Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

ArtemisArtemis by Andy Weir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Andy Weir’s sophomore literary appearance brings in many stylistic elements that fans will recall from The Martian: a first-person narrator with snark to spare, high stakes space peril, and lots of meticulously researched, accurate science. However, the punchy heart that made The Martian soar is just not present here. Artemis is a fun-enough adventure tale that doesn’t bring quite enough believability to its characters to be truly great. The narrator and her entourage of various frenemies drop witty lines at every turn, like they’re waiting for a laugh track. The constant witty back-and-forth, pervasive even in moments where more gravity (pun intended) really is required, makes me feel like these characters are simply a cast full of little fictional Andy Weirs. Especially in the middle of the novel where Weir is busy connecting all his plot elements, we really lose all sense of soul in exchange for the big “can you believe that?!” conundrum that pushes the ending along. The ending, by the way, is redeeming in many ways. All in all, if you want to have fun thinking about perennially sassy smugglers doing improbably complicated science heroics in a moon city, you will enjoy this. If you’re looking for Weir’s best, go re-read The Martian. There really is no comparison.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

  1. I find myself in complete agreement with your review. Artemis, despite being one of the more scientifically intriguing books to debut this year, falls painfully short when it comes to soul. In fairness to Weir though, I will say that creating something on par with The Martian was going to be quite the task, and I at least appreciate the attempt to tread some new ground with character development. That said, given the questionable choices made in portraying the characters and connecting them to the overarching plot, I’m not sure that aspect of the novel was a particularly positive addition either. I’m a little disappointed to have to feel so “meh” about this book, especially after the great ideas about oxygenating the Artemis colony and gunk, but the novel has to stand as it is. Res ipsa loquitur right?

  2. Indeed. I put partial blame on his editor as well. There were clear paths to a better book within this manuscript. I’m wondering if they just rushed it in an effort to ride the Martian hype. Either way, I’m sure his pocketbook is doing just fine with another bestseller on his hands, so hey! Thanks for stopping by. ~Amy

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