Andy Weir’s Artemis: A Novel

From the Amazon description:

Propelled by its heroine’s wisecracking voice, set in a city that’s at once stunningly imagined and intimately familiar, and brimming over with clever problem-solving and heist-y fun, Artemis is another irresistible brew of science, suspense, and humor from #1 bestselling author Andy Weir.

Artemis is set on the moon. And follows the exploits of one Jasmine Bashara (Jazz for short), a smuggler. She is one of some 2000 odd residents living on the moon in a settlement called Artemis, so named for the Greek goddess of, among other things, the moon. The facilities have existed for at least twenty years, and with weekly launches to and from the moon, space travel seems to become fairly regular. Jazz takes on a job that might be out of her league, and therein the story lies.

Andy Weir again tries to capture life in space just a few decades from now, imagining what a moon colony would look like, how it would operate, what it’s economy would be, and how the people living there would feel. The tone of this novel is different than The Martian. Whereas before you were rooting for the survival of one man all alone on Mars, here, you are maybe rooting for a criminal to succeed in her criminal ways? I suppose as a society we like to glorify criminals, the Jean Valjeans and the Han Solos, but Jazz don’t really fall into that category. She isn’t a murderer, but at the same time she is not stealing a loaf of bread to feed her starving nephew.

While The Martian was heavy on science, it was dialed back for this novel. Some scientific extrapolation is given at various parts, but it isn’t the primary focus. No indication is given if Artemis and The Martian share the same continuity. There is one throw out line directed at The Martian. At one point Jazz makes this comment (to the reader):

Only an idiot relies on duct tape to maintain a pressure seal, but I didn’t have a choice – ch. 14

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as The Martian. It was okay, some will surely enjoy it more than others, but for me it didn’t capture my imagination in the same way. That being said, I certainly hope space travel can become mainstream in my lifetime. I would love to be a tourist to Artemis, even if I don’t particularly like the protagonist that lives there.


2 thoughts on “Andy Weir’s Artemis: A Novel

  1. The protagonist is definitely a flawed character. If you stay with the book you figure out what drives her, and that she is basically a good person… but the book gives you information about the main character only in small doses. So you are reading about a not-that-likable character, and later on you find out she is more likable than she seemed at first.

    I was not completely happy with the protagonist or the plot until I reached about the halfway point in the book. I liked the second half much more.

    My favorite thing from the book: the protagonist and several other characters are pretty smart. Instead of the book just telling us “she’s smart!” we see her doing some smart things. In my favorite scene, she tried to be sneaky and another character figured out what she was up to… because he knew she was smart! Instead of doing the obvious thing he stopped and asked himself “given that she’s smart, what is _really_ going on here?”

    I agree that I enjoyed _The Martian_ more than this one, but I did enjoy it a lot.

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