This review constitutes many firsts for me. Having fundamentally misunderstood CB9 and not posted a single review, this is my first time cannonball-ing in earnest. This was also my first ever audiobook, and it just so happened that we finished it on the 1st of the New Year. My intrepid fiancé and I were looking for a way to pass 12 hours in a car and I was asked to find an audiobook that was “Adventurous, but also Sci-fi and maybe mysterious.” No short order but by some miracle of the cosmos, Artemis delivered.
Artemis, Andy Weir’s followup to The Martian, takes place on the eponymous (don’t worry–I hate myself for using that word, too) Artemis, the first city on the moon. We follow Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara, a porter of extraordinary intelligence and acute stubbornness, as she tries to make a dishonest (million or so) space buck(s). Her plans gang aft agley, as one might expect from a 9-hour runtime, and she finds herself in mortal peril, relying on a rag tag group of characters that feel completely lived in and believable despite their extraterrestrial environs.
It’s a worthy sophomore effort, and fans of Weir’s writing will be thrilled with the level of detailing and world building here (seriously excellent concept). But the real reason I loved this book was Rosario Dawson’s incredible narration on the audiobook. I am generally not a fan of audiobooks (silence while reading being golden and all), and I even blanche at fiction podcasts, feeling like they’re sometimes cheesy-sounding. But this blew me away, and I don’t know that I would have appreciated Jazz half as much had she not been brought to life by Dawson. She felt more real than she otherwise might have, and her accent work is a marvel. Having a female narrator also smooths out some gender dynamics and descriptions that would have otherwise left me grimacing (okay, they still did).
I recommend this book to fans of Weir and highly recommend the audio book for readers looking to experiment in that medium.