Artemis by Andy Weir
eBook review copy; 320 pages
Artemis by Andy Weir is a very highly recommended noir crime novel set on the moon.
Jazz Bashara has lived in Artemis, the colony/city located on the moon
for twenty-years, since she was six-years-old. Currently she is working
as a low-paid porter, but where she really makes her money or "slugs" is
as a smuggler. It's expensive to live on the moon, so what's a girl to
do? Her job as a porter barely pays for the rent on her coffin-sized
sleeping space in Conrad Down 15, which she says if it were a wine
"connoisseurs would describe it as 'shitty with overtones of failure and
poor life decisions.'"
When wealthy businessman Trond
Landvik, who Jazz knows because she smuggles in cigars for him,
offers her an impossible to refuse opportunity to earn a million slugs,
how could she say no? All she needs to do is figure out how to do the
job without getting caught. Jazz comes up with a clever plan which
almost goes right - until it doesn't. It's only after the fact that Jazz
learns that there is more going on than she realized. Now she has even
more complications to handle and she'll need some friends to help her.
I loved the noir
feel to the novel. Setting the novel on the moon allows Weir to add some
details and dangers you wouldn't find in just any noir novel. Weir
adds all sorts of little details that make the story come to
life, like eating Gunk, the dangers of lunar dust, and why physics
dictate that coffee tastes bad on the moon.
Jazz is an irreverent, sometimes foul-mouthed, immature, resourceful,
intelligent, humorous, and independent protagonist. Certainly
the entire novel is set up to expect another adventure on Artemis and
hopefully with Jazz. Interspersed between chapters is some of the
correspondence that Jazz has had with Kelvin Otieno. They became penpals
when she was nine, and are now friends. I'm hoping she and Kelvin get
to meet in person too.
I didn't approach Weir's new novel looking for another The Martian. And I'm glad I read it without any unwieldy expectations. For everyone wondering, no, it's not The Martian II,
but I found
it a highly entertaining and fun adventure all on its own. There is some
science and creative problem solving, but living in an established
colony on the moon isn't quite like being stranded alone on Mars.
However, the best recommendation is that I lost track of time and stayed
up way-too-late to finish reading Artemis, and I can't say that
about many books. Weir knows how to write an engaging, entertaining
story. I enjoyed every second of it and that is worthy of five stars
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Crown/Archetype via Netgalley.