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A Book Review of a novel by Andy Weir
Andy Weir always writes as if responding to a creative writing prompt on a topic about space. This time the prompt was “moonbase”. I’ve now read all three of Andy Weir’s novels and Artemis is by far my least favorite. That makes me sad because its the only one of his books about a woman and #girlpower.
I hadn’t picked up Artemis before because it’s synopsis didn’t appeal to me. The book is about a 26-year-old woman named Jasmine Bashara who is a criminal that lives on the moon. Her main ambition is to get rich. I decided to read it because I loved Project Hail Mary, another of Weir’s books, and I wanted to read more.
Like all of Weir’s characters, Jasmine is effortlessly intelligent and talented, but unlike Weir’s other characters Jasmine is trained in a trade instead of in academia. She was taught welding by her father but decided to become a poorly paid porter (and smuggler on the side) instead. The novel follows Jasmine as she gets roped into a get rich quick scheme that quickly goes awry. The book is composed of a series of somewhat intelligent but mostly lucky plans that Jasmine pursues in order to make money and fix her own mistakes.
As I am writing the summary, I am thinking about how the book actually sounds cool and interesting. And for the most part, it was cool and interesting. But, Jasmine was boring. I mean really she is just the same character as Mark from The Martian and Ryland from Project Hail Mary, except with boobs.
The plot was entertaining and the book was a quick read, but the science wasn’t as detailed and inventive as his other two books. Still, the most interesting parts of the story were the descriptions of Artemis, the only city on the moon (because It definitely wasn’t Jasmine’s character development.) I loved how Weir explored how a moonbase could actually be made, including elaborating on small details like how leak detection would work.
The book was short and I felt like I learned something. The last 100 pages were exciting, even though the plot was mostly driven by Jasmine’s mistakes. I would recommend it if you really liked Andy Weir’s other books and you want to read more, but I wouldn’t start with Artemis if you’re just getting into Weir’s books.
The Don’t Call Me Ishmael Official Book Rating, Sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Whales Administration (NASWA):
3/5 Whales — Pleasantly Diverting