This week I finished Artemis by Andy Weir. It was my first Book of the Month Club book. I did not read The Martian, but I did enjoy the movie. I spent most of my time reading this book buried under covers and animals, all of us trying to stay warm! It’s been a cold and snowy Northern Michigan winter so far.
This book is about a young woman named Jazz who has grown up in Artemis, a settlement on the moon. Jazz struggles financially and makes extra money by smuggling goods into Artemis from Earth. She is recruited to commit a major, complex crime for an extremely large amount of money, and accepts the offer. The rest of the book follows Jazz as she works to follow through on her promises, and uncovers the truth about how Artemis really functions.
This book was a page turner for me. I found it funny and unique. However, I did not like how Weir wrote Jazz. I understand that she is supposed to be unlikeable, she’s rough, she’s a criminal, she has issues, she likes to drink, etc. I am fine with all of that. However, I think Weir was off the mark with her internal thoughts. She talked and thought like a teenage boy. It was like Weir only tapped the surface of her as a character. Essentially, Weir wrote Jazz as Mark from The Martian, with a vagina. I think that he should not try to write female characters again in the future – not his forte!
I did not finish a single book during the month of February. But, I took my sweet time with Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, and enjoyed each and every page. All 559 of them.
I’m not into sci-fi, not just in books, but in TV and movies, as well. It’s just not usually my thing. I certainly do not have anything against the genre, but I’m just usually not compelled to pick it up, and leave movies saying, “that was alright.”
However, I truly enjoyed Doomsday Book. I would certainly call this sci-fi light. Kivrin, a student, decides she wants to study the middle ages, and will use time travel to fully immerse herself. However, as she arrives, she finds herself extremely ill, throwing off her entire trip. Meanwhile, back in Oxford, the virus Kivrin has is spreading and throwing the country into chaos.
While the virus spreads through Oxford, the historians who are working with Kivrin have to ensure they can set everything up to bring Kivrin home, but they realize quickly that something has gone wrong.
I can see one complaint of this book being that things move slowly, and the characters do a lot of waiting and guessing. I think that Willis used this approach to help the reader understand how the characters feel – just waiting to see what really happened, and how to fix it.
So, even though it took me a long time to get through this book, I would recommend it!