Jazz Bashara lives on the moon. She’s a twenty-something with lots of potential, smart and competent, and trying to get past the mistakes she made as a teenager. Her job as a porter barely pays the rent, so she smuggles harmless contraband for the locals and tourists alike. An eccentric billionaire offers Jazz the chance to commit the perfect crime for a huge reward, but the corporate sabotage is only a small piece in a much larger corrupt chess game for control of Artemis.
No, this isn’t The Martian. If what you love most about The Martian is the emotional catharsis of an underdog survival story, you should still read Artemis, but be aware this isn’t that. However, if you love the compulsively-readable science-based suspense and the over-the-top sarcastic humor, you’ll have it all over again in this crime-filled heist caper. Life on the moon feels real, thanks to the details of the world building. For example, the moon city of Artemis is made up of 5 spheres, half-underground and connected by tunnels. Moon currency is called slugs, short for ‘soft landed grams’, originating from the weight limitations of transport from the Earth. Also, if you go outside, you’ll die.
Andy Weir’s writing fills a void I didn’t know existed. He masterfully uses hard science as the centerpiece of the suspenseful story and adds a cheeky protagonist and low-brow humor to make it fun. Artemis one-ups The Martian in that the ingenuity and problem-solving skills (and bad jokes) are in the hands of a minority woman, helping to break the cis white male domination of science fiction. Don’t worry, she swears, drinks, and isn’t afraid of her sexuality.
Thanks to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
“My plan was working! I giggled like a little girl. Hey, I’m a girl, so I’m allowed. And besides, no one was watching. I pulled an aluminum stock rod from the duffel, climbed on top of the harvester, and held it out like a sword. “Onward, mighty steed!””