While I was working at the election center for the 2022 mid-term elections, I had a lot of downtime during early voting, so I read 4 full and 3 half books in 2 weeks (plus did a bunch of puzzles, colored by number, journaled etc.).
For the month of December(ish), I’m going to revive my “Book of the Week” posts, in case you are looking for some holiday/vacation reading, or maybe some gifts for loved ones.
This week the book is All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries #1 by Martha Wells where an AI “SecUnit” (Security Unit) hacks their governor module and gains autonomy. However, they have to do the one thing they still hate so as to not get found out: Obey their humans.
All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries #1 by Martha Wells
“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.”Amazon Summary
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.
This book was recommended to me by multiple people and it didn’t disappoint.
OMG I couldn’t put this down. I absolutely love the narrator’s voice and how they handle the tech stuff in this series. Like, there’s enough high tech jargon to make me feel very in-world, but it’s not so complex that I am confused or bored.
The Murderbot is an incredible character. They are equally lovable and distant as an AI who’d gained autonomy should be. I totally just want to hug them (but I know they’d hate it, so I won’t). The stories are easy to follow and super compelling, though I wish they could be longer because I want more!
That’s probably my only complaint about them…they are too short! However, the world Wells has created and the simple yet relatable characters will keep me coming back for the whole series. Just enough sci-fi, just enough character building and of course, just enough murder.