Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

The protagonist in Weir’s newest witty science fiction suspense is a brazen, profane woman named Jazz. She’s known for hustling in ways only one can do inside the exclusive city on the moon, which is accomplished under the guise of her job as an on-demand delivery person. This front fools no one, however, and her subversive ways keep her under constant scrutiny by law enforcement, the government and even her own father.

Surprisingly, it is her particular brand of delinquency that brings her to the doorstep of Trond Landvik, local billionaire, and sets into motion a scheme that could mean big things for Jazz— if only she can get past the nagging feeling that this proposal is too good to be true.

No. I was a smuggler, not a saboteur. And something smelled off about the whole thing. “I’m sorry, but this isn’t my thing.” I said. “You’ll have to find someone else.” “I’ll give you a million slugs.” “Deal.”

The story is interspersed with letters between Jazz and an Earth bound pen pal named Kelvin and it is through these letters we get a fuller sense of Jazz- her past, her vulnerability and the reasons behind her criminal activity. Underneath her tough exterior lies the insecurity and hurt that drives her to self-destruction.

It is due in part to this guilt that Jazz willingly takes on such a risky and potentially fatal assignment—forcing herself beyond reasonable expectation to make amends for her past transgressions. What Jazz ultimately uncovers leads to a surprising revelation as well as a potentially life-threatening accident.

Dear Jazz,

According to the news, something’s very wrong with Artemis. They say the whole city went offline. There’s been no contact at all. I don’t know why my email would be the exception but I have to try. Are you there? Are you okay? What happened?

In a style all his own, Weir brings yet another facetious character to the world of science fiction. Though not quite as easily likable as Mark Watney from his first novel, The Martian, Jazz Bashara is equally quick on her feet and full of unpredictability. Artemis exceeds in the basics of science fiction, but if you are looking for another charming protagonist, you won’t find that here.


A review copy of this title was provided by Crown Publishing. 


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