Artemis

Andy Weir (Author), Rosario Dawson (Narrator)
Crown/Audible
November 14th, 2017

Rosario Dawson is amazing. Honestly, she can do no wrong in my eyes. So when I saw that Audible had an exclusive audiobook performance of Andy Weir’s new book Artemis, narrated by Rosario Dawson, I immediately download it. Now I have never reviewed an audiobook performance before. Audiobook listeners know there are the performances that bring the story alive, and then there are the ones that make you want to rip your eyes out and immediately read the damn thing yourself. So for this review, I’ll be writing about both Dawson’s performance and Weir’s story.

Artemis by Andy Weir , Audible Exclusive Recording Performed by Rosario Dawson

Artemis is a story about 26-year-old Jaz (I like her already) who lives in the moon city, Artemis, population: 2000. She is a genius porter (delivery girl), with a chip on her shoulder, who happens to dabble in importing illegal goods. The story is about her taking on a job that goes astray and takes her down a road of sabotage, corporate espionage, and a fuck ton of science.

“Jaz is a well-rounded protagonist. At times I hated her, and other times I loved her and thought she was the funniest person on the moon.”

Artemis is a well-crafted story. It balances science and prose so perfectly that they both interweave into one another to make not only a solid tale of a woman trying to fight her way out of poverty, but a science-heavy tale about what it would take to actually live on the moon. I learned more than I thought I would about welding, chemistry, and basic physics all without really noticing it. Jaz is a well-rounded protagonist. At times I hated her, and other times I loved her and thought she was the funniest person on the moon. What made this book even better was Weir made his lead a Saudi Arabian woman.

In a time where a lot of criticism is targeted at science fiction authors for not having women and people of color in the forefront, Weir speckles the cast of Artemis with a worldly bunch. Artemis isn’t only a book about the first city on the moon but at its core; it is an immigration tale. The founder and head of Artemis is a Kenyan woman, the best welder and most well-respected man in Artemis is a Muslim Saudi Arabian man, and the head chemist at Sanchez Aluminum is a Brazilian woman.

Rosario Dawson at the Audible Artemis Presentation.

“Broad representation is one of the reasons why I loved this book and Weir’s vision of Artemis.”

Jaz’s family, Tronds, and all the other people in this book are living in an immigrant society trying to build a life in this foreign landscape. Leaving their lives and families behind to make a better future for themselves and their loved ones. Jaz’s father being one of the people to bravely go where no one had gone before to provide Jaz’s with a chance at something better. I found that part of the book to be refreshing in science fiction, and I am happy Andy Weir took the time to think about that level of what it takes to build a colony on the moon. This broad representation is one of the reasons why I loved this book and Weir’s vision of Artemis.

Now to the real reason why we are here. Rosario Dawson’s performance. When I tell you I forgot that one person was narrating this I am serious. She voices every character in the book. Giving each their own specific voice. Each accent and laugh all unique to each person. Dawson really made Weir’s words come alive. But her rendition of Jaz, the smart ass, wisecracking, genius is spot on. From the sardonic tones and sarcastic barbs, Rosario took me out of the book and gave each scene even more visual language with her amazing performance.

There is a scene when there are 5+ characters in one scene and without a beat, Rosario is able to create and voice each character, they all stand on their own and no two sound alike. Part of the reason I love this book so much is because of Rosario’s performance. She truly went above and beyond in this role. Artemis is a 7-hour audiobook and not once did it feel like the story was dragging. Both Weir’s writing and Dawson’s performance created a well rounded and fun sci-fi adventure worth reading.

Artemis is a fun, witty, adventure that not only delves into some serious science but is a great immigration tale. Andy Weir hit it out of the park with this book, and if you love a great performance I suggest you check out the Audible exclusive Rosario Dawson recording. You won’t be sorry.