I first read Artemis by Andy Weir in January 2018. This review was originally posted on my Goodreads account. Some minors edits have been made since then.
Everyone will inevitably compare this to Weir’s previous novel, The Martian, so I’ll address that first. While an enjoyable ride, Artemis is not as good as The Martian.
The plot is good (the last act is exciting), the world-building is not bad, and the protagonist is witty and smart. But it’s different than The Martian, in that there are, well, character dynamics. It isn’t just one man on Mars; it’s a tight-knit community on the moon, with the central character, Jazz, learning that her society is not what she thought it was. As she gets swept up in a situation way beyond what she expected, she occupies multiple roles: aspiring EVA master, smuggler, saboteur, fugitive, and then a bit of a mastermind. I liked her alright, though I don’t expect her to get on a list of my favorite fictional characters of all time. However, she occupies each role she has to play well enough.
Overall, though I have enjoyed other books in the genre more than this one, I have to keep in mind that my perception is heavily influenced by the fact that this is the novel directly following The Martian. Any second novel after something like that would have a lot to live up to (and it’s pretty clear to me that Artemis happened because the publisher put pressure on Weir to produce something else quickly). Basically, if you enjoy science, science-fiction, space, fast-paced capers, or any combination of the above, Artemis is probably worth a try.
Overall rating: 7.5/10