Andy Weir self-published The Martian back in 2011, before it was picked up for a film and re-published in 2014 by Crown. Artemis is his next space adventure, that takes place on the moon. The story revolves around Jasmine Bashara, who goes by Jazz. She’s sly and her father typically never approves of what she does. At the start of the novel, her business is smuggling goods in for people. Despite that, she’s stuck in a tiny room that she rents, which she calls a “coffin,” because it’s that small.
Jazz is a wonderful character to center a story around because of just how witty and multifaceted she is. Sure, she’s good at smuggling things in, but if she just applied herself a but more, there’s pretty much nothing that she couldn’t do. She’s hired by a very rich man to sabotage a company for him. We’ve established that she smuggles things in, but it’s mostly things like cigars, not anything too terrible. She’s a criminal, but even this is going to be quite the challenge for her.
Friends are few and far between for Jazz, which is probably for the best as far as the story goes. There aren’t too many people to keep track of and it keeps the novel concise. She has a handful of people helping her out, despite how dangerous her task is because the company she’s going after is run by a cartel and they do not mess around.
Artemis brings high stakes to the moon and the world building that Andy Weir accomplishes is amazing. Before getting into all of the action, we learn what the tourists are like, what the living situation is like, what the main jobs are, and what type of food they eat. We also find out that Jazz has a pen pal back on Earth, who also helps her with a few things when needed.
This story has everything you would want in a space heist. Even though her goal is to sabotage something, she’s still stealing away the company for the cartel by doing so. Not everything goes as planned, but then again, how many heists go exactly as planned all the time? Artemis is a page-turner and a completely fun ride. You can now grab a copy of the book, which is out today.