Genre(s): sci-fi, novella, space
Read as: ebook, library loan
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. (All Systems Red, Goodreads)
“The sense of urgency just wasn’t there. Also, you may have noticed, I don’t care.”
This series is fantastic. There, that’s the review, do you really need to know anything else?
Oh, you do.
Well fine then.
Do you like a bit of snark in your books? Do you enjoy a touch of apathy along with a sense of obligation that you resent? Oh boy, then do I have the series for you!
I really didn’t know what to expect when I first picked up All Systems Red, the first book of the Murderbot series but several reviewers I trust had nothing but stellar things to say about these books so I figured I’d give it a shot. I’m not typically much of a science-fiction reader but I was eyeballs deep in an epic reading slump and figured it couldn’t hurt to give them a shot. I could absolutely kick myself for not having read them sooner.
Murderbot, the absolute star of these books, is (at least in my opinion) the near perfect character. As a bot, it is supposed to be under the control of the Company and only follow commands. Our Murderbot, however, wasn’t so fond of that so they hacked themselves, effectively, and removed the programming that forced them to only obey commands. Now they only want to watch television shows and mind their own business. Unfortunately, the humans around it keep getting themselves into trouble and Murderbot, with no little amount of grumping, keeps having to save them or get them out of trouble.
Being along for the ride as Murderbot tries to sort out who they are for themselves, dealing with social anxiety, getting themselves into ridiculous situations, and accidentally making friends is some of the best reading I’ve ever found myself caught up in. Murderbot is all of us, clumsily trying to make our way through life and not ever really figuring out this whole “adult” thing.
It’s funny how a robot character really represents humanity best.
In a nut shell, these books are amazing. Murderbot, despite being a robot, is so relatable and entertaining. I can’t wait to pick up the next book in the series and see what they get themselves into next.
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