The Murderbot Diaries – Book 1: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Hey Jared,

Ok. Getting back into things has been harder than I remember. I always struggle after Lisa has been home (no school or work) for a few days and this has been two weeks. But no excuses! I will prevail.

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Title: All Systems Red
Series: The Murderbot Diaries; Book 1
Author: Martha Wells
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: CU, Distant-Future, FTL (Wormholes?), AI
Synopsis: 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.
Recommendation: I recommend this book. Teens or older.

This was a great little read and I was pleasantly surprised from the very first page. Even though I try and keep myself unbiased, I had somehow thought it was going to be something else….not even anything specific. Just not what I was expecting. For me this is a firm reminder to keep an open mind and taking things as they come.

Our MC, self identifying as “Murderbot”, is a cybernetic construct that had managed to hack it’s governor module. Employed in security and guard duties, it’s job was to protect a small planetary survey team but it seems there are bigger forces at work. I really enjoyed the humanistic view from an non-human character, but I’m a sucker for non-human characters.

The plot and world were well crafted and I was easily able to follow along while still being surprised.  I’d love to see more of the world but I’m uncertain about a direct sequel. None of the characters, aside from the MC, were that interesting. They served their purpose but were barely more than window dressing. I also wonder if a sequel can really match this book appropriately.

In summary it’s a good read, with a thought provoking main character, and solid world building.

Robert


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The Murderbot Diaries – Book 1: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

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