Book Club: Artemis (Guest Post by Jen)

I absolutely loved reading The Martian by Andy Weir and the movie was great (though not without its flaws). I had put Weir's next book, Artemis on my TBR book but luckily for me, Jen had read it already read it and promptly wrote this review. Without further ado, please let me introduce the very first book review on CPPC: Artemis

Much like Andy Weir’s first book, “The Martian,” I loved this book and may have been my favorite book I’ve read in 2017. Much like a musician’s sophomore album, people always say the sequel isn’t as good as the original. For the first couple chapters I wondered if the necessity to explain the how’s and the why’s of living on moon (world building) would drag the plot down. I was happy to be proven wrong quickly! Weir chose to do his world building through a heist, which is a unique and intriguing approach to keep the reader interested and explain the science of the book to a general audience. Like “The Martian,” this book is pretty smart and deals with a lot of technical science, but the science never felt difficult to digest nor like it was over explained.
Artemis is the name of the lunar colony where this story takes place. In an interesting turn of convention, Artemis is run by the Kenyan Space Agency and citizens in Artemis are all international - the citizens of the colony are both citizen of Artemis and the countries they were born in. It is explained that Kenya was only the country to build this colony because of the proximity to the equator being good for launching spacecraft and their ability to cut through red tape. This colony is still a relatively young society. Additionally, because living on the moon is a luxury the Moon seems to have a pretty large wealth gap between the uber-rich and those there to serve and cater to the uber-rich. The city of Artemis consists of 5 bubbles on the surface and the different classes generally live in different bubbles.
The only world-building thing Weir does in this novel that I didn’t really like, is how the careers are very race-based, which can be paraphrased like this: one guy with money and specialty went to the Moon and then invites all his friends from home once he’s established a business, then eventually they developed a monopoly in the field, which are the guilds. So you have the welders guild who are Saudi Arabian, you have the Brazilians who are smelters, etc. Long story short, I found the race-based careers a little distracting as I was reading the story and I just had so many questions about how a new society might be built like this.
As the book starts we are introduced Jazz Bashara as she fails her EVA test (EVA standing for Extravehicular Activity, and is a type of space suit needed to walk on the moon). Jazz is the main character and is a poor porter/smuggler, but wants to pass her EVA test to make more money. It seems like a very defining way to be introduced to you heroine, as a failure. After failing her test she soon finds herself being offered an opportunity to be involved in a heist for a longtime wealthy client Tond Landvik. After a hiccup happens during the heist, Jazz is caught in the middle of a murder mystery and what feels like could be called corporate sabotage. It's becomes obvious it's up to Jazz to solve this mystery before possibly getting deported back to Earth.
Not only does Weir have a unique way of building the world in his novel, he has an excellent way of designing and introducing his characters. I liked Jazz a lot as a character, she is Saudi Arabian and is super smart, funny, and is really just generally a badass. Its was also interesting to read about a sci-fi heroine who was of Muslim decent, it was still a nice change of pace from the very white male driven genre.
As we end each chapter we are treated to letter between Jazz and her pen pal in Kenya, named Kelvin. The two write back and forth to each from the time they are in third or fourth grade to present day in the novel. It was unique way to explain character development, do flashbacks, and explain things like how the lunar diet differs from that on Earth.
For me, my favorite character was Martin Svoboda, who is a Ukrainian micro-electrician who helps Jazz on her various schemes. As we’re introduced to him, he’s a vaguely creepy, yet harmless, nerd, but as he and Jazz work more and more together, Jazz begins to see what a great friend and kind person he his. By the end of the book I was shipping it so hard!
The climax of the book was surprising and riveting. There is one part of it where you seriously become concerned that all is lost. I could not put the book down until I finished it. My heart was beating fast and I was very concerned about the whether this book would have a Game of Thrones-esque ending (i.e. with everyone you love dying).
Without giving too much away, I haven’t been so riveted by the ending for a long time. The way Weir tied up the loose endings and left some undone, just made me feel more invested in the characters and their lives. I found myself wishing I could vacation in Artemis.
I read this book as an audio book, which was narrated by Rosario Dawson. I’ve been reading Audio books more and more lately for a few reasons. Right now its cold and hard to turn pages on public transit when it's crowded and with gloves. It's also nice to have someone read to you and do all the voices. Additionally, it gives the author a chance to direct the story and helps you retain more details in different ways than you would with a print book.
I really enjoyed the audio book and Dawson did a great job narrating. She conveyed a lot emotion in her voice and managed to make each character’s voices pretty distinct. My only negative is that her accent work wasn’t always great. For example, at times her Norwegian accent sounded a bit Jamaican to me. However, I don’t have a great ear for accents anyway so I don’t know if I’m the best critic.
Apparently there are already talks about adapting a movie and directors have already signed on. I am pretty excited, because I enjoyed “the Martian” so much and this book feels tailor made to be the next spy drama/heist/action blockbuster in space. If I could buy a ticket now I would.

I would recommend reading this book. If you’re a sci-fi fan like me, you’ll enjoy this book and you’ll get a lot of the little easter eggs about Han Solo pants and Star Trek. I would also recommend this book even if you’re not a sci-fi nerd. If you enjoy a heist, spy drama, or action driven book with good heart - you’ll enjoy this book.  Even if you hate reading and for some reason read this whole review, I would recommend this book. Read it, you won’t be sorry.


  1. This book sounds really good! Definitely going to check it out when I'm in the mood for a sci-fi story!

  2. I totally agree with how well Andy builds these alternative worlds through his stories (just like he did in The Martian), because it helps jump into the plot and not get caught up in details up front. Although I did find the main character, Jazz, to be a bit too extreme. Not to mention the joke that is their police force. I would have to say that this "sequel" of his wasn't as good as his first.

  3. This sounds really interesting! I used to like sci-fi books when I was younger but I haven't read one in years. You have me intrigued though!

    xoxo A

  4. Sounds like such a lovely book! I really want to read more this year. I have so many cool books at home that are unread. Thanks for reminding me!
    xx, Theresa

  5. I normally don't read a lot of sci-fi books, but I like that this one seems to combine a lot of different genres. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was little, so I'm adding this book to my reading list!

    Hannah | the swirl

  6. This sounds like such a good read. I will certainly have to check it out.

  7. I would love to read this book, sounds amazing

  8. This sounds like an interesting book! I'll have to circle back on it once I get through the books in my bookshelf!

  9. Sounds like an interesting book! definitely going to check it out :)

  10. Normally I don't read such kind of books but the concept and theme sound so amazing that now I'm really curious! Thanks for the review!
    xx Rena

  11. This book sounds really great! I've been looking for something new to read and I think I just found it!

  12. I really want to get back into reading this year but I feel like I never have time. I do love a good sci-fi read though, so I may have to pick this one up!

  13. I have some friends that would love this book! I need to tell them!

  14. This book sounds amazing! I never read sci-fi books but I would love to start this year.

    -xo, Azanique |

  15. This sounds so interesting! I need to check it out!

    The Blush Blonde

  16. My boyfriend actually bought this as an audiobook for our long drives and I absolutely can't wait to get into it!! It's such an interesting concept and I love Rosario Dawson's narration from what I've listened to so far. I'll admit, I didn't read much of this post just in case because I didn't want to spoil anything for myself haha!

    Logan |


Thank you for your comments! I read every single one :]