**Thank you to Crown Publishing for providing me a digital ARC copy of this novel via Netgalley for the purpose of review**
Let’s just get this out of the way: this is not The Martian. I think there are many people who are going to go into this book and will have The Martian on their minds — understandable, but ultimately unfair to this novel. This is not a one-man survival show, and the only thing that Jazz Bashara and Mark Watney have in common is their penchant for sarcasm. I completely approve of this, by the way.
What I find most interesting about this story is that characters’ specific cultural origins are explicitly stated in the narrative. I state that only because I found the very lack of such information (for the most part) an interesting aspect of The Martian. It made visualizing the characters physically almost unnecessary: they could, again for the most part, be any race, religion, origin in my own head — in anyone’s head — and that’s that. Having that grounding in Artemis is a different experience, but also an interesting one, especially as it plays into the personal mores of each character.
Jazz is a rip of a protagonist — I loved her sass and her frankness in dealing with people. She uses her sharp tongue both as weapon and armour, and is a right proper rogue. I liked her a lot, as you can probably guess. Her host of fellow characters are just as colorful and interesting, which makes this book nothing short of good fun.
Where it stumbles a little for me is in the plot. The mystery is good, but it feels…incomplete. A little unsatisfying. Perhaps it is the brevity of the novel, and while that certainly keeps the pacing snappy, it leaves me feeling wanting, as if some parts are missing. Perhaps this is a result of having read an uncorrected proof and not the finished copy, but perhaps just some more details about the world of the moon base, about the corporations involved — more than just the information we receive at the end.
Nevertheless, Artemis is a fun ride, because Weir has a unique ability to make science fiction feel a little less like fiction, and I chalk that up to what I’m sure is a good deal of research.