Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
Much like Andy Weir’s previous book The Martian, Artemis is less Science Fiction and more Science Plausibility. The Artemis colony’s economy is based on aluminum production and lunar tourism. The different businesses are nearly totally monopolized by guilds and syndicates. It feels like the old west only with better technology.
Once again, our protagonist is smart, and more than a bit of a smart-aleck. Told in the first person, Jazz isn’t afraid to talk directly to the reader, which helps the immersion and make you feel like you’re there with her.
Andy Weir also has this amazing tendency to make trivial things seem interesting. Won’t suction cups work on the moon? I guess they wouldn’t! Moondust will rip up your lungs because there’d no wind erosion to smooth it? That makes sense!
My one complaint about Artemis would be that Jazz’s womanhood seemed a bit disjointed. I attribute that to the fact that Andy Weir is a man and a pretty nerdy one at that. I mean that as a compliment, Andy! But the gender roles could have been reversed with seemingly no difference at all.
All up, this was a very fun book to read and considering the minor loose ends, there is room on the moon for a sequel – one I would very much like to read.