Book Review – Artemis – Andy Weir
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction
Year of Release: 2017
Read 309-page hardcover edition in February 2018.
Jazz Bashara, a young adult who has spent most of her life living on the moon colony Artemis, is tired of living amongst the poor, working class folks around her. She knows that in addition to her job as a delivery person, she can make extra money by smuggling contraband into the colony. When she gets the opportunity to work with a rich associate to pull off a huge crime and work towards a huge reward, she jumps at the chance.
But when things start to go wrong, Jazz finds herself embroiled in a scandal with organized crime, that could put the entire colony at risk. She must figure out how she can stop the damage, and save her home, and its inhabitants.
After the breakout success of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian, expectations were very high for his second novel. And although this definitely is an enjoyable and intriguing book, this definitely is a bit weaker than his first novel.
Looking at the many positives in this novel, one of them relates to the main character, Jazz. Weir does a nice job creating a complex character that has shades of grey in her personality. There are some things that we don’t like or trust about this character, making her more believable in this “wild west” feeling of the first and only moon colony. Furthermore, her strained relationships with her father and her former best friend create some interesting dynamics and conversations. These two characters, particularly the ex friend’s gay relationship with Jazz’s ex boyfriend, helps to create additional layers of conflict on top of the main plot, which is nice.
Weir also does a nice job at describing Artemis and the moon itself, including some beautiful shots looking at the moon surface and moon walks conducted by characters which are described intimately.
The plot itself, including the initial crime Jazz tries to pull off, and the outcomes that spiral further and further out of control, are interesting and enjoyable to read. Weir does a nice job explaining what is happening, using his trademark scientific explanations, and being able to limit it to an appropriate amount of detail (except in a couple of places where the reader may get a little tired of technical jargon).
Looking at detractions for the novel, the first one-third of this novel did set the stage nicely, including introduction of characters and description of Artemis. However, it was also a little bit of a slow pace at times, and the reader had to push forward to get to more action and drama in the latter two-thirds.
In addition, some of the humour that was used in the book was a touch annoying, at least for this reader. Humour was certainly valuable and a clear part of Jazz’s character, however at times it felt forced and not actually all that funny.
Overall however, this was an enjoyable science fiction book, and another success for Andy Weir.
Overall: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars