After reading The Martian at the gentle (and repeated) insistence from a friend, I enjoyed it quite a lot. When I heard a new novel by Andy Weir was coming out, I decided to read it much more quickly than I had the previous novel. Artemis is solidly entertaining.
Jazz Bashara is a porter (or delivery person) in Artemis, the first city on the Moon. She’s very good at her job, and becomes known as very trustworthy and reliable. In addition to her above-board job, she also acts as a reliable smuggler. Many of the more wealthy residents have her import contraband of all sorts, usually things that are banned for good reason. She was a great main character. She was interesting, and I cared about her. Weir made the story entertaining, even when Jazz was doing fairly mundane things.
The pacing in Artemis flowed well. Weir’s storytelling improved quite a bit from The Martian. I never felt like the story was padded with unimportant details. He kept the pacing tight.
I really liked Weir’s attention to important details. It makes perfect sense to have the staple food of regular people on the Moon be algae. It’s very simple to grow, and it grows quickly, so it’s relatively cheap as far as food goes. Weir even discussed it in an interview on Wired. I suspect it would taste and look similar to nori, the seaweed used in Japan for sushi and other things. I found it fun that they made different flavors of it, too. I’d love to taste the tandoori chicken variety.
The presentation of how people would live on the moon made sense. I thought Weir put a lot of thought and planning into these details, including how they produced oxygen and obtained the building materials. Yet more important details the author got right for Artemis. All of this helped the setting simply feel real.
Rosario Dawson did a wonderful job as the narrator. She brought Jazz to life, and helped me vicariously experience what Jazz was experiencing. Dawson knows her stuff, and I never felt bored listening as she related the story. She has a wonderful voice.
I really enjoyed this book. If you were a fan of The Martian, you should like this book, too. It’s a great story, and Jazz is a standout protagonist. As with his previous book, Weir included a fair amount of salty language, but if you can handle that, you will enjoy Artemis. I recommend it.
Release Date: November 14, 2017 (USA)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief drinking and smoking)
Language: 3 (frequent saltier and mild, deity)
Sexuality: 1 (brief discussion, references to sex)
Violence: 2 (fisticuffs, some slightly graphic descriptions of death, firefights)