“Artemis” by Andy Weir is set in Artemis, the only city on Earth’s moon. It is pricey to get there, expensive to live there, but rich tourists, eccentric billionaires, and a dedicated working class keep the city running. It is much like its parent Earth with businesses, neighborhoods, stores and museums. However, all is not perfect in the domed bubbles that are Artemis; this new civilization has an ugly side with covert smuggling, a black-market economy, industrial espionage, commercial sabotage, and corporate takeovers,
but who would expect a murder on the moon?
Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara gives us a first person look at life on the moon. We experience the good, the bad, and the ugly of Artemis through her eyes. She is bold, courageous, exciting, and uproariously funny. She reminds us that “you can’t spell smelt without melt”, and challenges us to put ice water in a saucepan and cook it until the last ice cube melts if we don’t believe her “science.” She worries about the little details of life on the moon, faster internet, social media, celebrity gossip, and being quoted out of context. She has a deep sense of justice and moral obligation, but she also wants to be rich and to not be caught committing a major crime. We also get a glimpse of her as she becomes all that she is, through pen pal letters interspersed between chapters starting when she was nine.
The whole escapade happens over approximately one week so the action is non-stop and the drama is compelling. It is the moon, after all; any tiny misstep suit in a vacuum can result in catastrophic breach of an EVA or the collapse of the entire life-support system of Artemis. It gives a new meaning to the description “a compelling page-turner.”
I received a copy of “Artemis” from Andy Weir, Crown Publishing, and NetGalley in exchange for my impartial review. I loved this book as much as if not more than “The Martian.” This is an entertaining book, but be careful; you might just laugh out loud as you read.