15 December 2017

Artemis // I Loved It But I Have Realised It’s Flawed

Artemis
Published: 14th November 2017
Source: Netgalley/Illumicrate
Genre: Sci-fi, Mystery, Thriller, Heist, Little Bit Of Everything
My Rating:
Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of Jazz's problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself - and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even more unlikely than the first.
Artemis is one of those must read books for me after how much I adored The Martian I knew that reading it was inevitable. I was so excited to get approved on Netgalley and then put off reading for reasons unknown so as soon as I guessed it was coming in my Illumicrate (because I am a genius detective) I knew that I’d wait and read my shiny new physical copy. I am so glad I have a copy because I enjoyed this book immensely. I didn’t want to stop reading and it hooked me in even though I wasn’t sure what type of direction it was going in. I loved the mystery/thriller/heist sort of book that was a mix of all things and I loved that all of the characters were pretty damn smart. After reading a couple of reviews, though, I have realised a glaring flaw in this book, it slut shames and has characters which folks with either like or hate.

Let’s begin with the good, I was gripped by this book. One of my biggest complaints in The Martian is that the science was too hard and too frequent and those chunks of writing bored me, I didn’t have that in this one. Instead, the story was more fast paced and you just sort of roll with it. Is there science and technical explanations? Yeah, but it’s not overwhelming and they aren’t anywhere near as long so I could handle it. This book dives right in with a heist which moves into a mystery which goes into another heist and never did I find myself getting bored or not following the story, instead I was there for every page.

You also get a totally kickass MC in the form of Jazz. She has essentially grown up on Artemis, the only town on the Moon and she has developed her own smuggling business on the moon. As soon as you meet her it’s immediately obvious she is smart, and although many claim she wasted her potential I really loved that she wasn’t striving to take over the world but instead followed her own path and had a wide path of interests. She won’t be for everyone, I know I had a few gripes apart her character, but she is easy to like and I was invested in her story from the get go.

I liked that the folks on the Moon, especially those who lived there, were smart and experts in their chosen fields, not idiots who are there to move the story along. Often when you have a smart MC the characters around them get dumbed down but that wasn’t the case, instead they are just as smart and the MC in fact relies upon their expertise to help her solve a mystery or plan a heist or two. I can’t say whether or not what the characters say is accurate because I know nothing about science or economics or welding but it sounded pretty good at least.

Now, like I said, there were gripes to be had. I loved how Jazz was so freaking smart and that she was smart but still made mistakes (you guys who’ve read it will know the big booboo I’m thinking of) but I kind of felt like it was never fleshed out why she was so smart. Like, it seemed like she had this really good memory but with no explanation I found it a little crazy how she seemed to be able to read up on something and then just knew about it. I was close to rolling my eyes because she was a little too good. And then there was the fact that it was mentioned she was good looking as well, which is totally cool, but it almost seemed like she was a Mary Sue. It wasn’t quite that bad but I did have a couple of ‘seriously’ moments. I also found it weird how a couple of times she did something which a character deemed sexy or she herself was self aware of her sexiness. I know there are moments people can deem someone as sexy and sometimes you can do something intentionally but it was when she was doing something normal and it was just a little weird.

That kind of leads into the other problem of this book, there is slut shaming. I kind of noticed whilst reading but was distracted by the main plot when I was reading but after reading this review over at Smart Bitches I have to say there was slut shaming and it’s not cool. Jazz was a sexually active woman and no more promiscuous than any other person so it’s weird people made such a thing out of that when other characters actions were way more questionable (I’m looking at you Dale). I just didn’t feel comfortable with the whole part of the book where Jazz is continually demeaned or has rubbing from others for who she’s slept with, totally not cool.

Basically, this book is good in one sense. It’s fun and easy to read and totally a great sci-fi romp that I will happily read again. On the other hand, it needed some work doing on the characters and it definitely needed some better female representation. Don’t get me wrong, there were some brilliant women in this book, but why did Jazz have to be slut shamed and good at like everything? These things bothered me, and definitely affected my opinion on the book as I pondered it the day after finishing.

Have you read Artemis? Do you agree with my assessment of the book? And what’s your favourite fun sci-fi read?

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