A stand-alone scifi book set on the Moon.

Publication year: 2017
Format: print
Publisher: Del Ray
Page count: 307

I really enjoyed Weir’s the Martian and when I saw this in my local bookshop here in Finland, I just had to get it.

Jasmine, Jazz, Bashara lives on Artemis, the only dome city on the Moon. She’s a porter, a person who carries stuff from one place to another. She’s also a smuggler but she’s very firm about what sort of stuff she smuggles in: nothing that will really endanger Artemis. So, nothing dangerously flammable, guns, or hard drugs. She’s prickly and foul-mouthed, swearing all the time. When the billionaire for whom she usually smuggles stuff (cigars) for offers her a chance to earn a million, she doesn’t really hesitate. She goes to work to plan a heist. Soon, however, she finds herself hunted by a killer.

Jazz has made a mess of life when she was a teenager and she fully admits that. She’s had a falling out with her father who is a devout Muslim and a master welder. The station’s chief of security has arrested her many times (Jazz has lived on the station since she was six) and knows that she’s up to no good, he just doesn’t have the evidence, yet, to deport her back to Earth. She’s also had a falling out with her best friend. Due to her own stubbornness and “poor life choices”, as she says, she’s stuck doing menial chores for very little money. That’s the reason she’s a smuggler. However, she cares for the city and the residents. So much so that she’s willing to put her own life at risk at times to rescue accident victims.

Artemis was quite a different place than I expected. It has the feeling of being lived in. Some super rich, eccentric people live there, and it attracts a lot of tourists. Many people live off the tourism, both restaurant owners and prostitutes as well as the EVA masters who take tourists outside Artemis, safely. In fact, when we meet Jazz she’s trying to pass the EVA master exam and fails it. In contrast to the super rich, and wealthy professionals, Artemis also has poorer people who do the menial jobs. Jazz considers herself poor, but I can’t really agree when she’s been able to save quite a lot even though her living conditions aren’t good. I was quite surprised that Artemis isn’t run by US or other big country but it was written quite plausibly.

The book has another timeline, too. Jazz exchanges emails with her pen pal on Earth and we find quite a lot about both their lives that way. I quite liked this. Since the book is written in first person, quite a lot depends on if the reader likes Jazz’s voice or not. I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the humor which is also a hit or miss thing.

This is a fast-paced book with intricate, scientific world-building and interesting characters. I’m eagerly looking forward to Weir’s next book.