Review of Artemis by Andy Weir

Book Reviews / Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Artemis by Andy Weir was my first foray into science fiction as a reviewer. Of course I’ve read sci-fi novels before, but I’ve kept my opinions on them, and the genre, to myself. Until now.

Jazz is a resident of Artemis, the first and only city on the moon. She is broke, owes a huge debt, and is a delivery person and a smuggler. Jazz has a crappy attitude and makes poor decisions. These are all things she freely tells the reader about herself. But Jazz is also entangled in a plot as diabolical economically as it is criminally, a plot which tests her abilities and strengths as well as her morality. And it all happens in the pressurized, low-gravity environment she’s lived in for most her life.

Everything about the book, from scenery to dialogue to character development is written in service of the plot, which is a good thing. The plot is strong and well thought out, but without the support of good characters, believable dialogue, and the obviously meticulous research Mr. Weir did to create the city of Artemis, it would fall flat. Luckily for me, it doesn’t.

The only real flaw I found with this book is Mr. Weir neglects to adequately state when the story is supposed to take place. Obviously, it takes place in the future. But how far? There are a number of pop-culture references that suggest it isn’t too far into the future, but the technological advancements and moon-Earth commerce suggests technological advancements that may not be within our reach for another 100 years. I finally found an answer when I read a supplemental paper that Mr. Weir includes in the book that posits the economics of space travel to the moon (an interesting read but an odd place to find the actual year in which the story takes place ).

Through his research, Mr. Weir, who is also the author of the smash hit The Martian, delivers as much as a scientist as he does as a writer. I thought this book was a fun read, and it’s an excellent selection for people who are interested in reading science fiction and are looking to wade in.

Official Kristine’s BRF rating: