Artemis is a fine science fiction flick from Andy Weir, who also wrote The Martian. This book was pretty good! In most cases, I guess it’s pretty standard; I didn’t feel too much powerful character development. It’s possible that it went over my head, but I think that it definitely wasn’t too much of a priority to the author. However, Artemis shines when it comes to the classic hard science fiction portrayals of lunar living. The descriptions and thought placed into constructing the alternative world is frankly pretty awesome, especially because the stories that he writes are often set in the not-too-distant future, which makes them quite relatable.
There’s a seemingly deliberate shift in tone compared to The Martian, however. While the latter was a pretty hard science fiction story set with the primary intention of giving breathtaking descriptions of Mars and potentially living on the planet with constrained resources, Artemis takes a more free-flowing approach, dabbling in adventurous buckaneering, character development, and relationships between characters. There’s definitely a lot going on in terms of character relationships and motivations. While the characters themselves don’t change much, I like the strong personalities that are established. It sucks that the primary conflict wasn’t a result of conflicting characters with different motivations (an evil mafia is probably the farthest you can get from that), but having a villain be someone like the mayor woman or the dad would be interesting, since those were the people that had developed character intentions that the protagonist conflicted with.
On another note, it was kinda weird how sexual the book was, and (I think?) how little it added to the plot. I think a part of it was to demonstrate Jazz’s relationship with her conservative relicious dad and to show how they contrasted as people, but I guess other than that it did feel a bit weird. I think the suggested audience for Artemis is probably older than that of the author’s prior book. Also, while I loved the scientific descriptions of objects and situations in the book, I think the logical structure could have definitely used some work. The main character leaks chlorofoam into the living space, almost killing everyone - but then literally everyone in the town passes it off as a joke. This was pretty disturbing. I know she saved them from a potential soft mafia takeover, but treating her like a hero after that is pretty insane. I think there are easier ways to establish the heroic character than that. Perhaps everyone’s “death” and subsequent “rebirth” could have been symbolic, but I don’t think it was like that in this case.
Overall, a pretty solid thriller sci-fi that’s great for a light read. I don’t think I would necessarily read this again, but thinking back I think the characters were pretty endearing. I’ll look forward to the inevitable movie adaptation…