Shit went down yesterday, and let's just leave it as I was super, super messed up for a large chunk of today, okay?
Regardless of my fucked-up-ness, I managed to get through the end of Artificial Condition, and man, I kinda forget just how awesome Murderbot is until I pick up the book again. Like I can wax poetic about how much I love him, but then I actually start reading, and all the little dimensions hit me like a punch to the gut and remind me that I should be reading this all the time. All. The. Time.
Love, love, love.
And I finished right before I'm leaving for a concert.
So, yeah, the plot takes Murderbot to new, even scary places. To get the knowledge about his own past that will clear up why he went on the murdering rampage that caused him to label himself Murderbot, he needs to, y'know, leave on his own. It's not something a SecUnit should be able to do, and he realizes that he will probably be discovered as rogue. It's slightly baffling as to why he didn't tell his group, who bought him and treat him as human, why he wasn't going and where he was going. Because they respect him, they would have covered for him if he was determined to go there, even if they had doubts. (Or at least that's the way they've been portrayed up until now.) But perhaps he wanted to keep his own autonomy, not need to tell them. Perhaps they would have been aggressive trying to keep him with them, especially given that he's running towards something murky, something that someone with money has tried to cover up. Perhaps he just needed to do this on his own, and screw telling humans, augmented or not, where he was going.
Regardless, the fact that he's on his own leads him to ART, Asshole Research Transport, a bot with far more power and autonomy than it should have. ART is a bit off an asshole, leaning over everyone's shoulder, especially Murderbot's, to peek at what they're doing and backseat drive all the time. And yet he cares about his crew deeply, he cares about Murderbot - perhaps somewhat less deeply as he's not as codependent on Murderbot as he is on his crew, and he's genuinely more baffled by humans than Murderbot is. All in all, I usually like the really sassy assholes, but this kind of gentle asshole makes me go 'meh.' There's something about the combination of slight d-hole and eagerness to help and slight sense of amused bafflement and strong curiosity that makes ART really endearing. He's kind of a character who doesn't work on paper when I try to explain why I love him so much and yet I do.
I found the humans most annoying, to be honest. They always did things that made it harder for Murderbot. And I think I might come to ship ART and Murderbot if that relationship comes up again, so clearly I loved them the most. No matter what happened, even if they were only slightly annoying, everyone was going to be more annoying in comparison. Still, they were pleasant enough, even in their plucky, obviously doomed determination, and I just hope Murderbot meets more sensible humans from now on!
Fun, fabulously well rounded characters, and truly spectacularly well built world, and clean, simple prose that belie the complexity of the interactions and plot and world make this series simply a joy to read.
I heard there's a Murderbot full length novel on the horizon. And I think it can't come fast enough and should 100% be an ongoing series that never ends.