REVIEW: Rogue Protocol (Murderbot Diaries 3)

It is recommended that reading the previous two Murderbot Diaries reviews and/or books before reading this latest review.


The third Murderbot book marks the end of the second act of this arc of Murderbot’s life as it travels to the outskirts of society where an abandoned facility that was under the control of GrayCris needs to be investigated. The lawsuit back in the Corporate Rim is gaining steam and this facility hopefully holds the remaining information PreservationAux needs to put away this terrible corporation.

This one read a little bit more like what I was initially expecting out of this series (as I’ve said many times, I often go into books mostly blind to avoid unfair expectations). It was really a deep-space thriller as Murderbot needs to – once again – help some humans around this GrayCris facility while they’re being attack by who-knows-what that was left behind in the abandonment. Although the point of the book is for Murderbot to collect data that’s needed, and this does come across.

I was less taken by the new characters than I was in the second book. I didn’t particularly care for the humans, and while Miki was sweet enough, it wasn’t enough of a character for me to connect with. I was honestly much more interested in Murderbot’s reaction to it than any of their interactions.

While this wasn’t my favourite of the books, it was still phenomenal and the psychology behind how robots are treated by everyone individually is really interesting – and that was a strong point of this part of the story. I can’t wait to read the final book but am also putting it off so I don’t have so long to wait until 2020 when we’re supposed to get book five.

 

REVIEW: Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries 2)

This review may contain spoilers for the first Murderbot Diaries book, All Systems Red.


Since finishing the first Murderbot book, I have been very seriously itching to get my hands on book two. With my library coming through for me, I was very excited to see where Murderbot was heading to.

When we left Murderbot at the end of book one, it was on it’s way to the spaceport to get away from it’s team of friends and find out more about itself. We as readers know that at one point, Murderbot killed a few dozen humans in a mine and that resulting in it hacking it’s own governing system. But did Murderbot hack the system in order to kill the humans? Or did something go wrong and caused it to kill everyone, thus making the hack a preventative measure? This is where Murderbot’s trip back to the mine begins.

We got a few new characters in this book, the best one being ART (a sentient transport ship that Murderbot dubs, Asshole Research Transport). ART is vaguely threatening, blunt, and straight forward in a way that makes me love it as much as I love Murderbot for being the awkward, tv-loving ball of sarcasm that it is too.

I loved seeing Murderbot have another robot friend and I loved seeing both of them come to care for the new humans in the book to the point of risking their “lives” to help them. I loved the mystery of this novella and the idea that Murderbot has been the target of some shady people for longer than it may think. This book made me laugh and it got me as far away from the world as I could possibly get.

It’s come to my attention that I find Murderbot comfortingly relatable and this series is relieving anxiety in a way I didn’t think books could actually do. I feel calmer while reading and calmer after finishing. Do I know exactly why I feel this way about this books? Not really, but at this difficult part in my life, I don’t really care. However, I think it might be something similar to what Tor.com’s Anya Johanna DeNiro wrote about these books. I am not a trans woman, but I’m masculine leaning genderfluid and she makes a lot of really valid points that resonate with me.

At the end of the day, I loved Artificial Condition as much as I loved All Systems Red and as of writing this review, books 3 and 4 in the series have arrived for me at the library so I will definitely be diving into them soon.

PS. Please read this series.


Note: You can find Anya Johanna DeNiro’s posts on All Systems Red here and for Artificial Condition here.

REVIEW: All Systems Red & The Future of Work (Murderbot Diaries 1 & 0.5)

It’s been a very long time since I’ve read a serious sci-fi book that wasn’t Star Wars so when I kept seeing these Murderbot Diaries books everywhere I turned, I just had to pick up the first book from the library.

All Systems Red starts off with Murderbot telling us how it would rather watch television dramas than be a murderer and how boring it is to be a security unit. It’s so done with everything around it until all systems go haywire and the story goes from a silly narrative from a bored robot to a self-hacked robot trying to save everyone from their own system that has gone Hal 3000 on them (for those who don’t get it, that was a 2001 Space Odyssey reference where the ship tries to kill everyone).

I loved this story from cover to cover. Murderbot was hilarious and relatable as hell and despite not having a ton of information on the rest of the team, I really enjoyed the whole cast. Fast paced, action packed, and entertaining, this is probably one of the best original sci-fi stories I’ve ever read. An excellent start to a series I can’t wait to devour and something I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to get into science fiction without worrying about intimidatingly long books or overly complex world building.


BONUS

In seeing the reading order of the next books, I discovered that Wired Magazine actually published a prequel short story about Murderbot being stationed on a mining station. The short story gives us a little more insight into how and why Murderbot comes to care about the people it is assigned to protect and while I definitely recommend reading after the first novella, it is a great example of what Martha Wells’s writing style is like in terms of this incredible series that I highly recommend reading immediately.

You can read the story here on the Wired Magazine website.