28 Oct 2022

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!


Author: Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #1
Source: Audiobook via Audible
Publisher: Tor.com
Publication Date: May 2, 2017

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Note: This is a review for the first three books in the series: ALL SYSTEMS RED, ARTIFICIAL CONDITION, and ROGUE PROTOCOL.

The books in the Murderbot diaries are more novella than novel, but they are starting off strong in the first three! In All Systems Red, we are introduced to our beloved protagonist, Murderbot, a sentient Security Unit. In this installment, it accompanies a group of scientists on an exploratory mission of an uninhabited planet.

It comes to their attention that another group of explorers are on the planet as well, so they try to contact them. Unable to reach the other group on comm channels, Murderbot and the scientists go to investigate.

I loved that these are told from the perspective of Murderbot. It is great to follow its thought processes at it navigated its complicated relationships with humans.

The Murderbot Diaries series is definitely not what I was expecting in terms of science fiction books. I think that I was going into this book expecting something serious; however, this book was definitely more on the light hearted side.

While there were some great plot points throughout the first three books, I became invested in the story because of the character development. I would love to be friends with Murderbot. They have a quirky sense of humor and I absolutely love the process that they go through in bonding with the crew. I haven't read a book in a while where I wanted to be friends with the main character.

There is also this great conversation about the definition of what it means to be human and also the treatment of creatures/beings that aren't the "normally" identified as having the same organic composition as humans. It's clear that Murderbot has inner thought that deal with this conversation. The manner in which he interacts with the other characters and how they interact with him is super important to the story as a whole. I felt myself getting all warm and fuzzy inside about some of the things I saw develop between them.

Overall, these were a quick and great read. I loved the action that took place even if it wasn't the focal point of the story for me. I'm interested in seeing where the next story is going to go especially based on how the third one ended. I'm excited to hear more from Murderbot's perspective. If you haven't picked up this series yet I highly recommend it!

Have you read this book? What was your favourite part?

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