“All Systems Red” by Martha Wells

This one took me by surprise. Although I’ve heard great things about it, I didn’t expect to enjoy the story as much as I did. Now I am hooked and can’t wait to get stuck in another story about Murderbot.

Genre:

Sci-fi

Series:

Murderbot Diaries, book 1

Pubbed:

May 2017

Goodreads summary:

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. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

“And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.”

Really, my plan is to write my own summaries of the things I read but doing so has become difficult lately due to the amount of time that has passed and the amount of books I’ve read since completing the one I’m currently reviewing. I’ll try again with a recently completed book. Anyway…

All Systems Red was a great read. It was entertaining, and the protagonist’s voice, Murderbot’s voice, is distinct and grips you from the first sentence. That’s what kept me reading and made me whisk through the story almost as quick as a blink of an eye, i.e., I completed it in a day. Since this is a novella, that’s not surprising, but I did so on a work day when I probably worked two jobs, so I consider it a huge accomplishment and a mark of how hooked I was on the story.

I immediately took a liking to Murderbot. For some reason, I immediately thought of it as female, but it’s later explained that murderbots do not contain gender or sex-related parts because then you’d be “a sexbot in a brothel, not a murderbot.” Even so, it was hard to stop thinking of it as female. What draws me to Murderbot is of course it’s personality. It’s sarcastic and snarky, which makes its thoughts fun to read especially as the humans its protecting try to engage with it though Murderbot really wants to be left alone to watch its videos and maintain only a professional relationship with its humans. It was fun to see how Murderbot’s feelings toward the humans change.

“I hate having emotions about reality; I’d much rather have them about Sanctuary Moon.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. My only, slight, complaint is that it ended too abruptly for me. I like what Murderbot did to attain some independence and freedom, but I wanted the story to continue. I wanted to know what happens next. I wanted to know what the humans thought and how Dr. Mensah reacted. I wanted (want) a novel. Therefore, I look forward to the next novella and hope it’s as fun a read as this one.

By the way, Dr. Mensah is a total badass. She’s my next favorite character after Murderbot.

Overall: ????? ½

I’s a fun read that you’ll sprint through and immediately want to pick up the next in the series when done.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

I think it’s worth the purchase. I can see myself rereading this one.

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