I’m deducting a star from my original rating because, upon reflection since I read the book, I realized that the things that bothered me about this book are more important than I initially thought. I truly didn’t like how Jazz was written and, to quote from a few reviews, she’s more like a stereotypical thriller/sci-fi guy, but with breasts. She’s not written as a woman, really, and while I didn’t mind the lack of women in The Martian so much, it bothered me that Artemis seemed to try to make up for it in such a way.
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller
I have received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jazz is a criminal – she makes deliveries and some of those are – well, less than legal. After a falling out with her father, she lives in an awful, tiny place in the only city in the Moon – Artemis. When she fails her EVA master test, she needs to start saving all over again to buy a new suit and be able to get a better job. But then, she’s offered a million for doing a dangerous job. It’s risky and she’s never done a heist before, but with that kind of money, all her problems would be gone. But her job is far more dangerous to her and the city than she knows.
Artemis is a sci-fi novel for sci-fi lovers. Although this is a thriller and has a heist story, plus it’s set on the moon, and The Martian was such a nice read with genre-cross appeal, Artemis is not that easy for readers who don’t like sci-fi. It’s a bit heavier on the technological side and has plenty of chemistry which I suppose it’s easy to skim through, but you miss part of the story that way.
If you do like sci-fi, you’ll really enjoy this novel!
At first, Jazz’s voice felt to me a little too movie-like, a little too much like the author was trying to write a cool female character and tended to overdo it a bit, turning her into the main character from The Martian, jokes and all. It sounded artificial and she definitely felt like a woman written by a man. But as the novel goes on, Jazz really grew on me and, by the end, I very much liked her! She is sarcastic, very intelligent and full of confidence and scheming. I also loved that she’s Arab!
I wasn’t too big a fan of the Brazilian representation in this novel – they were, like Jazz, too much of a caricature for me. I tried to overlook it and told myself it was cool to see Brazilians in novels not being just a sexy girl or an expert samba dancer and such. Especially as villains! But they were basically all trained in the streets to be fighters and ruthless and with no morals. As thriller villains all are, I suppose… plus the physical description included “Latina skin”, which is too stereotypical for my taste.
I also didn’t quite like the emails exchanged between Jazz and Kelvin, although it gave insight into what she was like and how the smuggling idea came up etc, it definitely broke the narrative.
The best way to enjoy this novel is not to compare it to The Martian – yes, I know, it’s difficult, but really it’s more enjoyable like that! This is about heist, running against the clock, conspiracy. It has more action than The Martian but lacks its uniqueness, in my opinion. This ended up being a very entertaining and fast read for me, and the idea of a city in the Moon, where you walk with 1/6th of the gravity was quite interesting! I wish there had been a little more world-building in the beginning so it didn’t feel like getting information dumped on you at some parts of the novel.
Sorry for complaining so much, there were just various points in this novel that stopped me from giving it 5 stars. But it was a very enjoyable sci-fi and I read it in one day! I enjoyed the heist story, the sass, the moon setting and the ending very much!