Oh no. Here we go with a sophomore novel after a home run debut… this time it’s the very eagerly awaited (by me) arrival of Andy Weir’s Artemis. It’s important, in these scenarios, to keep your cool and also important to know that I have absolutely zero capability of doing that. You guys, ANDY WEIR’S NEW BOOK IS OUT. And it’s pretty… pretty… pretty… pretty good.
If you didn’t read The Martian, maybe your hopes are not higher than, well, Mars. Wait, is Mars high? I am not the expert on galaxy-wide spatial relations. Andy Weir seems to be an expert, and Artemis, like The Martian before it, is so full of science and math that I spent a considerable amount of time rethinking my liberal arts education as I skimmed whole pages at a time like…. I probably get the idea here, you can’t breathe on the moon, let’s get to dialogue.
Our heroine/criminal in Artemis is Jasmine Bashara, who we festively refer to as Jazz. Jazz has lived on the moon for most of her life and is basically a delivery person who sidelines as a smuggler. She is offered a chance at a big time job that will improve her life drastically and she jumps at it after roping in a bunch of fun coconspirators. Antics ensue. Also hijinks. What I’m saying here is, this is basically a caper story set on the moon. It is inventive and fun and very fast (except when explaining a science thingy – technical term – in so much detail I get a nap in) and you definitely root for her. A simple con becomes a life and death situation which endangers everyone living on the lunar colony.
Artemis is more Ready, Player One than The Martian, but that is in no way a bad thing. I enjoyed it as a fast heist novel with a feminist heroine. While mostly light, Weir definitely also touches on some substantive class issues and manages to be more than the sum of its parts. Overall, if you can set aside your expectations, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Artemis – Grade B+