‘Artemis’ audiobook is steller 

Monitor staff
Published: 2/22/2019 12:31:48 PM

Sci-fi author and computer programmer, Anthony Weir, is probably best known for his first published book, The Martian, which was released as a movie in 2015. His second work, Artemis, is similarly staged in space, but instead of Mars, the story is set on the Moon. 

It is an equally compelling tale, which I “read” via audiobook, rather than flipping pages. 

For the audio part of it, Artemis is narrated by Rosario Dawson, who is an actress you might have seen in Rent or Luke Cage, among others. Her talents are well-suited to bringing to life Jazz, the protagonist and a young smuggler trying to make ends meet. Dawson voices all the characters with each their own distinctive personality and covers accents (and there are many) without becoming annoying.

As for the story itself, it has just the right balance of science and fiction.

Jazz is a Saudi Arabian migrant who now lives in Artemis, that is to say, the only city on the Moon. Jazz is crazy smart – she teaches herself chemistry and electrical engineering with only help from the internet – and she’s a talented welder after learning the trade from her master craftsman father.

But to many, she’s wasting her talents being a porter and smuggler of innocuous contraband.

The plot heats up when one of her frequent – and very rich – smuggling clients, Trond, asks her to destroy equipment for the largest company on the Moon, who also happens to supply oxygen to the city, so that he can buy out the company for cheap.

She agrees for a million slugs (the unit used as currency), but things don’t quite go as planned.

Jazz manages to come up with plan B, plan C and so forth, despite a hitman, a double-crossing businessman, a larger than expected toxic explosion and the threat of deportation to Earth, where she hasn’t lived since she was a small child (which would cause some major physical complications).

Along the way, she makes a lot of bad decisions, but usually with the best intentions. She wants to stop a mafia-like organization from controlling Artemis’s life support systems. Sure, there’s a lot of money involved for her, but she wants it to pay back her father for damages she caused as a teenager.

Jazz manages to do much of the work on her own, but she gets some help from scientist friend Martin Svoboda, former friend Dale, and even her straight-laced dad, Ammar (albeit reluctantly). 

In the end, she goes all in to save the city, even if the cost is potentially her life. 

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