Author: Andy Weir
Length: 539 minutes / 8.98 hours
After reading Weir’s breakout work, The Martian, I looked forward to his next novel, Artemis, with rapt anticipation. The scientist in me appreciated how Weir made a realistic setting with realistic science an approachable and entertaining endeavor. The writer in me liked how he kept the tension throughout the plot of The Martian at a consistent level. Consequently, I had high hopes for Artemis and wondered if he could outdo himself (or at least match his previous success) considering how highly regarded The Martian ended up being for him.
Between the two books, Weir seems to have created a style that consists of three elements: accurate science, event-driven plot, and a racially diverse cast of characters. In Artemis, we now find ourselves on the moon, where a colony has been created and sustained for a few decades. Weir conveys the science involved with such a feat naturally and realistically. The exploration of this science is usually through the string of “oh shoot” events that occur throughout the plot. Finally, with an Arab woman as the main protagonist of the story, supported by a Kenyan man, Ukranian scientist, and her father.
Despite these three elements creating an exciting story, the impact of Artemis felt less than that of The Martian. In The Martian, the driving force of the plot is the survival from isolation. Artemis has a different survival: avoiding homelessness. Additionally, while Mark Watney was a scientist and astronaut who could “science his way” out of his predicament, Jasmine was a little more “working class” who seemed to jury rig stuff together just because that’s the only way she knew how. Of course, being more “working class,” the profanity seemed a lot more prevalent in Jasmine’s speech than in Mark’s. Both books had profanity; it just seemed like Artemis overdid it.
An Andy Weir book that doesn’t quite live up to The Martian, I give Artemis 4.0 stars out of 5.