World-building in Artemis

Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review.

One of my husband’s favourite books is Andy Weir’s The Martian. He made me read it and I ended up enjoying it against all odds. Science fiction is very much not my jam and I really don’t like space.

Yeah, I said it.

So not only reading but requesting Weir’s newest, Artemis, was very out of character for me.


Jasmine ‘Jazz’ Bashara lives in Artemis, the colony on the moon. She works as a porter, a low-paying job that has not-super-legal side-gig potential. But she wants to make a lot more money. Jazz is really smart but never had much time for traditional education routes. Having lived on the moon since she was a small child, she understands the colony like no one else.

When an opportunity comes up through a regular smuggling client, she has the chance to make a lot of money really quickly. But she doesn’t realize she’s suddenly in the middle of a power struggle for control of the moon and it’s resources. Jazz must rely on friends and connections to save the future of the only home she’s ever known.

It sounds a touch dramatic. And it is. But not in a way that’s distracting or annoying. Artemis is a fun space-romp. There’s a murder mystery, power struggles within a completely made up system of government, and some really fun characters.

One quibble I had was that I’m not sure how real Jazz felt to me. I like aspects of her (her brilliance, her take-no-sh*t attitude, but she didn’t feel like a real person. She’s definitely a woman written by a man – she’s sexy but doesn’t really realize it, all men are automatically attracted to her. And science was a really big part of this book which was hard for me because this kind of science always makes me feel like an idiot.

But it was funny and didn’t try to be The Martian which I really appreciated. It was light, it was fast paced and there was some intriguing world building. It almost seemed feasible that at some point, humans could live on the moon!

It was a solid read for me over the Christmas holidays and I can see it being a fun addition to any kind of holiday packing.


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