Artemis is the first city on the moon. It is well developed with 5 main bubbles where people live and work in a monitored and controlled environment. Tourism brings a lot of money to the moon, however some inhabitants, like Jazz, have lived there for most of their lives. She works as a porter and is an illegal smuggler on the side. Anything flammable is banned, so cigarettes, guns, and alcohol are all forbidden imports. Jazz can get hold of most things through her contact on Earth, and works for some of the richest, most powerful business men on the moon. One of them makes her and offer she can’t refuse, and this is where it all begins to go wrong for her.
Andy Weir has bought an advanced civilisation to life in Artemis. It isn’t difficult to imagine the fully established settlement as something we could be a part of in the near future. The technology is easy to understand, despite getting quite technical at some points. There is just enough science to make it realistic, and plenty of tension and humour to make sure the story keeps moving. Andy Weir has clearly done his research again for this book. The one major difference I found with his previous book, The Martian, was the relationships between characters. We learn a lot about Jazz and her past, how she feels about the secondary characters, and how each of them came to live on the moon.
The first of these characters is Kelvin. Jazz sends letters to him back on earth. The book could have been written without these letters however I thought they worked well to explain past events. They help to diarise key events for Jazz without jumping too far away from the existing storyline. We only see Kelvin through his letters, but found their relationship an interesting one as they communicate between the earth and the moon.
My favourite character has to be Svobo, a socially awkward inventor who is eager to please. He is loyal and thoughtful, and would do anything for Jazz. Similarly, her dad is a quiet star of the book with his strong morals and unconditional love for his daughter.
Jazz brings a bit of fun to the moon by breaking the rules and getting others in trouble along the way. She is defiant, but also has a strong foundation of right and wrong instilled by her father so never intends to cause serious harm to anyone. She is witty, strong willed and has the skills needed to go far. The high risk mission she takes on unearths a completely different view of life in Artemis, and brings plenty of tension and drama along the way. A thrilling read and a gentle introduction to the sci fi genre.
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Andy Weir also wrote The Martian, check out my review here: The Martian by Andy Weir.