Given the monumental success that was The Martian, I almost feel bad for Andy Weir (almost). No matter how Artemis cements its acclaim, readers are going to compare it to The Martian. And unfortunately, many will tarnish their experience by doing so. Artemis is a structural shift from what made Weir famous, and I applaud him for taking the risk.
That said, Artemis continues to showcase Weir’s enduring strength as an author. In short, he is one of the very few writers who can leverage science for laughs. And not just in a nerdy, need-a-degree-to-understand way. I mean in a thoughtful and accessible way. As with The Martian, many passages made me pause for laughing breaks.
Unlike Mark Watney’s sharp wit and cool demeanor, Jazz Bashara is a comically flawed protagonist. Her exploits inside the Artemis Moon colony have the reader bouncing between cautious admiration and sheer WTF. She’s a classic “unused potential” character, wielding a snarky attitude under an umbrella of bad life decisions. In short, she’s endlessly relatable.
I thoroughly enjoyed Artemis and praise Weir for another wicked sci-fi romp (heavy on the sci). As with The Martian, I laughed a lot, learned a lot, and look forward to a kick-ass movie.