Hooray for Nerd Culture! I am totally siked about the the new set of writers that have come along and shot through their novels a skein of science. And by skein, I mean a white hot rod of flaming amazingness full of science-y goodness. Andy Weir is definitely one of these writers. His first novel, The Martian, was full of science but also highly enjoyable. It takes finesse to bring all the technicalities of niche science into a novel and not confuse the crud out of the readers. But, Weir did and he’s done it again with his new novel, Artemis.
SUMMARY: The Moon. Cold, without atmosphere, no gravity, no sustainable way of supporting life, unforgiving and yet that is where this story takes place. Humans have begun to colonize the moon in a place called Artemis. Artemis is a conglomeration of gigantic domes, that are interconnected to each other. Artemis has become a sort of refuge for those wishing to escape Earth for one reason or another. For some, this is permanent. For others, this is a once in a life time tourist attraction.
Our narrator, for this journey, is a young woman named Jazz Bashara. She had grown up on the moon and knows all its ins and outs. Unfortunately, she knows them through the hard life she has lived there. She is part of the underclass that lives in Artemis. This group works away but never gets ahead. Jazz works as a porter, unloading supplies from ships. This helps pay her bills but also helps her with her side job as a smuggler for the elite on the moon. While this won’t make her rich, it will move her toward the main action of the book.
One of her clients is the richest man on the moon and he has an idea on how to make even more money. This involves Jazz, the air supply to Artemis and the machines that supply it. He is willing to pay big time for the machines to become somehow stop working and he thinks Jazz is just the person to handle this job. She accepts and the job gets bungled which leads to murder, assassins, a high stakes game of cat and mouse and Jazz needing help from the most unexpected of people. Throw in a lot of science and Jazz’s snarky, sarcastic and hilarious commentary and you have a recipe for one great novel.
THOUGHTS: This book has a great plot and pace to it. The characters are well developed and Jazz is complex. She is a Saudi and Muslim but breaks that stereotype. She is outspoken and independent. She is humorous and a take charge type of person. She loves a challenge and is willing to take a risk in order to get the reward. Many have read this book and complained how she is too sarcastic or too whiny. Not at all. She is very realistic and she brings a welcome change to the stereotype of the woman being the “second hero” of a book. The book brings home the fact that now matter what we do or how we see ourselves, family is more than a word. It is the people who love you no matter what and will stand with you through thick and thin. By the end of the book, Jazz becomes a more mature person and reconciles her past with her future.
Weir delivered again and best of all made a character that is memorable. I hope to see this book to film in the future. There is an audio book version that is narrated by Rosario Dawson that I haven’t hear yet but is definitely on my “to-do” list.