If that’s what you liked about The Martian, too, you’ll probably enjoy Artemis as well, as I did. It’s funny, it’s fast-paced, an outer-space heist story filled with technology that I will never understand, but don’t worry about. If you’re looking for realistic dialogue and fully-realized characters, however, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Jazz Bashar is a twenty-six-year-old porter in Artemis–the moon’s only city–and she’s lived there since she was six. It’s the only real home she’s known. She spends most of her time outside of work hustling to build a small-time smuggling business and training to become an EVA tour guide (someone who goes outside the city onto the lunar surface).
When Jazz is offered the opportunity for a big-money payday, she gets in over her head with people who don’t look the other way at her transgressions and the future of the entire city is put in jeopardy. Technological chaos ensues.
This is not great literature. It’s not pretending to be. Weir has written a scientific-based thriller (like The Martian) that is set in outer-space. For those of us who don’t understand the science involved, we take it on faith that Weir’s getting it right, because what we’re interested in is the thriller aspect of the story. And he definitely gets that right, even if much of the dialogue is clichéd and cringe-worthy and the characters are really caricatures.
Rumor has it that Weir would like to write more about Artemis, which I would welcome. But he’s going to have to work on making the characters more like real people and less like genius-nerdy stick-figures.