The whole book was in first person view of Jasmine Bashara aka Jazz. While the first person view is my favourite format as we can get deeper insights into characters, I quickly realised that Jazz’s head was one I did not want to dive into and it ruined the book for me.
I loved the world building, science and way of life on the moon. It seemed plausible and realistic as it was based on today’s ideas and technology, just a little more advanced but not to the extent where it was completely made up with no explanation.
I didn’t particularly enjoy the story behind Sanchez Aluminum and the mission. I think being in Jazz’s head lightened up situations that were really intended to be serious, life or death. I don’t mind some humour or lighter moods but there’s a time and place, as a result, I couldn’t take it seriously.
The build up and climax was great, I definitely didn’t expect things to escalate that much! However, I never felt any urgency or tension for the reason of the mission, again maybe due to the tone and that I didn’t really care about the characters. I didn’t enjoy the ending. Jazz sounded incredibly entitled and like a spoiled brat as her mission in the first place was vandalism for money, she nearly killed everyone on Artemis and yet still had the audacity to claim that she deserved to stay. Jazz didn’t save the city, she was the one that put them in danger in the first place and simply got a slap on the wrist. Hardly noble or requitable if you ask me.
According to Weir in an interview, Jazz was intended to be “snarky and funny, just to say and do the things we all think about but never say or do” which he most definitely achieved but not in a positive way. Although she is confident, street smart and brave (or stupid and reckless?), she is not likeable at all. Her language was colorful to say the least, her dialogue was very cringe-worthy and she sounded like an immature teen who is one of the boys, despite being in her ~late 20s. I listened to the Audible and the actor put on a very sassy voice which made it worse, but then again I don’t know who could ever pull off a character like Jazz.
I didn’t love or hate any of the other characters. If anything I felt bad for any of them who had to deal with Jazz’s crap and bad attitude, especially her father and Dale.
I would caution anyone thinking about reading this and just be prepared to meet a very unlikeable and polarising character. I decided to read this because I was still on the Project Hail Mary (PHM) high and needed another sci-fi thriller hit. However, if you have read this first and are now turned off, I highly recommend you to give Weir another chance and read PHM. I think from all the reactions, Weir has taken on the feedback and created some amazing and likeable characters in PHM.