I first heard about The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells in one of Emily Fox’s booktube videos and thought it sounded pretty interesting. And then I found out all four of them were available on Scribd. So I binge-listened to them super quickly. They are novellas so they’re all quite short and you will go through them in no time at all. There will be a full length Murderbot novel in 2020 and I’m very excited about that. But for now, let’s see what I thought about the four novellas.
All Systems Red
In just 144 pages Martha Wells manages to create an universe, introduces us to characters and tells a story. This seems like not that many pages right? But somehow she did a pretty good job at all three things. The world or universe or spaceplace Martha created is very interesting and I really enjoyed reading about it. Obviously there is a lot of tech and therefor our main character is actually an A.I. I thought that was super cool, as I haven’t come across many of those. Our A.I. or Murderbot as they call themselves (hope I got these pronouns right!), is sent on a mission with humans to protect them.
“I liked the imaginary people on the entertainment feed way more than I liked real ones, but you can’t have one without the other.”
I absolutely loved Murderbot! They were so relatable! Murderbot it super awkward around humans, and just want to watch their tv shows. And don’t we all have those days were you just want to be left alone and watch your favorite show? I certainly do! Murderbot was very shocked by how sweet the humans they’re working for now are and how genuinely interested they seemed to be. This was wonderful to read. Murderbot is super funny and I laughed out loud multiple times. It’s quite a short story but very enjoyable. The ending however, went a bit too fast for me, and I would’ve loved some expanding of the story.
Artificial Condition continues where we left off last time. Apart from seeing Murderbot again, we also meet ART. There was more awkwardness, which was wonderfully funny to read about. I loved the interactions between Murderbot and ART, they were the highlights of the story. These characters are amazing and they really carried the story since the plot is a lot thinner in this second volume. Murderbot has to pretend to be a augmented human, which made for more funny moments. But it took me a while to see what the point of this story was. Still an enjoyable read, but just not as great as the first novella.
“I didn’t care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn’t have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.”
Murderbot continues their quest in this third novella. I was less interested in this story line and a little bit disappointed with the whole novella. Obviously I still loved Murderbot and laughed out loud multiple times as I did with the previous books. In this book we meet Miki, a human form robot assistant. I wasn’t that interested in Miki and the interactions between Murderbot and Miki weren’t as fun as the interactions with ART were unfortunately. This was especially disappointing as those interactions made the previous stories really great.
There needs to be an error code that means “I received your request but decided to ignore you.”
While I wasn’t really invested in this storyline, I am very interested in seeing how the whole story comes to a close in the last installment. There is definitely an overarching story going on and it all starts to make sense and come together towards the end of this one. Hopefully the last book will be up to par with the great opener!
The final novella in the Murderbot Diaries series! In Exit Strategy Murderbot has to try and save Dr. Mensah and expose GrayCris Corporation. Obviously they’d much rather watch Sanctuary Moon and not interact with any humans, but what can you do? Just looking at the quotes to pick one for my review makes me laugh out loud again and reminds me as to why I enjoyed this series so much. Murderbot stays so relatable and hilariously sarcastic. Definitely one of my favorite characters in science fiction. These boos also reminded me I need to pick up more sci-fi as I really enjoy this genre.
“It was very dramatic, like something out of a historical adventure serial. Also correct in every aspect except for all the facts, like something out of a historical adventure serial.”
This last installment had a nice balance between all elements like the first novella did. I really appreciated that and it made me rate it higher than Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol. We got a nice, feeling-filled ending to conclude this story-arc.
These were my thoughts on The Muderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. I could highly recommend these to anyone who want to try science fiction but it intimidated by it or anyone who already enjoys science fiction. Can’t wait for the full-length Murderbot novel! Did you read these already? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!