Instead, Weir made fans wait what seemed like an eternity for his sophomore effort, Artemis. Good things come to those who wait.
While not as immediately engaging as The Martian, Weir’s Artemis avoids a sophomore slump by delivering an entirely new narrator and story. Set in the near future, Artemis introduces us to Jazz, a citizen of the lunar colony Artemis. Jazz wants to help guide tours of the lunar surface, but while she trains for that role, she makes ends meet by running the lunar black market. This leads her to a complicated plot to pull off what should be a perfect crime and earn a reward that will see her set for life.
But as with all things in life, things don’t go according to plan and Jazz soon finds herself at the center of a revolution on the moon.
In many ways, Artemis feels like a spiritual successor to Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress with its tale of lunar rebellion in the near future. What sets Artemis apart from the works of Heinlein is Weir’s attention to detail and emphasis on world-building. Weir reportedly spent a year researching and creating the world for Jazz and her fellow characters to inhabit before he began writing Artemis. And that attention shows through throughout the novel. Artemis feels like it’s taking a page from Breaking Bad and giving us the in-between details that other sci-fi books might overlook.
It all makes for an entertaining, crowd-pleasing science fiction thriller.
I will admit that one thing that held me back from embracing the novel in the early stages was the first-person narration from Jazz seemed a bit too Mark Whatley-like. While I can see why Weir chose to tell both stories in the first-person, I can’t help but wonder what a third-person narrated novel from Weir might look like.
For now, I’ll have to wonder about that. And be happy that Weir avoids the sophomore slump.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.