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

Write on: Wed, 11 Nov 2020 by  in Jordan's Reviews Read 2627

All Systems Red is a goddamn delight. This fast-paced science fiction novella has a captivating central character that 100% sells this book by themself. I would kill for Murderbot. Throw in some mystery, a little bit of peril, then your obligatory A.I. self-actualization themes and you have the recipe for a wildly entertaining series.


Here’s the official blurb:

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.


Here’s the thing, this novel doesn’t need any of that extra stuff to work. Either you will love all of Murderbot’s quirky anxiety or you won’t. Wells does a phenomenal job of making this android feel “human.” They are a synthetic/cybernetic creature who has managed to hack themself and become autonomous. Rather than worry about the day-to-day trivialities of their role as a security officer, they’d rather zone out and watch TV. I’m probably not doing this book the justice it deserves. But it was a lot of fun, and in fact gave me the warm and fuzzies a couple of times.

Here is the other thing, this book is like 150 pages long. If you want, you could probably read it in one sitting. The barrier for investment is low. If you like it, there are a bunch more in the series. If not, it only took you a night or two. All Systems Red has a bit of humor, a great main character, some action, and a really satisfying ending. Five stars!

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2020 21:24

Jordan Loyal Short is an author of epic fantasy, an inveterate nerd, and a small business owner. He has worked in a variety of industries, as a waiter, bartender, copywriter and more. These days, Jordan lives in Washington state with his wife where he is currently daydreaming about the end of the world. Books by Jordan Loyal Short: The Skald's Black Verse The Weeping Sigil Travels in the Dark

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