In case you don’t know, The Martian by Andy Weir is one of my favourite books of all time. When I found out that the author was releasing a second book called Artemis, this time set on the moon, I was EXCITED. More space nerdiness to add to my bookshelf!
I had tremendously high hopes for Artemis. Did I love it as much as The Martian? I don’t think so (but it’s hard to live up to when it’s one of my favourite books ever). Was it a worthy second book that blew my expectations out the water? YES. I loved it!
WELCOME TO ARTEMIS. The first city on the moon.
Population 2,000. Mostly tourists.
Jazz Bashara is a criminal. She lives in a poor area of Artemis and subsidises her work as a porter with smuggling contraband onto the moon. But it’s not enough.
So when she’s offered the chance to make a lot of money she jumps at it. But though planning a crime in 1/6th gravity may be more fun, it’s a lot more dangerous…
Artemis by Andy Weir:
Andy Weir has moved his crazy, imaginative storytelling from Mars to the surface of the Moon – more specifically, the first settlement called Artemis. I instantly loved the setup of Artemis. Basically, it’s made up of 5 ‘Bubbles’ each with their own purpose. According to the author himself, “Armstrong is industry, Aldrin is the tourist center with casinos and hotels and stuff, Conrad is where the blue-collar folks live, the low-income people. Bean is sort of like suburban life; it’s middle-income folks. And then Shepard is where the really rich people live.” (source)
Jazz Bashara – Too ‘Watney-esque’?
We then have our main character, Jazz: a feisty Saudi Arabian woman who smuggles contraband into Artemis to make some extra slugs (Artemis currency. Weird name, I know, but it’s all explained. That’s what I love about Weir’s books – literally everything is explained in great detail.) I instantly had a picture of Jazz in my head. If it wasn’t for the fact that she’s Asian, I’d want to cast her in a film as Ellen Page from her Juno era. Imagine Juno’s sass, wit and clever comebacks – that’s Jazz.
A few other reviewers seemed to take a dislike to her, saying that Weir basically took what they disliked about Mark Watney (the protagonist in The Martian) and gave those traits to Jazz, making her annoying and unlikeable. I must admit, I can see where they’re coming from – but I loved her. She made me laugh so many times, and OK, she might still seem too much like a ‘man’, making masculine jokes and not acting like a ‘lady’ – but why should every female do that?!
The story did take a little while to get going and at one point, I worried that I wouldn’t like the book. However, once I got into it, I didn’t want to stop reading. (OK, the fact the book took me 3 months to read is a different story. That’s nothing to do with the book and more down to me being lazy.) The whole story is full of suspense, surprises, and complete and utter shock at some of the things that happened. (Mostly things that went horrifically wrong – especially towards the end. No spoilers.) There are a couple of characters that I wished were explored a bit more because I wanted to know more about them, but I didn’t mind at all.
Another thing people complained about was that the scientific explanations in Artemis are mostly to do with welding. Again, they’re right. But it wasn’t particularly a thing I even picked up on until I read other people’s reviews. Jazz’s dad is a welder by trade so she’s picked up his skills along the way. They come in handy a good number of times, and that’s when the process is explained in detail. As I said above, I love detail! It could be about anything and I’d probably still in engrossed in the ins and outs of it all. There were a few moments when the plot felt a little slow, but I think the fact paced action of the rest of the book made up for the slower parts.
If you loved The Martian and you want another great book from Andy Weir, I’d definitely recommend Artemis. My advice is to go in with an open mind – don’t expect it to be the same as The Martian, because it feels completely different. I think that’s great though – I’m glad it wasn’t just The Martian on the Moon!
I really enjoyed Artemis and I’m so glad I have a beautiful hardback to go proudly on my shelf. It’s only just come out and I’m already excited to see what Andy Weir comes up with next!
Click the links below to buy a copy of Artemis* or read about it on Goodreads:
*Note: Affiliate links used – click here for details. 🙂