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review 2019-01-05 23:46
Yaaaay!
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells

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.

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text 2019-01-02 14:43
Reading progress update: I've read 53 out of 144 pages.
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells

I felt like reading prose yesterday and couldn't settle anything. I  think I was in a pretty deep funk/depression, but I finally settled on Murderbot, whom I love, especially how asexual and grossed out by sex he is.   Combine that with his introverted qualities and his lack of desire for social anything, and I find him relatable and charming. 

 

I also feel like dealing with no one ever sometimes.

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text 2018-12-28 12:45
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Novellas of 2018!
I'll Bring You the Birds from Out of the Sky - Brian Hodge
Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand
Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke
Stirring the Sheets - Chad Lutzke
Rattus New Yorkus - Hunter Shea
Exit Strategy - Martha Wells
The Mirror of the Nameless - Leesa Wallace,Graeme Parker,Luke Walker
The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky: A Novella of Cosmic Horror - John Hornor Jacobs
Out Behind the Barn - Chad Lutzke,John Boden
October - Michael Rowe

Welcome to my Top Ten Novellas List!

 

This was a great year of reading here at CHC. I read a ton of novellas in 2018,

(as usual), and here are what I thought were the best of the best!

(These are books I read this year, They were not necessarily released this year.)

Click on the cover to read my review.

Let's get started!

 

I've adored the work of Brian Hodge for many years now, and thanks to my friend Andi, I now happily own a copy of this beautiful, dark novella. It's out of this world!

 

 I'll Bring You the Birds from Out of the Sky - Brian Hodge  

 

 

WYLDING HALL by Elizabeth Hand was a phenomenal ghost story in the perfect length. 

Just the way I like them, short, dark and creepy. 

 

Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand

 

 

Kealan Patrick Burke is one of my very favorite dark fiction authors. Sometimes in your face gritty and other times, subtle and grief ridden. In which category does BLANKY fall? You should read it and find out.

 

Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke 

 

STIRRING THE SHEETS by Chad Lutzke is a beautiful and poignant novella and I just adored it. Mark my words people, Chad Lutzke is the REAL DEAL.

 

Stirring the Sheets - Chad Lutzke 

 

RATTUS NEW YORKUS 

I love me a good creature feature and this is definitely one of the best I've read this year! 

If you're not reading Hunter Shea, you should rectify that ASAP!

 

Rattus New Yorkus - Hunter Shea 

 

I read a lot more science fiction this year, and Martha Wells' Murderbot Series is definitely part of the reason why. This, the fourth novella in the series was my absolute favorite. I think the novellas got better with each entry. (I cannot get Booklikes to locate the copy of the book I reviewed, this is the cover of the audio.)

 

Exit Strategy - Martha Wells 

 

 

I've been reading the work of Luke Walker for a few years now and it's my opinion that he deserves to be more well known. I particularly enjoyed this book which featured insane creatures running around and a world that accept them. 

 

The Mirror of the Nameless - Leesa Wallace,Graeme Parker,Luke Walker

 

THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY was a deep,  dark novella featuring gorgeous prose. It was difficult to read at times, but also beautiful.

 

The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky: A Novella of Cosmic Horror - John Hornor Jacobs 

 

Chad Lutzke appears AGAIN on my list, this time co-writing with another favorite author of mine, John Boden. A creatively told tale that takes its time to unfold. And then when it does, your heart snaps. 

Out Behind the Barn - Chad Lutzke,John Boden 

 

Lastly, one of my favorite horror authors: Michael Rowe. (One that I wish would write more in the genre.) A respected author and journalist, OCTOBER blew my mind. Maybe it could blow yours too?

 

October - Michael Rowe 

 

Thanks for staying with me this far if you're still here. I appreciate you!

I hope you'll join me again at the end of 2019.

 

 

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review 2018-12-15 19:56
ALL SYSTEMS RED by MARTHA WELLS
All Systems Red - Martha Wells

What a great book! The cover makes the look all gloomy and dark but it's actually a really funny, sweet, engaging book. I am definitely going to read the series. I definitely would recommend this book

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review 2018-12-10 23:36
Please tell me if this gets better as the series goes on???
All Systems Red - Martha Wells

 

๏ ๏ ๏  Book 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

I've seen this series all over my feeds and I thought, I might as well try it, people seem to like it.  Well...I'm afraid that I didn't love and I'm not sure I even liked it.  Maybe it was due to the overly bland voice for the narration...I just couldn't stay focused on the story for anything.  It was too easy to tune it out, unfortunately.  I did have some moments where I almost kind of liked Murderbot, though...he was developing a sense of humor at least.  I just need to know, does it get better with the next book?

 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

2.5STARS - GRADE=D+

 

 

 

 

 

 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

 

Plot⇝ 2.5/5
Main Characters⇝ 3/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 2/5
The Feels⇝ 2.5/5
Pacing⇝ 2/5
Addictiveness⇝2/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 2.7/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 2.5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 2.5/5
Originality⇝ 2/5
Ending⇝ 2.5/5 Cliffhanger⇝
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Meh...it's fine, I guess.
Narration⇝ ☆2☆ for Kevin R. Free
Series⇝ The Murderbot Diaries #1
Setting⇝ Deep Space ???
Source⇝ Audiobook (Scribd)
๏ ๏ ๏
Goodreads
Amazon
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