Andy Weir returns with Artemis, the follow-up to his massively successful novel The Martian. This time around we follow Jazz, a twenty-something smuggler living in Artemis, a small city located on the surface of the Moon. Life changes for Jazz when she is offered a princely sum to help a customer gain control of a prominent industry by sabotaging a competitor. Things go pear shaped quickly when Jazz finds out that said competitor is more dangerous than she was told.
After the incredible success of his first novel, it was likely an easy decision for Weir to jump back into space and hook up with the devil he knows. Like The Martian, there is a lot of technobabble in here and if you enjoyed that in his first novel, you’ll get along swimmingly here too. I, however, found myself glossing over huge chunks of text because I just didn’t care about the intricacies of aluminum production, among other things.
Honestly, I really struggled with this one. I found Jazz super annoying, which strongly hindered my enjoyment of the story given that she is the narrator. That said, I did get a few chuckles out of a few of her quips, but overall, I found her constant joking and general demeanor obnoxious and childish. I’m sure I could go back and pick apart the humour of Mark Watney in The Martian, but I recall he had a certain charm about him whereas Jazz could be such an asshole to the majority of the people in her life.
Like the Moon’s atmosphere, Artemis’ supporting cast is thin. Jazz is surrounded by characters that are only surface level deep and seem to exist purely as dart boards for Jazz to chuck verbal barbs into. They’re largely forgettable and at points spout groan-worthy dialogue that further establish them as character archetypes.
Surprisingly, in the end, I didn’t hate the story. I thought the plot was pretty strong overall as a fun caper story and without a doubt, it lends itself well to be adapted into a movie. Maybe being able to step outside of Jazz’s head and take in the story on a surface level would be more enjoyable.