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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Artemis: A Novel

I haven't read The Martian yet, but I loved the film, so when I found out Andy Weir was coming out with a new book -- Artemis -- I requested a review copy, and here we are!

Jazz grew up in Artemis, the moon colony that has no home country. People who live there and visit there are from everywhere, and due to the restrictions on imports, Jazz runs a booming underground economy for her clients. One evening while delivering contraband to her best client, Trond, he tells her he wants to hire for her a job -- a life changing job. The only problem is that it's super illegal and could get her killed, but if she succeeds, she will be rich beyond belief and can finally live a life outside of just scraping by. When she takes it, she finds herself on the ride of her life -- or is for her life?

I was quite pleased by this novel and its caper quality. I will say that it was not the deepest piece of fiction I have ever picked up, and there were many times where it was clear that a man was writing from the attempted perspective of a young woman. I found myself rolling my eyes a couple of times at the internal comments Jazz would make at the audience, as they were very unauthentic, but I was willing to look past this for the sake of the story. After all, I wasn't in it for character development, but rather for the story.

Weir does an outstanding job of doing his homework and presenting the science thoroughly and, more importantly, interestingly. I ended up purchasing this book twice over the holidays, once for my brother and again for my brother-in-law. It's a great piece for just about anyone -- you can enjoy the story and skip past the science if it doesn't interest you or you find it tedious, or if you like the science, you can totally geek out on it and criticize it and be in awe of it and focus on that. It was what I think was the best part of this book -- it's a caper that has a story that grabs you and has a little something for everyone.

For myself, I'm not so sure after reading this book that I would be open to living on the moon. My anxiety was over the top reading about the precautions the residents had to take in order to live in a vacuum, and that's just not for me. I think that the idea of creating a colony on the moon, however, was fascinating and got me thinking long and hard about sustainable solutions for life on Earth. Would I at least want to take a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Artemis?

Why, yes, I would. Thanks, Mr. Weir. I'm looking forward to it. 

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