Artemis by Andy Weir
“It’s a simple idiot-proofing scheme that’s very effective. But no idiot-proofing can overcome a determined idiot.”
Jazz is a smuggler in the only moon colony, Artemis, where the rich go to vacation, and the rest manage a blue collar life. She’s got a big debt to pay, and smuggling is her ticket to getting enough money to pay it off. When an opportunity arises that is perfect for more than one area of her expertise, she is hesitant to accept, until she finds out it would not only pay off her enormous debt but set her out of slumming it. After taking the job, Jazz finds that paying off her debts is the least of her worries.
First off, let me say that I didn’t read the Martian, and I only watched part of the movie, let’s just blame that on lack of time to finish it rather than lack of interest. So as a disclaimer, I can in no way compare this to Weir’s other book.
So, the story itself was entertaining enough. Although, I sometimes got a little bit tired of the welding and equipment jargon. Whenever my eyes glazed over a paragraph of that, I never felt that I missed anything particularly important enough to reread a paragraph…as in it could have been summarized or omitted altogether. If I took a shot every time Jazz said this is totally doable because of the gravity on the moon versus what you would expect on Earth I would be completely plastered. Seriously, get on with the story already.
The World Building
Okay, so I would like to say that any time there is some sort of acronym put in a book, it should be spelled out completely first. I was pretty annoyed that I had to google what EVA was…which is apparently “extravehicular activity”. Maybe this was defined in The Martian, but come on, new reader here, I don’t care how convenient it is to google something or even if it’s such a basic space term I should know. It’s just common courtesy to spell out an acronym…Okay vent over.
I liked this little space colony and how it sort of made me think of a futuristic western with one sheriff in town, but no real solid law. The idea of all these different countries having specialties that they have imported or contributed to the city was pretty cool. I do wish that there was a little bit more culture thrown in there besides a little snippet of Muslim prayer/bowing habits…and a few stereotypes of Hispanic cartel, Asian’s and rice, etc…The community vibe was pretty awesome, but I did expect for Jazz to have a little more recognition throughout the community being a porter…especially with the population being so low.
I liked that Jazzy was unapologetic about how she was. She bent the rules about shipping a little sure, but didn’t bring anything really harmful. She can be a snarky asshole, but it’s just widely accepted for her personality. She’s wicked smart and underutilizing her skills as a porter in Artemis. She isn’t too proud to ask for assistance from someone, but is willing to pay up for it without any hesitation.
I really wished that we got to meet Kelvin instead of just through e-mails. I liked his detached role through the book, but never felt any sort of connection from him.
Portugal the Man –Tidal Wave