Weir has done it again. After the resounding success of The Martian, not to mention the fantastic film, Weir’s sophomore novel is as fabulous as the first – if not better. Artemis is as entertaining as you would expect, as heartwarming as you could want, and immerses you in a world unlike one you could ever dream about.
It’s a rough life on Artemis. Artemis is the only city on the moon, and it’s, more or less, somewhere you go when you have a lot of money or for a quick visit. But Artemis needs workers to service this industry and so we meet Jazz Bashara. Not only does Jazz deliver people’s packages, she also smuggles contraband for them. The rich could never be denied their expensive cigars. One day, a deal comes up that is too good to pass up, a perfect crime with a price tag that would make Jazz’ problems evaporate. However, nothing is perfect, and soon all sorts of secrets and conspiracies are being unearthed that affect the life of Artemis itself.
If you loved Weir’s humor, scientific explanations, and wonderful characters, then stop reading and just go get this book. That’s really all you need to know. But if you haven’t had any experience with Weir, then go out and also get The Martian. If you’re still not convinced, and don’t worry no offense taken – some people just need a little more, then keep reading.
I love a good book with maps, and even though Artemis takes place on the moon, Weir gives us some phenomenal detailed maps, which I love for their real quality. But after the maps, what further enchants me, is Weir’s narration style. I think this is part Weir and part the main character, Jazz, but it is witty, quick, and hilarious. There is a genuine sarcastic quality, but also a deep compassion that Jazz has.
And Jazz herself is a phenomenal character. She is all of those humorous touches, but so much more. Hardened by a life where she feels as if she has disappointed her family and cannot rely on those close to her, she has established defense mechanisms. As well, she is incredibly intelligent, and while she could do anything she wanted and be absolutely brilliant, she has maintained a desire to do what makes her happy, even when it’s been hard. Bottom line? I want to be friends with Jazz. (The other side characters are as lifelike, and my personal favorites were Dale and Svoboda).
The Science on the Moon
But Weir doesn’t stop there. He makes science feel approachable to you – making the science of the moon and atmosphere come alive. He could have chosen to leave out these details, but by bringing them in, he makes Artemis life like and the entire world detailed. Not only that, but Weir’s writing is both entertaining here, and also has a great quality. At one point, Weir incorporates the use of letters in the novel, which isn’t new at all in the history of literature, but here he uses it to uncover the secrets of the past and show Jazz’s transformation – her inside feelings, and more. It is emblematic of the way in which Weir shows us what we need to see in a way that never feels heavy handed. We see Jazz and the way she is, without being told Jazz is compassionate, or Jazz has a good heart.
And for Weir’s plot. It is imaginative and has all the qualities of a heist-type novel. There is underground dealings, subterfuge, and corporate secrets. If you thought you were missing that in The Martian, then look no further. The plot rapidly unfolds in a way that keeps you flipping the pages, until you’re done and you want to read it all again. It is entirely immersive, as well as quality entertainment.
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
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