The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller—a heist story set on the moon.
Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich.
Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time.
So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down.
The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself.
Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city.
Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal.
That’ll have to do.
Propelled by its heroine’s wisecracking voice, set in a city that’s at once stunningly imagined and intimately familiar, and brimming over with clever problem-solving and heist-y fun, Artemis is another irresistible brew of science, suspense, and humor from #1 bestselling author Andy Weir.
- ISBN10 0553448129
- ISBN13 9780553448122
- Publish Date 14 November 2017
- Publish Status Active
- Publish Country US
- Publisher Random House USA Inc
- Imprint Crown Publishing Group, Division of Random House Inc
- Format Hardcover
- Pages 320
- Language English
- URL https://penguinrandomhouse.com/books/isbn/9780553448122
The story is simple, fast-paced, and exciting, and is written in a manner which allows it to take centre stage and be those things. There is little unnecessary depth, and most of the exposition along the way relates to the story in some way.
And while all these things could also have been criticisms of a book, Artemis just does it so well. It's perfectly paced, it's crafted in a way where the setups go on just long enough for the twists to be perfectly baked when they come out of the oven, and it's never boring. And, impressively for a story like this, it never gets predictable. Most of the time I had no idea what would be coming next, and if I did the book proved me wrong. It also has some great characters. While none of them are given much depth, they are all that they need to be. The main characters are likable, smart, and very enjoyable to follow. As with the book itself, they're just good fun.
Sure, anyone expecting The Martian will be disappointed, but if you're looking for a quick, easy, satisfying, forgettable-but-fun summer read, you could do much worse than Artemis.
Jazz is a non-practising Muslim woman who has lived in Artemis (a city on the moon) since she was six years old. She’s very intelligent and into science, and she has a very foul mouth. I’ve seen some criticism regarding the bad language that Jazz uses as well as her sexual jokes, but I didn’t have a problem with it. I don’t think it was unrealistic or a bad attempt from a male author at writing a female character. Like, you should hear the way some of my friends speak.
So yeah, I liked Jazz. There were moments where I was a bit put out by how good she was at everything, but I figured that this is a book about a city on the moon, so I could suspend my disbelief a bit.
I don’t have anything to say about the side characters because I didn’t care for any of them. I did, however, dislike how few female characters there were. Especially prominent female characters. It would have been good for Jazz to have more female friends.
In terms of the plot, it’s a heist story. The first two thirds were great as they were completely action packed, and I loved exploring Artemis and learning about the economy and politics. But the ending wasn’t fantastic, to be honest. It’s a shame, but oh well.
One other problem I had was the reusable condom. I mean, it’s not my own personal problem, but a problem with that part of the book. One of Jazz’s friends invented a reusable condom and asked Jazz to test it out. It kept coming up again and again, to the point where I was wondering if this condom would save the moon or something. But it didn’t. In fact, I don’t know what the point of this condom or the constant nagging was. Could it have been a way for the inventor to keep an eye on Jazz’s sex life? That’s the only thing I can think of and that’s pretty gross.
I will definitely be reading more from Andy Weir in the future. I was excited to learn that he is working on more science fiction, and that he is reading reviews for Artemis and taking the feedback on board. That’s pretty great. Artemis definitely had some issues with pacing and the plot, but overall it was an enjoyable book with a lot of snark.
El humor del autor, que tanto me gustó en la primera novela, aparece aquí algo más disuimulado, como si se hubiera contenido. Sigue abundando, por supuesto, pero ya no es tan protagonista como el megachou que monta Mark Watney en el marciano. Algunos ejemplos:
If my neighborhood were wine, connoisseurs would describe it as “shitty, with overtones of failure and poor life decisions.”
The room lights faded and a projection screen came to life on the far wall.
-“Are you a supervillain or something?” -I gestured to the screen.- “I mean, come on.”
-“Like it? I just had it installed.”
[Sobre el laboratorio de la ESA] Four hallways led off at odd angles. Some of the doors couldn’t be opened if others were open. The ergonomic abortion was the result of seventeen governments designing a laboratory by committee.
[...]workshop of Dad’s colleague Zsóka Stróbl, who was apparently named during a severe vowel famine.
Several families had obnoxious kids bouncing off the walls. In this case, “bouncing off the walls” is not just a figure of speech. The overstimulated kids were literally bouncing off the walls. Lunar gravity is the worst thing to ever happen to parents.
I’d have to blow the remaining two at the same time. Please don’t quote that last sentence out of context.
Oh. I stopped talking. This wasn’t a normal job. Tomorrow, his daughter’s life would rely on the quality of these welds. It slowly dawned on me that, to him, this was the most critical project he’d ever done. He would accept nothing short of his absolute best. And if that meant taking all day, so be it. Not everybody has the chance to quantify how much their father loves them. But I did. The job should have taken forty-five minutes, but Dad spent three and a half hours on it. My father loves me 366 percent more than he loves anything else. Good to know.
También mezcla ciencia con humor:
When she was Kenya’s minister of finance, she created the country’s entire space industry from scratch. Kenya had one—and only one—natural resource to offer space companies: the equator. Spacecraft launched from the equator could take full advantage of Earth’s rotation to save fuel. But Ngugi realized they could offer something more: policy. Western nations drowned commercial space companies in red tape. Ngugi said, “Fuck that. How about we don’t?” I’m paraphrasing here.
La historia es bastante lineal, hay pocos giros de trama y la diversión está más en el cómo que en el qué.
Otra cosa que me ha encantado es que de nuevo el autor empieza a explicar la ciencia siempre que puede, en plan muy didáctico. Me gusta cómo lo hace.
Earth’s air is 20 percent oxygen. The rest is stuff human bodies don’t need like nitrogen and argon. So Artemis’s air is pure oxygen at 20 percent Earth’s air pressure. That gives us the right amount of oxygen while minimizing pressure on the hulls. It’s not a new concept—it goes back to the Apollo days. Thing is, the lower the pressure, the lower the boiling point of water. Water boils at 61 degrees Celsius here, so that’s as hot as tea or coffee can be. Apparently it’s disgustingly cold to people who aren’t used to it.
Me he divertido bastante y aunque no he quedado impresionado, definitivamente recomiendo esta novela si la primera del autor nos gustó.
Como fallo (¿fallo?), el autor dice que como los servidores de Google están en la Tierra, cualquier pregunta a Google tarda al menos cuatro segundos en ser respondida. El ping desde el Mar de la Tranquilidad hasta la Tierra es de 2*384000/c= 2.5 segundos (era lo que tardaban las respuestas entre la Tierra y la misión Apolo XI), por lo que no sé de dónde se ha sacado el autor los 4 segundos. Tal vez en algún momento equivocó millas con kilómetros, como suelen hacer estos decreídos del sistema métrico, y para 384.000 millas sí que me salen 4 segundos en un viaje de ida y vuelta. Pero en fin. Entretenido y recomendable.
- We've colonized the MOON! Artemis is a futuristic city on the moon with residences and is a booming tourist resort.
- Weir is an incredible storyteller and his world-building while part geek beautifully brings the world to life. You could imagine the long thin corridors, see the chambers and experience first hand what it might be like to live on the moon.
- The story is well paced and follows Jazz a twenty-something woman who hails from Saudi Arabia but has lived on Artemis since she was six years old. She is brilliant and trained as a welder but currently works as a porter. She is estranged from her father, broke and makes money on the side smuggling in contraband. Snarky, temperamental and definitely marches to her own drum.
- Jazz is snarky, quick-witted and just tells things like it is. She made me laugh.
- Jazz is asked to perform a risky task but the payoff is too tempting and she takes the job. When things go amuck, she soon finds a much deeper problem that will affect the colony. Suspense, danger, investigations, collaborations and the risk of getting caught or worse blown up made for a page-turner that kept me listening.
- Secondary characters added interest and were unique enough that I could visualize them. Jazz has some history including an ex-boyfriend, ex-friend, fan, a few enemies, and a pen pal from Saudia Arabia that she considers her closes friend. All of them will play a part in this maddening caper.
- Diversity! I loved the diverse society that inhabits Artemis and the natural way they were present. From sexuality to nationality it was refreshing.
- Rosario Dawson is a new to me narrator and one who perfectly captured Jazz. Her males voices were well done, as well as her accents. I easily slipped into the story and enjoyed listening to her voice(s).
- I loved the thought-provoking physics, chemistry and political aspects of maintaining a thriving colony off planet.
- Scientific jargon and details fed my inner nerd and felt plausible. I loved each little detail and felt it helped build the suspense and danger while bringing Artemis to life in 3-D.
- Snark and witty commentary much like we found in The Martian were present. While I did not enjoy this as much as The Martian Dawson's narration made this better, I still totally recommend it for fans of Weir's work and science fiction thrillers.
- Standalone. In a world of series and trilogies, there is nothing more refreshing than a standalone read :)
- Jazz is a lot like Mark from the Martian and I worried this would fall flat. Honestly, at first, she felt like a carbon copy of him and I worried that Weir only had one good character in him. Have no fear she does develops and I loved this spunky, take no prisoners woman. Outwardly she oozes confidence and in some ways, she is. This is because she depends on herself, but we also saw her vulnerability. I love complex characters who behave like a teen one moment and a friggin superhero the next.
- The ending was gripping, but I had a hard time believing reactions from others on Artemis.
Artemis is about a colony on the moon (finally! I know); specifically it’s about a girl named Jazz who lives in that colony. She’s basically as close as one can get to being fully raised on the moon (the moon’s gravity isn’t conducive for pregnancy or allowing infants to develop properly, so Jazz lived on Earth until the ripe old age of six). Jazz is the type of person who’s brilliant but is throwing it all away on get rich quick schemes. The problem here is when those schemes go wrong…well the whole moon base can be affected by it.
Once I finally convinced my brain to stop expecting something more similar to the Martian I really enjoyed this read. Jazz is quirky and brilliant, and while she may be hard to love at first she really does grow on you. Her small band of friends (when she feels like considering them such) are full to the brim of personality, and are exceptionally supportive of her (seriously, we should all hope to have friends like hers).
Like the Martian Andy Weir tries to fit in as many science and space facts as he can without losing his audience. Actually, there may be less in this novel than in his prior works. I personally loved all the little tidbits strewn throughout (though I can’t attest to their accuracy). It helps make the world around Jazz feel more real – like what she’s doing could actually be a possibility someday.
I’ll admit there were some things that I found off putting about Artemis, but I also think I’m being overly picky in these cases. I do not agree that a moon base such as Artemis would be run free of any government control (as in no country has taken control of it). Because I don’t believe this, I have trouble believing some of the laws in place (or rather, the lack of some). I do like the idea of deporting people to the country they’ve offended, but I also don’t realistically see that happening (again, because I think a country or small number of countries would be in control, and extraditing citizens is a big deal).
Artemis has a very different feel from the Martian, so I really hope fans are aware of that before they dive into it. For one thing, Artemis was not written in a serial manner for online distribution (the Martian was) but instead written in a book format. This means the turns of events come less frequently (there’s less concern about pulling the audience back each week) but they do get more build-up. I personally was ok with this change, even though it may feel like there’s less “action” to some.
I think Andy Weir’s writing style has significantly improved over the years (which I feel like is saying something, since I never disliked his works). I’ve always felt that finding writers that can do the whole space travel thing in a believable way are few and far between, so I really appreciate all the work Weir puts into making his works as realistic as possible (while still maintaining that fictional element of course). I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next!
For more reviews, check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
I liked that Jazz’s father was a welder and that she was quite talented in that aspect. It gave credibility to all her talk of specifications and manufacturing aspects that takes place throughout the story. I have no background in anything engineering but I felt that the description of the development of Artemis and daily life that took place was realistic. That kept me highly motivated to keep reading.
Jazz’s character was quite immature, obnoxious, and yet quite gifted. Perfect stereotype of brilliant delinquent who could have done great things if only she applied herself. Her get rich quick scheme did not have the intended outcome and she quickly found herself on the run. It was around the fifty percent mark where the book really picked up for me and I started to slightly enjoy Jazz’s character.
Now, as the story went on Jazz started to grow on me. Even though she got herself in a terrible situation I enjoyed that it was not limited to just what she involved herself with. There was a political aspect integrated into the plot that did not show itself until much later in the story when all the pieces started coming together. Loved that as well as the “we take care of our own” vibe that came through.
I will say that by the end of the story I was liking Jazz quite a bit. I think for me once I realized her motivation for why she needed money so badly my heart melted for this character. That and the fact that she really is quite the anti-hero, I can get behind that for sure as well as the supporting characters in this story. They are all quite interesting and add a lot of humor but they are also one dimensional. I really wanted to know more about them rather than a one sentence explanation for their motivation in relationship to Jazz.
By the time I finished reading Artemis, I was glad that I took the time to read it. There were parts that I really liked, the plot, life on the moon, but there were also parts that I didn’t really enjoy but managed to find the silver lining, Jazz Bashara. It was a real mix of enjoyment and eye-rolling. Overall, I can’t say that Artemis is a book that I would highly recommend but I would not discourage you from giving it a try either.
This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
Find this review and more at The Genre Minx Book Reviews
Review also posted on Paper & Pixels.
So, I was one of those people who didn’t actually particularly enjoy The Martian. Whether it was because I read it on Kindle (which honestly tends to hinder my enjoyment of books, I just hate it), or because it just somehow didn’t work for me I’m not sure, but one thing is for sure: after reading Artemis, I need to re-read The Martian, because Andy Weir is a FANTASTIC author.
First of all, this book is set on the Moon, and I honestly can’t think of many (if any?) books I’ve read that have that setting, despite all of the science fiction I’ve read. Most authors seem to go further out, Mars or even other solar systems and galaxies. In Weir’s world, humans have settled on the Moon, but life there is tough unless you’re super rich. It’s also become a holiday destination for the wealthy.
The book centres around Jazz, who works as a courier, but also perhaps deals with some slightly less legit activities on the side… Jazz smuggles contraband from Earth for various clients, which of course leads her into all sorts of trouble. She is offered a huge sum of money, more than she has ever dreamed of, to pull off a crime, and it’s there that the action really begins. There were plenty of ‘on the edge of your seat’ type moments, and all the mentions of various tech and space gadgetry completely satisfied my inner (not so secret) space geek.
Jazz as a character was so fun, and it was great to have a woman of colour as the main protagonist in a science fiction novel (more please). Whilst she does not practice Islam, we see elements of the religion through her father. I loved that Jazz was just so confident in herself and didn’t worry about others judging her, and she was a great, witty narrator. Even though she was living in relative poverty, at least in comparison to many of the Moon’s citizens, it really felt like she was making the most of what she had, and was so determined to reach her goal.
I also want to mention how truly GORGEOUS the hardcover is under the dust jacket. I took it off to see if there was anything interesting on the hardback itself, not really expecting anything, and it’s just so pretty (but also so simple), that I’m almost tempted to keep the dust jacket off.
Thank you so much to Ebury for sending me a free copy of the finished book. This is definitely recommended for all of you science fiction fans out there – whether you enjoyed The Martian or not! 😉