December 7, 2017 by madbooklove
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery
Source: Free ARC from Crown
Rating: 3.5 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Crown via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Summary: Jazz Bashara has lived her whole life on the moon in the city of Artemis. A brilliant, independent young woman who has little tolerance for rules, and wants to do more than just survive, Jazz long ago turned to less than legal ways of making extra income. However, she is good at what she does, and she does have some moral rules about what kinds of jobs she’ll do.
When the right opportunity presents itself via a very rich, regular customer, for a big payout (with lots of risk), she takes it on and does her best. Unfortunately, things go awry, and she barely escapes with her life. To make things worse, her employer has been murdered and it’s certain that she will be the prime suspect. Jazz has to figure out who killed him and clear herself. Can she solve the murder before the real perp takes her out or law enforcement catches up with her?
Review: Clearly, this is not The Martian. Completely different kind of story. What they do have in common:
- Written by Andy Weir
- Takes place in space (well, away from Earth at least)
- Very detailed and technical bits throughout
The characters were interesting. I kind of had a love/hate relationship with Jazz. Her choices frustrated me. Her attitude frustrated me. But her moral compass wasn’t that far gone, and she was wicked smart and dedicated as all get out. But the constant jabs and sarcasm left me feeling like her emotional growth had been severely stifled. Her attitude seemed more suited to a testy teenager than the woman she actually is.
The relationship that Jazz ends up in isn’t really properly developed. There was no chemistry. The words told me where things were going, but I just didn’t feel it/see it. And frankly, I didn’t see the point. The story wasn’t improved by their relationship becoming romantic, especially since it was on the ending note.
I’m not gonna lie. I preferred The Martian. It was stellar. This is pretty good. Not something I’m going to run around town screaming about. But, it was a good story. The mystery itself was well thought out. I love that current concerns were worked into the story (an interesting lesson about the cycle of economies!). And, as you’d expect from Andy Weir, lots of technical stuff. Those who loved The Martian will appreciate that about this story. Those who found all those details burdensome will hopefully appreciate the story itself.
However. It very much felt like this book was written to continue to appeal to the original sci fi fanbase, while making his work more accessible to readers of more popular genres (mystery, thriller, etc.). I’m not sure it worked entirely. While I understand that topping The Martian is a near impossible feat, changing tactics to gain wider appeal is tricky. I’ll read the next thing by Andy Weir because I think he’s a wonderful writer overall, but I hope it’s more The Martian than Artemis.