I only finish one book this year, Artemis by Andy Weir can be it and I wont even be mad.
Author Andy Weir goes into a lot of depth and detail in his world building of a city on the moon that has adopted Kenyan time, with its 5 bubbles named after famous astronauts with their own distinct identities and linked by tunnels. What made this book such a great read for me is the complex character of 26 year old Jazz Bashara, a woman that breaks every stereotype of a Muslim Saudi Arabian female. Jazz is intelligent, sassy, witty and knows how to hold a grudge. I think what stuck with me the most is this is the first time I have found a book portraying a main character close to my age. Why is it that young adult books are alllllll about teenagers? Weir did a good job of portraying a young adult girl, and the teenage rebellion we still feel in our twenties. She has the street smarts to be so much more than a porter, but she is drawn to testing herself outside the conventional boundaries of society and sidestepping the expectations others have for her, particularly her father. For her, the thrill is in the challenge and the smuggling allows her to supplement her meager earnings as a porter which allows only for her to reside in a 'coffin', where she can sleep, but otherwise has to share communal facilities with others. Artemis follows Jazz through her day to day life as a poor, young adult who smuggles illegal goods onto the moon from earth for the rich people who can afford to live comfortably and vacation there. She’s close to being homeless, which is illegal where she lives. Artemis is a “small town” on a distant futures moon and like any other small town it has its secrets, its schemes and struggles.
One day,A steady client of her off-book smuggling business, a tech billionaire of sorts, has a plan for taking over a local enterprise. All it requires is for someone to do some unapproved EVA work and blow some things up. The million slugs (local currency for Artemis) he offers makes it worth the very considerable risk of moving from her low orbit criminal activity to the much higher orbit of actual felon. Unfortunately, all does not go as planned, and now some very scary dark side people are doing their best to put her in a state of permanent eclipse.
Weir draws up a great supporting cast for Jazz in this tense and suspenseful lunar thriller. There is Jewish guide Dale, gay and desperate to get back in Jazz's good books after a personal betrayal. Jazz and her father have a complicated relationship, which given her rebellious streak, is no surprise, but Weir subtly reveals the depth of their connection and love for each other, despite all that stands between them. Ukrainian Martin Svoboda, a technical whizz, is socially awkward but his commitment to Jazz left me hoping that their relationship would become something more. I applaud Weir for his diversity and truth that he added to this cast. Though the majority of the novel was though Jazz’s thoughts, I was able to understand the complexity of the supporting characters, and I think this added to the wonderful humor of the novel!
I had the pleasure of listening to Artemis In the audible exclusive version with actress Rosario Dawson narrating. I may be biased, because I may be a little obsessed with her (or a lot ) but if you have any interest in listening to this book download her version! She tells this story to its fullest extent, with different voices and true accents of different characters. I also think she solidified my love for Jazz’s character because she does a really great job conveying the angsty teen attitude. I seriously give the audiobook 10/10. This performance may have made the entire novel for me. Overall, this is a fantastic read, and I hope Andy Weir has plans to revive Jazz as a character in the future. It seems possible from the novels final lines, and I am eagerly awaiting!