I have the worst trouble writing reviews for books I unequivocally ★★★★★.
Probably the best review I can give this is that I immediately pre-ordered the next book, Artificial Condition.
I just loved being inside Murdebot's head. Grumpy, introverted, snarky, lazy, fighting any emotions or involvement ... anti-hero, indeed.
The worldbuilding with greedy corporations had a fond déjà vu for me of H. Beam Piper's works—but, original rather than derivative.
This had been on my radar since publisher first announced it. So glad I read it now for booklikes bookclub http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/88/tor-monthly-free-ebook-science-fiction-and-fantasy when publisher TOR offered as this month's free ebook.
The Murderbot Diaries #1: All Systems Red by Martha Wells
I recently came across several reviews of this novella that looked interesting - a shy cyborg type creature that calls its self Murderbot is addicted to TV serials (??!!!). So I picked up the "book", read a few paragraphs while waiting for husband to come to bed... and ended up finishing the novella that same night.
From the 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."
There are a dozen or so reviews of this wonderfully written story already so I won't elaborate, but I found the world building interesting and Murderbot is wonderfully characterised. It's so nice to find a story that doesn't have foul language and doesn't include everyone jumping into bed with everyone else just because. The interactions between Murderbot and its humans were skillfully written. This is an enjoyable, nicely paced science fiction mystery/adventure novella, with a light plot, an interesting main character, a decent supporting cast, and with an important message.
I'm looking forward to reading the next 3 Murderbot Diaries installments that seem to be scheduled for 2018.
The world-building in this novella was good and I liked murderbot's conflicted feelings about himself and "his humans." At times, though, I felt that the book was trying too hard with the quips and it felt a little forced. I will most likely continue with this series.
*Thanks to Tor's e-book club for the free download of this story.*