but probably just as smart one with fancier tolls. And welding abilities. (Though duct tape does still come into play. ) 

It is especially rewarding the way Jazz's history, her friendships or alliances, those she's had failings out with and people who have given her trouble all play a role in what happens to Jazz. And what she needs to do. The mix of personal relationships, past mistakes, Jazz's desire for more money and a more comfortable life, the politics of Artemis and the lovely, lovely science make for sch a great, captivating and exciting read. Jazz runs into problems, thanks to her unique location, that I never anticipated and it made me both anxious and curious as to how she would solve them.

Jazz is smart, she's funny, she holds grudges, she isn't fantastic with friendships, and (as she admits) she makes bad life decisions  but it all makes her a fantastic character. Even as she's doing some things you might not want her to do, you're amazed at how she thinks to accomplish them . . . and you want it to work. Despite yourself, you want her to succeed.

I love Andy Weir, his funny, maybe even sardonic, characters, the problems they run into and the inventive, brilliant solutions they devise. His science fiction can feel more like science fact and I want more, more, more.

review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

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