By: Andy Weir

Quick-take: Entertaining, but it is not another The Martian

Dan's Review

Jasmine "Jazz" Bashara lives in a city on the moon called Artemis. Though she is a welder by trade, she has a side business smuggling items. She is not a nice person, but she does have business ethics. Her crimes never go beyond "petty".

Sick of always being broke, life barely above water, and living in room that is the size of an over-sized coffin (livable space is a premium on the moon), she accepts a get-rich-quick scheme from a wealthy smuggling customer. She daydreams about having her own bathroom and shower, and then story kicks in to gear.

This was an entertaining story. There was misdirection, ingenuity, an evil big corp, and some politics. It's all there. However (you knew there was a however), the fact it all takes place on the moon adds absolutely nothing to the story. This is basically a story about corporate sabotage. It could've easily happened on Earth. Instead, it was picked up and placed on the moon. A couple new wrinkles were added: the terrain is now very dangerous. All the fight scenes look a little different at 1/6 gravity.

I can't help but compare this book to "The Martian", which I thought was brilliant. Planet Mars was undeniably the star of the book, and its physical attributes drove every decision in the plot. At Artemis, the city was built under a dome. The only thing the moon added to the plot was scarce supply lines since few things could be manufactured there (like apparently decent coffee). Personally, I think the supply channels would've made a better story than the get-rich-quick caper gone wrong.

My final complaint is the main protagnist, Jazz Bashara. The book tries too hard to portray her as a no-nonsense, street-smart, bad mouth, criminal-with-honor. Her friends/family constantly remind us in their conversations about her wasted potential since she is so brilliant yet resorts to petty crimes.

Anyway, it was an entertaining story that wasted some of its own potential. I still score it a 4/5. I have no desire for the next book.

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