Sunday, November 12, 2017


Artemis by Andy Weir
Crown/Archetype: 11/14/17
eBook review copy; 320 pages
ISBN-13: 9780553448122

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 every time.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of
Crown/Archetype via Netgalley.

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