Artemis - Andy Weir

**** Very well structured and enjoyable, but not extraordinary

“Artemis” is a techno-thriller with a well-developed scientific component, as I expected from Weir. If I wanted to make a comparison with the books of other authors, the first name that comes to mind is Crichton (sorry, Master!), for the fact that the whole story is enslaved to the intention to talk to the reader about science. However, any resemblances end here.
Crichton’s books, in fact, tended to revolve around a great scientific theme, often with moral implications, without necessarily bothering to use real or plausible technologies (it was enough that they seemed so), but above all they had a dramatic tone. Weir’s books, on the other hand, make people laugh. Its protagonists don’t take themselves too seriously and are always kidding, sometimes with the reader, even in life-threatening situations. It is clear that the author likes to get them into trouble and then find a nerd way to get them out. By combining these two aspects, we are dealing with new MacGyvers who use their knowledge and the few resources available to them to solve desperate situations. In this sense, “Artemis” looks a lot like “The Martian”.
There are, however, big differences. “Artemis” is somehow better written, in the sense that it has a structure that is better studied and characterised by a well-timed narration. Everything works perfectly. “The Martian”, instead, coming from episodes published on the author’s blog, presents the effects of an undisciplined seriality that sometimes bewilders the reader. But it is precisely its not being structured in the “right” way that makes it unpredictable and therefore more enjoyable.
In “Artemis”, on the contrary, even when we are faced with unpredictable twists, these are only so in substance (i.e. we don’t know what will happen), but not in timing, because they are so well inserted in the right point of the story that somehow we see them coming (that is, we know that something is going to happen).
In addition to this are a few clichés and an anti-heroine that eventually turns into a heroine, overwhelming the reader with a predictable wave of goodness, the consequence of which is a certain amount of disappointment.
Beyond all this what makes “Artemis” substantially weaker than “The Martian” is the significance of the plot. In the comparison between the story of a young criminal who ends up threatened by other criminals (who are much worse than her) in the first city on the Moon and that of an astronaut left by mistake on Mars (a desert and lethal planet), the first comes out with broken bones.
Despite this, “Artemis” is a pleasant and enjoyable reading, with a funny protagonist and with many stimulating scientific topics. It is made in such a way as to please as many people as possible, but as a result it cannot be completely loved.


Artemis on Amazon.