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 her 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 riskier than the first.
Hi, my name is Christina and I have a guilty pleasure of checking a book’s page I have low-rated on GoodReads to see if the rating has gone down further, and giggling to myself with all the evil within me when it has. This book is one of them.
Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for providing me with an ARC of this book.
This was my first time reading Andy Weir, and I was quite excited after all the hype with The Martian, however… I think this will be my last time reading him.
The plot was okay. Our protagonist is Jazz, the city smuggler, but she finds herself the business deal of her dreams that earns her the big bucks. It’s nothing mind blowing, and come to think of it… I don’t even think there was a ‘twist’ at the end, and if what happened at the end is considered the twist, then it really did fall flat. Things were a bit hard to follow at times with all the science talk. It can easily become a bore if you’re not super into science or know many terms, and I found myself struggling to continue from start to finish as the storyline just wasn’t very compelling. Also, there is quite a bit of welding talk — so if that’s not your cup of tea and that sounds like a snooze fest, then that’s only one of many reasons I recommend maybe setting this book aside.
I’m not sure what The Martian was like in terms of how many characters there were and what their relationships were like, but in Artemis, they were… weird. Jazz has a bad relationship with her father, and also doesn’t have any real close friends besides a pen pal that you read about in-between chapters that quite honestly seems pointless. I guess Weir wanted to give a bit more depth to Jazz in us getting to know her, but the letters between her and Kelvin really were useless and didn’t seem to push the story along at all, only to really recap at times.
Svoboda… *sigh* At the beginning it seemed like Svoboda could be one of the only few characters I actually enjoyed, until we got to know him better. Him and Jazz had such a strange relationship. He would, with such confidence, belt out the most inappropriate and immature sexual comments about Jazz, only for Jazz to sigh it off like she would never ever get with him — and then when she would (sort of) flirt back or show him some attention, he would clamp up and forget how to human just because there was a woman in his presence. It didn’t work at all.
An example of an immature, inappropriate comment:
He carried the bag over his shoulder and smiled. He pointed to me and the goddess statues. “Hey, look at that! Three hot moon babes hanging out!”
How awkward? These people are supposed to be 26 years old+
Let’s move onto Jazz… because let’s face it, she was the biggest problem.
Jazz read like a cringey frat boy, with an exceptionally immature and sarcastic sense of humour that is not my speed at all. I’ve read other reviews of some saying that Weir put in his sense of humour into Jazz, and that the main character in The Martian is exactly like Jazz, just in male form.
I got the vibe from both her actions and her words that she would put on this ‘bitchy’ front on purpose, as if to show that she was some tough cookie who didn’t need anybody and didn’t want to be messed with. But then Weir had Jazz reading a gossip magazine and completely changed her personality. She went from a tomboy tough gal that swore a lot, had a very masculine, immature, and sarcastic sense of humour to saying shit like:
Oh my God! I could not believe the shit the prince’s second wife was saying about him in the press. That’s just mean!
Am I reading about the same character…?
Jazz was a classic example of a male taking a shot at writing the mind of a female. We are alien, completely foreign and way too complex (but also ridiculously cliche?), and in my opinion, Weir butchered it.
Jazz was the city lunar whore and, boy, did everyone find every excuse, rhyme or reason to let her know of that! It was such a joke and so gag-worthy to constantly read about. I don’t really feel like talking about this mess of a protagonist any longer, so I’m just going to put some quotes here from Jazz herself and move on.
I turned my head inside the helmet, bit a nipple (try not to get too excited), and sucked some water out.
My plan was working! I giggled like a little girl. Hey, I’m a girl, so I’m allowed.
First off, since when was giggling only meant for little girls…? My boyfriend giggles all the time and it’s the cutest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.
I knew what to do—I just didn’t like it. I’d have to blow the remaining two at the same time.
Please don’t quote that last sentence out of context.
I stared daggers at Dale. He didn’t notice. Damn, I wasted a perfectly good bitchy glare.
CRINGE. DID YOU CRINGE? Because I did.
This was an insult to how men see women, and I do not want Jazz representing us females ever. At all. Not a chance. I’m close to Jazz’s age and I don’t know a single person that acts like this, let alone would I want to be her friend if she did.
I just can’t recommend this as I see absolutely no redeeming qualities. It’s not like it’s unique, with great dialogue and an amazing main character — or even any side characters that pick up the slack, so… Pick another book off your shelf instead.