Artemis

by

Weir is best-known for The Martian, his fictionalised account of a man stranded on Mars. He was heavily praised for the science and realism used to tell that story.

This is a different idea, but offers similar grounding in reality when it comes to the science of another heavenly body: the moon.

Humans have finally established a permanent base, a small city that has grown to a few thousand souls, partly to service the lunar tourist trade.

It’s an interesting idea, but rather than make it a a sterile, clean, scientific environment we instead find a frontier town, reminiscent in part of those founded in a gold rush. The novelty of the moon as a location is relied upon– and the contained nature would lend itself well to a TV series, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on Netflix or Amazon Prime, albeit with a bit more depth added.

While the characters are interesting enough, and the story makes good use of the backdrop, the constant interruptions and hurdles thrown in the path of the protagonist — Jazz — do get a little weary and seem overly convoluted. There was also an exercise in stereotype box-ticking as well (the big burly cop, the nerd, the estranged and slightly disappointed father).

With a female protagonist (an Arabic, female protagonist no less), it’s nice that we have a female narrator. Rosario Dawson does a good job, even if she struggles with the range of male voices a touch.

It’s engaging enough, but didn’t quite hit the high notes for me. A bit like our trips to the moon, it only seemed to scratch the surface rather than dig deep.

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Reviewed: 17th December 2018