I’m late again to this Andy Weir sci-fi train, but I finally made it! I just drove from California to Wisconsin and let me tell you, audiobooks really help make a 30 hour drive much more bearable. Especially this audiobook.
Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
Format: Audible audiobook
It took me until the end of the book to finally realize that the narrator is Rosario Dawson a.k.a Claire from Daredevil and I felt so stupid. I think she did a really good job of reading this book and love the way she conveyed Jazz’s sass and attitude. I can’t confirm whether her accents were accurate but I loved them and how they made the other characters seem more real and tangible. Plus, I love doing terrible accents, so I’m happy either way!
The storyline was really interesting. Aside from the usual Andy Weir science coolness, the plot took many twists that literally kept me at the edge of my seat. I found myself, dare I say it, wishing I could drive for a bit longer so I could listen to more of the book to find out what happens next. Believe me, those were 12-14 hour days of driving and I needed those long hours to be filled with as much audiobook as possible, so I was not about to listen during my valuable hours of hotel sleep.
I adored the cast of characters and wish they were real so I could get to know them better and just absorb some of their awesomeness (and accents, please). Jazz never really turned into one of those annoying main characters and for that I’m incredibly thankful. The secondary characters were fun, added to Jazz’s conflicts and overall storyline in a meaningful way, and each were developed very nicely.
The science heist part was interesting, though I do think some parts could have been explained more to fit into the book more naturally. I always enjoy a good murder/mystery/heist and this book checks all three of those boxes. I also enjoyed the exchanges between Jazz and her penpal. It helped us see a more vulnerable part of Jazz, brought us outside of Artemis for a bit, and culminated into a bigger-picture point in the storyline.
My one major complaint with the book is that it felt more like a YA book than an adult sci-fi book, and I wonder how Weir got there considering The Martian never felt like YA. There were times where I kept thinking Jazz was a YA heroine and not 26, despite the adult contexts of the book. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t YA and that eventually started to take some of my enjoyment of the book away.
I would definitely recommend reading this book. I don’t think it’s really fair to compare it to The Martian because they’re completely different books. If you go into Artemis only to compare it to The Martian you’ll probably be slightly disappointed because there isn’t as much technical science, we aren’t really in a major life-or-death situation, and we have a broader cast of characters playing directly into the storyline. But Artemis really is a good book! It has an engaging plot, good characters, lots of humor, and some interesting science.
Have you read Artemis? Let me know what you think in the comments!