Artemis by Andy Weir (2017)
Fiction | Sci-Fi
“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.”
pooled ink Review:
So I haven’t read the book The Martian however I did see the movie and absolutely loved it. Which is saying something because as much as I love Star Wars, Lost In Space, and Dark Matter, I’m really not into most “space movies” out there. (I distinctly remember seeing Mission to Mars as a wee little kid and being slightly traumatized by it haha).
But I digress.
I was a fan of Weir’s The Martian and decided I had to give Artemis a try. And holy snap I’m a fan.
The writing is superb. The voice of the story is so natural I fell into step with it at once. And Weir doesn’t bog you down with heavy info dumps and scientific lectures (which is generally why I stay away from many sci-fi novels despite being a total science nerd myself). He throws in the science stuff throughout the book in a natural flow letting it come up as necessary, choosing to explain when necessary and to push on when we clearly don’t care nor need to. We get all the nerdy science research without having to pause the plot to sit through a boring lecture. It’s excellent. I can’t verify all his research but it sure sounded legit.
Now let’s talk about the actual plot, yeah? A city on the moon. A sabotage gone wrong. Crime syndicates out for blood, politicians building economy from dust, a smuggler caught in the cross-fire, and it all reveals the gritty underbelly to a shiny city of the future. A city on the moon is such a classic idea but Weir really takes it to new and surprising heights. Instead of the “Wow! Golly gee! Look how high I can jump, Dad!” angle he goes for the “Ugh. Tourists. Now let’s see how much money I can get off them…” side. It gives this story a smart and contemporary twist, taking us to the dark side of the moon (*cue Pink Floyd*).
Jazz is a fantastic protagonist. She walks the line of ethics and morals, willing to deal below board for sweet money but remains adamantly true to her word. Basically she’s a smart, sarcastic smuggler with a bit of a chip on her shoulder but she’s the most trustworthy criminal on the moon. You want something done right? Ask Jazz. And that’s exactly what billionaire Trond does…and then everything takes a nosedive much to Jazz’s severe annoyance.
The plot is fast-paced, the characters are well crafted, there’s enough subplot to round out the story but not so much as to distract from the story’s main objective. I give it a HECK YES and will be searching the bookstore for The Martian as soon as I can.
Andy Weir’s Artemis is an expertly crafted sci-fi novel, like a soufflé, except with criminals, moon rocks, and murder to jolt the adrenaline. Gritty, quick, clever, and only knee-deep in nerd, this book is an absolute must for any fan of science fiction.
Purchase here: Artemis
Similar recommended reads: Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Meet Andy Weir!
ANDY WEIR built a career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, THE MARTIAN, allowed him to live out his dream of writing fulltime. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.