The Premise: on a now-colonised moon, Jazz Bashara ekes out a living as a porter, smuggling goods from Earth on the side. When she’s offered the chance to earn more money than she could have dreamed of to complete a dangerous and illegal mission, she takes it, and finds herself in a world of trouble.
Thoughts: I have very conflicting feelings about this book. I had to give up on Weir’s previous book, The Martian, because it seemed to me to be all about potatoes, which just didn’t really do it for me. I absolutely love space-set books though, so I was eager to read this and hope for fewer vegetables. On this point, at least, I was satisfied; on the moon, in the city of Artemis, all they eat is something horrible called gunk anyway. I did really enjoy all the space-specific detail, like the background to how people ended up living in Artemis, the different areas all named after astronauts, the tech necessary to sustain life, and many more details. That was all fun. I’m no scientist, so I don’t know how much logistical sense it made, but I also don’t care.
The plot’s generally fun too, with Jazz unwittingly finding herself neck-deep in a much wider conspiracy than she anticipated, and there’s plenty of running about and nearly getting killed. There is, however, also a lot of welding, which I didn’t find completely fascinating.
The issues, for me, were the characterisation and dialogue. Although Jazz is a cool narrator, she seemed to me to be a stereotypical vision of what some men (not all men blah blah) want a woman to be: she drinks too much! She swears! She’s NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS! But she also has breasts! Such a dream. I just found her quite annoying and her voice didn’t entirely ring true for me. And some of the dialogue is just horrible; there’s one bit where her male friend (BECAUSE SHE’S ONE OF THE LADS) describes her as his only friend with boobs and I had to stop reading while I finished vomiting in my mouth. It seems like a lot of time has been spent coming up with a believable setting, when perhaps some research could have been done into how humans speak.
In Conclusion: I basically enjoyed this book, but I did find myself having to skim read some of the welding/horrible dialogue bits. There’s a cool setting and exciting plot to be enjoyed in Artemis; it’s just a bit of a shame some of the dialogue is so eye-roll-inducing.