Rating – 3/5 stars
Date Finished – September 11, 2017
79/120 in 2017
Publication Date – November 14, 2017
I loved so many things about this novel! I really loved the setting of Artemis, a town on the moon, and I loved all of the scientific detail. I found to story surprising, compelling, and satisfying – well worth the read. But, there were two major problems that continuously pulled me out of the action of this novel.
First, I absolutely could not stand Jazz’s voice. It was so painfully clear that she was a young female character being written by a man. Anytime she talked about sex (which was literally every time she interacted with a man), it was just so unrealistic that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief. One scene in particular sticks in my mind – when a friend finds Jazz wearing his shirt, she thinks “I was pretty sexy, I have to admit.” UM, NO.
The second thing that really bothered me was the way that the book was narrated. It was as if Jazz was speaking to the reader (sometimes), but there was no conceit to explain why. Was she writing her memoirs? Was she telling someone the story? There was never any satisfactory explanation for the way she would break that fourth wall and speak to the reader sometimes. Honestly, it felt lazy – as if the only way to explain what was happening was to have Jazz break from the action and explain something. The thing is, The Martian had that conversational, sarcastic, self-aware tone because the main character was writing in a diary or communicating with Earth. It made sense. It doesn’t in this novel.
Aside from those two major issues, I really did enjoy this book! If you’re really annoyed by badly written female characters, this may not be for you. But, if you enjoyed The Martian and you can suspend your frustration with Jazz sometimes, you may still really enjoy it.
Now, how do we convince male authors who are writing female characters that they need to have lots of women offer very critical feedback?
Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for an advance copy of this novel!