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“Artemis” by Andy Weir


Jazz Bashara has lived her life in humanity’s first lunar colony. Although she has a natural talent for engineering, she prefers to earn her living doing the mundane job of a porter, with some extra income coming in from small-scale smuggling. When one of her clients offers her a big payday she jumps at the chance despite some misgivings, but quickly finds herself in over her head with both her life and the future of the colony at stake.

I really enjoyed Weir's The Martian when I read it a few years ago, despite some occasionally clunky writing, but I found Artemis a bit disappointing in comparison.

On the plus side, I found it reasonably entertaining to read and it moved at a decent pace. In terms of the descriptions of the technology of the first lunar city I thought it seemed fine, but it was a bit distracting that despite being nominally a Kenyan colony and populated by an international workforce everyone seems to talk like they're in an American TV show and despite being decades in the future it was filled with contemporary pop culture references. It's slightly unfair to compare it to Ian McDonald's Luna series since that's about a much more established Lunar culture, but I felt McDonald put in a lot of effort designing his lunar society whereas Weir doesn't seem to have put in any effort at all. I also wasn't impressed with the writing of the protagonist, Jazz Bashara may be a Saudi woman in her mid 20s but her internal narration sounds more like an American teenage boy.

I mostly thought the plot was OK, but I think it fell apart at the end, in particular there were two points I struggled with where it felt like it went a bit too far to give the book a happy ending.

Rating : 5 / 10

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