Ever since I heard that Andy Weir was publishing another book, I have been dying to read Artemis. I was enthralled by The Martian – both the book and movie. The Martian was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations that I have ever seen. But, I digress. Back to Artemis.
Before reading Artemis, I browsed through my friends’ reviews of it on Goodreads, and saw a lot of mixed impressions. Some were thoroughly underwhelmed while others couldn’t get over how much they loved it. It seemed to be either one or the other – people either loved or hated it, with no in-between. So I really had no idea what to expect coming into this book. I decided to read it with an open mind, understanding that while Artemis also took place in space, it was a separate book from The Martian.
In short, I loved it! Jazz Bashura is a lowly porter living on the moon in the colony of Artemis. She uses her porter job to help her side hustle of bringing in illegal imports to the rich higher-ups of Artemis. So of course, when a wealthy client asks her to commit “the perfect crime” for extremely lucrative compensation (that could pay off a debt she owes and finally get her into better housing), she readily accepts. What follows is a crazy fight for survival as she attempts to commit this crime, navigate the politics of Artemis, and fights to keep from being deported from the only home she’s ever known.
Artemis was fast-paced, exciting, intelligent, and full of crazy twists and turns. Weir has once again proved himself to be a man who does his research, creating a believable and possible world. I only have two complaints that prevented me from giving Artemis a full five stars. First, I felt that Weir struggled to write a believable female personality. I love stories with strong female protagonists, especially those that are experts in a STEM field. Weir did a great job here. However, Weir struggled to write Jazz Bashura believably as a woman. I realize that women who grow up like Jazz did – primarily surrounded by men – often have personalities that fit in better with men than women. However, the way Jazz spoke and sometimes acted would have better fit within the personality of a male protagonist. I will concede that it is very difficult to write a main character that does not share your gender. I appreciate Andy Weir’s desire to have a strong, scientist female protagonist. But as I have said, his execution struggled.
My other complaint has to do with the format of the book. Artemis is one of those books that relies heavily on understanding locations in the world and how they relate to one another. It would have been helpful to have a pull out map that I could refer to throughout my reading of Artemis. I realize that this is more of a personal preference thing, but I believe this already incredible story would have come even more alive to me had I had access to a map of Artemis.
Besides those two complaints, however, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Artemis. I hope Weir keeps writing, because I will definitely pick up any book he publishes!
Overall, Artemis by Andy Weir gets 4/5 stars.
This book is part of my buddy read with my friend, Brittany, so be sure to check out Brittany’s Pages’ review of Artemis! And don’t forget to pick up February’s virtual book club book, Kids, Camels, & Cairo!