I have gotten woefully behind in posting reviews, so welcome to the lightning round! Let’s see if I can get 10 reviews written and posted in the next 10 days, shall we?
Artemis is an interesting departure from The Martian. And while it has a lot of the same elements that made The Martian work for me, ultimately, Artemis was not quite as successful.
Jazz Bashara is a petty criminal living on the moon. Artemis is a city, or a space station, depending on how you look at it, and the first long-term human settlement on the moon. We learn very quickly that Jazz is more or less a genius, but currently bending those considerable wits to earning money the quickest way she can. This mostly involves smuggling contraband into the station. When one of the richest men on the station tries to recruit Jazz for an extremely shady bit of sabotage, Jazz finds the money too good to pass up. Of course, hijinks ensue, with the stakes for the station getting progressively higher and higher as more and more things go wrong.
What worked: the science was fun! Weir obviously enjoys working through the problems of how life in space would work, and puts a lot of detail into it. The conceptualization of what is basically an all-immigrant community would work is also intriguing.
What didn’t work: possibly too much science in places? A looooooot of detail about welding. And welding in space. I also didn’t love the character of Jazz, herself. There is a near-constant running narration in Jazz’s head, which worked well in The Martian where Mark is the only person on the planet, but here feels like a bit too much tell-not-show.
Ultimately, it’s a quick spacey-heisty romp.