Release: November 14th 2017
Received: Own (BOTM)
Artemis is Andy Weir’s follow up to his massively successful novel, the Martian. While these two are probably his best known novels (I’ve heard non-stop chatter about Artemis for weeks) they’re not even close to being his only novels (take a look on Goodreads for the full listing). Fans of the Martian should be aware that Artemis is its own being, and will not read exactly like it. Also worth noting: the cover is absolutely beautiful! I love the simpler design shown here, it’s perfect.
Artemis is about a colony on the moon (finally! I know); specifically it’s about a girl named Jazz who lives in that colony. She’s basically as close as one can get to being fully raised on the moon (the moon’s gravity isn’t conducive for pregnancy or allowing infants to develop properly, so Jazz lived on Earth until the ripe old age of six). Jazz is the type of person who’s brilliant but is throwing it all away on get rich quick schemes. The problem here is when those schemes go wrong…well the whole moon base can be affected by it.
Once I finally convinced my brain to stop expecting something more similar to the Martian I really enjoyed this read. Jazz is quirky and brilliant, and while she may be hard to love at first she really does grow on you. Her small band of friends (when she feels like considering them such) are full to the brim of personality, and are exceptionally supportive of her (seriously, we should all hope to have friends like hers).
Like the Martian Andy Weir tries to fit in as many science and space facts as he can without losing his audience. Actually, there may be less in this novel than in his prior works. I personally loved all the little tidbits strewn throughout (though I can’t attest to their accuracy). It helps make the world around Jazz feel more real – like what she’s doing could actually be a possibility someday.
I’ll admit there were some things that I found off putting about Artemis, but I also think I’m being overly picky in these cases. I do not agree that a moon base such as Artemis would be run free of any government control (as in no country has taken control of it). Because I don’t believe this, I have trouble believing some of the laws in place (or rather, the lack of some). I do like the idea of deporting people to the country they’ve offended, but I also don’t realistically see that happening (again, because I think a country or small number of countries would be in control, and extraditing citizens is a big deal).
Artemis has a very different feel from the Martian, so I really hope fans are aware of that before they dive into it. For one thing, Artemis was not written in a serial manner for online distribution (the Martian was) but instead written in a book format. This means the turns of events come less frequently (there’s less concern about pulling the audience back each week) but they do get more build-up. I personally was ok with this change, even though it may feel like there’s less “action” to some.
I think Andy Weir’s writing style has significantly improved over the years (which I feel like is saying something, since I never disliked his works). I’ve always felt that finding writers that can do the whole space travel thing in a believable way are few and far between, so I really appreciate all the work Weir puts into making his works as realistic as possible (while still maintaining that fictional element of course). I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next!