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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Station Zero
Philip Reeve
Progress: 220/282 pages
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition
Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess
Progress: 749/997 pages
The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry
Robert Chandler
The Uncertain Land and Other Poems
Patrick O'Brian
Progress: 8/160 pages
The Heptameron (Penguin Classics)
Marguerite de Navarre
Progress: 152/544 pages
The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield
Progress: 78/534 pages
Poems Selected
Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
Progress: 4/50 pages
Selected Poems
U A Fanthorpe
Progress: 18/160 pages
The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse
Mick Imlah, Robert Crawford
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages

Artemis, Andy Weir

Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

I seem to remember reading a lot of reviews expressing disappointment with this book when it was first released, but, whilst not perfect, I thought it was actually a big improvement on The Martian, even if our protagonist is only a female criminal version of Mark Watney.


It feels like Weir learned an enormous amount about novel writing between the two books; character development, differentiation and impact on plot are all enormously better. The plot is, by comparison with The Martian, a sophisticated and not entirely predictable thriller, holding more interest than purely survival/engineering problems.


That's not to say there aren't still flaws - Weir's love affair with exposition explaining how everything works is still somewhat out of control which makes for a first third that is slower than necessary. Some of it could be cut and explained in the relevant plot moment (because it is, causing a repetition) or just cut altogether because it's never relevant.


There's some clumsy moments that include details you just know are going to be super plot-crucial later - not well disguised despite the barage of similar details. The protagonist at times verges on being unsympathetic and the reaction of the general populace to her actions during the denouement seems not entirely realistic.


There are much worse novels by much more experienced novelists than this, however and if Weir can carry on learning he will become a really good writer.