Author: Andy Weir
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Summary: This sophomore novel had everything I loved about The Martian – humor; great science-based world building; and an action-packed plot – plus some great relationships and a more complex main character.
“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.” (source)
I was equal parts excited and apprehensive to pick up Andy Weir’s second novel. The Martian gave it a lot to live up to for me! Fortunately, this really did have all the elements that made The Martian so appealing. The main character, Jazz, was pretty fantastic. She reminded me lot of Han Solo – a smuggler with their heart in the right place, but willing to make some dubious moral decisions. She was a more complex character than the protagonist of The Martian and similarly funny, although a few of the jokes fell flat for me where basically 100% won me over in The Martian. In a few cases, where Jazz made jokes about men or when she described women as ‘gals’ I felt the author was trying a little hard to remind us she was a female character. Mostly, though, I thought he wrote a female protagonist very well. He also did a great job including women in other important roles in the story and included characters of many different ethnic backgrounds.
That brings me to the fantastic world building. The way characters of many different ethnic backgrounds ended up on the moon made sense. The social life, economics, law enforcement, emergency services, and legal system were all incredibly well thought out. And, of course, there was also fascinating science that was at least accurate enough to fool me. While this was true in The Martian too, the author had greater scope for that realistic creativity, building up a whole community in this book, and I really enjoyed that. The more communal setting of this book also allowed for more interesting relationships than in The Martian. In addition to romantic relationships, there were several really well-developed friendships and a complex relationship between Jazz and her father that I loved reading about.
If you loved The Martian, definitely pick this up. It wasn’t quite as hilarious and as a sophomore novel, it inevitably lacked the uniqueness factor of The Martian. However, it included everything I loved about Weir’s first book, so I don’t think it will let you down! It also had more complex world building and characters, so if you felt that was lacking in The Martian, but loved the science and the fast pace, I think you’ll like this even better. On that note, I’m excited to thank the publisher for letting me share a giveaway copy with you. Be sure to enter below.