All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells - Book Review

Write on: Mon, 06 Jul 2020 by  in Assaph's Reviews Read 3703

The Murderbot Diaries won both Hugo and Nebula, and with good reason.

What to Expect

A novella told from the point of view of an android assigned as a security unit to a team of scientists exploring a new planet. action is packed in this very short novel (or lengthy novella), but more importantly there's an impressive character arc.  

What I liked

Excellent story and world-building in such a short scope, with Wells doing an amazing job of depicting the point-of-view of the robot and humans around it.

What to be aware of

There isn't a lot that would put SciFi fans off this work. It's short, but so were a lot of the early masterpieces. This work definitely deserves all the accolades it won. 


Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys character-driven science-fiction stories.



Assaph has been a bibliophile since he learnt to read at the age of five, and a Romanophile ever since he first got his hands on Asterix, way back in elementary school. This exacerbated when his parents took him on a trip to Rome and Italy - he whinged horribly when they dragged him to "yet another church with baby angels on the ceiling", yet was happy to skip all day around ancient ruins and museums for Etruscan art. 

He has since been feeding his addiction for books with stories of mystery and fantasy of all kinds. A few years ago he randomly picked a copy of a Lindsay Davis' Marcus Didius Falco novel in a used book fair, and fell in love with Rome all over again, this time from the view-point of a cynical adult. His main influences in writing are Steven Saylor, Lindsey Davis, Barry Hughart and Boris Akunin. 

Assaph now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, kids, cats, and - this being Australia - assorted spiders. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he's writing - he seems to do his best writing after midnight.



Twitter: @assaphmehr