Artemis – Andy WeirArtemis – The best-selling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller – a heist story set on the moon.
Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself – and that now her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
Bringing to life Weir’s brash, whip-smart protagonist is actress Rosario Dawson (Marvel’s The Defenders, Sin City, Death Proof). With the breathless immediacy of one realizing they’re one cracked helmet visor away from oblivion, Dawson deftly captures Jazz’s first-person perspective – all while delivering sarcastic Weir-ian one-liners and cracking wise in the face of death. And with a cast of diverse characters from all walks of life calling Artemis home, Dawson tonally somersaults to voice Kenyan prime ministers, Ukrainian scientists, and Saudi welders. It’s a performance that transports listeners right alongside Jazz, matching her step for step on every lunar inch of her pulse-pounding journey.
Ok – let me start right here. This is no “The Martian: The Sequel”. It is a completely different story done very differently. I’m guessing there will be A LOT of people who think that’s what they’re getting and get very disappointed when they get this instead. Which is sad, because this really is a very good book.
Jazz lives on the moon, in a city called Artemis. Named after the moon, of course. Travel between the moon and earth is consistent, and the moon has become a vacation hot spot for people of all types, though the only ones that afford to live there year-round (other than those who work there) are filthy rich. She is a smuggler, and works offloading cargo ships as well. When one of her smuggling regulars asks her for a shady job, her first inclination is to say no. Then he names his price, and she runs with it – she has a specific goal she’s saving for, and this will clear it and then some. But that’s when things get crazy, and the book takes off like a rocket (put totally intended).
This book does have a few puzzle pieces missing. There are some choices that Jazz makes that will obviously be very bad ones. There are a few things that will happen that readers will see coming. Having said that – the book is a fun ride from beginning to end, even *with* those puzzle pieces missing. Jazz as a character was interesting, particularly as it would be difficult to create a character more opposite from the one in Weir’s first book. The science sprinkled throughout was a little harder for me to understand than in the first book, but for those who appreciated it then – you will appreciate it here as well.
Overall, if readers go into this book just looking for a good read, then this might fit the bill. Again – it’s not The Martian, but it has strengths and weaknesses all its own.
ANDY WEIR was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.
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