The Artemis Effect

So I’ve been away for about a week and a half now, I really need to make more time to keep up my blog along with working full time and bowling 3 or 4 times a week.

So anyway, I didn’t update my currently reading widget on the sidebar after finishing Ender in Exile, and that was pure laziness on my part.  But I have still been reading over the past week, albeit at a slightly slower pace than usual.  Not too terribly long ago, another blogger asked me to review her book that she recently finished.  So I’ve been spending the past week reading The Artemis Effect by Kasia James.  (A link to Kasia’s blog can be found here.)

I enjoyed the book, but it did take me a little longer to read than books usually do, along with my continued complaints about trying to find time to read while working full time and bowling, I also read the book as a PDF file on my computer.  And it reaffirms my belief that I will always prefer to read real books, whether they be paperback or hardcover, I will always go for the real books.

So without any further adieu, we go into my review of The Artemis Effect.

Book Stats

188 pages (in PDF form)

The worldbuilding behind the story could lean towards either a lighter Science Fiction or Fantasy with a strong leaning towards being Literary Fiction.  I’m going to label it as Science Fiction and Drama.

Characters

There are a lot of characters in this book, as I’m writing this review I’m glad that Kasia included a Dramatis Personae in the beginning of the book, because it really helps to remember all of the characters throughout the book.  All of the characters throughout the book were well written and believable as people, but I think overall I liked the group centered in Australia better than the groups in America and Britain.  Overall they’re a little closer to my age and they’re dealing with more of the same things in life that I deal with.  In what is a relatively short book (I’d imagine that in a paperback format this book would be around 350 to 400 pages) there are a lot of characters that all kind of feel like the main character of the story.  Overall I’d say that the characters are probably the strongest part of this book.

Setting

The book is set in present day Earth, and the various characters are in Australia, America (oddly enough, in Northeast Ohio, where I live), and Britain.

Plot

The book begins with the group of people from Australia, who have formed a small group called SWAP – The Society for Watching for Alien Presences.  Scott, who is an amateur astronomer, notices that something looks strange about the moon.  While this sets up the beginning of the story, the remaining characters in the book are simply going about their daily lives.  As the disturbance with the moon gets worse, communications all over the world get knocked out, and it causes the collapse of modern civilization, and a return to a much simpler way of life.  Now that I think about it, it’s very similar to The Road by Cormac McCarthy, with the exception being that you have some idea of what’s causing everything.

Enjoyment

The characters are really the strongest part of this book.  As soon as you are introduced to a character, you quickly learn a lot about their personalities as well as some of the conflicts that they have in their personal lives.  While many of their conflicts are dealt with throughout the book, there were a couple of times that they felt really rushed to me.  But as a whole I enjoyed the characters in the book.

Overall I think the weakest part of the book was the plot.  I was enjoying the character interactions and I was intrigued by the idea of something strange happening to the moon, to me it never felt like the book was really gaining momentum towards a strong conclusion.  I kept getting more information about what’s happening, but it always felt like a setup towards something bigger.  Even in the final chapters, it still felt like it was setting up something bigger that was yet to come.

My only other complaint was that it seemed like the characters were always reacting to what was happening to them, rather than taking the initiative and going forward.

Overall Grade

I really enjoyed the characters and how believable they were, but it felt in large part like it was a setup for a much larger story.  It’s an interesting premise that I’d recommend to fans of lighter Sci Fi.

For those interested in purchasing the book, you can find it on Amazon here.

6/10

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  1. September 2012 Month in Review « Reviews and Ramblings

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