Artemis - A porter's guide to the moon city | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 11, 2018

BOOK REVIEW

Artemis - A porter's guide to the moon city

I haven't read “The Martian” yet, but the reviews steaming with overwhelming appreciation definitely had me hyped for the author's latest title, Artemis. Did I enjoy my first Andy Weir book? Keep reading.

The entire book is weaved by the POV of one Jazz Bashara, a resident of Artemis. Despite being a citizen of Saudi Arabia, she grows up in Artemis - a posh tourist city on the Moon founded by some Kenyans. From being a famous tourist spot for many to living quarters for some, Artemis is definitely a money-sucking vortex.

For Jazz, living in Artemis as a porter is tough since it's challenging to pay her rents, let alone enjoy the luxurious amenities it has to offer. Though she smuggles contrabands as her side business, she isn't satisfied with the pay. Hence, stumbling upon a lucrative yet risky offer, she doesn't deem it fine to reject the offer, given she has many loans to pay off and wants to bathe in the luxury that defines Artemis. As she accepts the offer, the events that unravel trap her in the web of conspiracies, right and wrong decisions and compel her to hatch the perfect plan for survival.

Honestly, the singular perspective throughout the book was a major turn off. But it could've been made better if Weir had worked on Jazz's character development. Hers is a boring character full of forced, unnecessary and lame dialogues in unfit circumstances. This annoying trait Weir has injected into her successfully disappointed me. Also, Jazz apparently has a Kenyan pen friend, whose conversations with her are partly enjoyable and mostly insignificant fillers.

Moving on, I loved how the story developed from a vivid description of the ways Artemis is designed and the mechanisms pursued by the authority to keep it stable and functional on the Moon. The author has also managed to perfectly fit a diverse cast throughout the storyline. However, the plus points are dampened by the needless amount of conversations about the city, smuggling, sabotages, and of course, welding. There is just too much about welding in this book. Moreover, the annoying character of Jazz, the presence of unexplained characters, and the dull storyline powered by trivial incidents, only add to the woes.

I wasn't expecting such an experience from my first Andy Weir read, and I've never written negative reviews until this one. I really hoped the book would get better through its progression and I wouldn't have to power through it, but it was so convoluted with the welding gibberish and other low-points that I couldn't enjoy the book at all.

 

Shah Tazrian Ashrafi wants 2018 to be as smooth as stormtroopers missing easy kill shots. Send him prayers at facebook.com/shahtazrianashrafi

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