At one time I used to dream about going to the Moon. I would imagine what it would be like to walk in the diminished gravity and to be constantly aware of the deadly vacuum outside.
Well, having read Andy Weir’s Artemis, now I know. And quite honestly if it is anything like he portrays it, I would rather stay at home thanks.
As with his first tremendous book The Martian, Wier has done his research. In fact, he once again has blinded us with science. It was that and the storyline that made The Martian totally believable. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Artemis.
Despite his extensive research his story really doesn’t stand up. In the book, Artemis is the first city to be built on the moon. The main character is Jazz, a slick, down-on-her-luck female smuggler who grew up there. Eventually, she’s given an opportunity to make a sackful of money by pulling off a dangerous heist. She, of course, takes it, but suffice it to say things don’t go very well.
Jazz may be the star of Weir’s story, but the star of the book is Artemis itself. Weir did a mind-numbing amount of research of how a city on the surface of the Moon could actually be possible, and it’s utterly mesmerizing. Every detail is there, carefully spread across the first third of the story. And Jazz is your guide providing the reader with an on-the-ground perspective of Artemis as well as relating the facts and science behind it. She’s also an underdog; she may live on the Moon, but she’s got it tough, and that struggle is very human and relatable.
But sadly, the story is just a second-rate detective story but set on the Moon and it really doesn’t work. We’ve heard it all before, the good guys, the bad guys, the cop, double crosses, you name it and it’s there.
It’s really sad. If you are interested in what it would be like to live on the Moon, you will enjoy the research. Just suspend belief when it comes to the plot!