Book Review: Artemi


JASMINE BASHAR, or Jazz for short, is a petty criminal who has lived on Artemis – the first city on the moon – since she was six years old.

However, living on the moon turns out to be no fun unless you’re a local billionaire or rich tourist.

Jazz has debts to pay, plenty of them, and her job as a porter barely covers the rent. To help make ends meet, Jazz smuggles in various bits of contraband, such as boxes of fine cigars, for the moon’s wealthier residents.

However, her ambitious nature gets the better of her when she spots an opportunity to commit the perfect crime, which would reap lucrative rewards if she pulls it off.

All she has to do is sabotage the anorthite harvesters owned by one of the aluminium factories. Jazz soon finds herself caught up in a plot to take control of the entire city, and her life is at stake if she doesn’t succeed in her mission.

‘Artemis’ is the latest effort from ‘The Martian’ author Andy Weir. Weir really comes into his own when describing the nitty-gritty details of the heist, such as how to weld aluminium in low gravity or how to break into a vacuum-sealed hull.

Jazz makes a likable protagonist, despite the fact we learn precious few details about our heroine, other than she is of Saudi Arabian descent – she enjoys checking out Saudi gossip blogs every now and again – and likes to go out and have a good time, much to the disapproval of her father.

Ultimately, ‘Artemis’ makes a readable, paint-by-numbers heist tale set which offers captivating insights about lunar-related science, which is where Weir’s writing truly comes to life.