Artemis by Andy Weir is a novel that takes place on the moon and quite frankly, will definitely remind you of a story that you may have read somewhere before. The story doesn’t quite feel original but due to the authors background, he does make that up by giving out cool science facts that I’m not sure I’d want to waste my time looking up to see if indeed they are real or not. None the less, I’m sure most reviewers will have a hard time resisting the urge to mention his previous work, The Martian, here. I’m not part of the exception. But to be honest, I got bored with The Martian after only a couple chapters in as it wasn’t to my liking. I decided to give the author a second go at it with Artemis. Although I wasn’t disappointed in the end, I wasn’t that impressed either. I honestly felt the story could have been written by any of the thousands of authors out there and not from someone that had the fortune of getting one of their previous works turned into a major motion picture.
In Artemis, we follow Jazz Bashara in good ol’ first person view. Living on Earth without money is rough and that’s equally true when living on the moon as well. Life as a porter/smuggler for Jazz hasn’t been all that good but she’s somehow getting by each day doing odd deliveries here and there with one day hoping to make enough money to have her own private condo on the first colony on the moon. From here, it’s your typical protagonist living his/her ordinary life, bumps into someone/something mysterious one day, does a little detective work, gets into trouble, gets into more trouble with bad guys, concocts a plan to get out of said trouble while getting help along the way, enacts plan, somehow something goes wrong, revises strategy and follow through to end. OK, so that’s how most stories are and they just vary by book length. However, I expected something more from this author. Everything about the story itself to the characters scream YA. Maybe that’s what the author was aiming for but I definitely didn’t expect it considering The Martian catered more to the adults from what I remembered.
The author tries to humor things up by making Jazz your typical witty, beer loving, foul mouth and not so innocent female protagonist. It’s hilarious if you’ve never read a story with a female protagonist such as this but I’m sure most of us have. I’d say this was more of an easy way out for the author instead of coming up with a more complex character. However, I think it works out in the end as the book is not that long and in my opinion, was meant more to be a quick read than something you’d have to ponder and wonder about days after having finished it. It’s one of those books where you can pick it up, read it and just enjoy the story for what it is without having to worry about the details too much. That is unless you are also into science. The author dishes out pretty cool details here and there throughout the narrative regarding metals, oxygen/chemicals and how they react and behave when on the moon.
Jazz did made me chuckle a couple of times and for that I give it some bonus points. The story flowed nicely from chapter to chapter to keep things moving along and although the dialogue between characters can be a bit shallow, I’ll take it for what it is and label Artemis as a “quick fun read” and nothing more.