Re-read for Bookticle Club, March 2021: what a diametric opposite to the book I am currently reading, Hurricane Season. I’ll say that I noticed two things in particular this time. I read this entire thing at a stretch very late at night, and was definitely falling asleep a bit towards the end but it had nothing to do with my enjoyment!
I will also note that this was my choice, and I had originally said we’d do a romance novel, and this is…not that.
First was that Murderbot repeats itself a few times in a way that I always first thing is a hurried writing/editing artefact. Like, it’ll say something and then repeat the same thing a little while later, and I originally remember thinking that “oh this is what happens when you release a small novella without a big production.” I think that less so now, and am more inclined to point to that as character development. Murderbot is only just learning–its reiteration that its education modules are crap, or the company buys cheap crap, is because that’s the information it has and its trying to be helpful.
The second is around the ending, so spoilers abound: [I definitely felt like I didn’t agree with Murderbot’s decision to run away from Dr. Mensah the first time I read this book. It’s twofold: one, everything Murderbot does seems so fraught with danger and Preservation Alliance seemed like the fabled Great Valley. There are giant worm like monsters and murderous SecUnits and sketchy corporations. Why wouldn’t you just go with the safe option and avoid all of that? Second, as a human with squishy parts and squishy feelings, I wanted Murderbot to stay with its found family.
So maybe it’s the pandemic speaking (I read this first during the pandemic as well, though) but it suddenly seemed very stifling for Murderbot to be entrusted to a guardian before it even had a chance to figure out what it wanted and what it was doing (and who it was). Of course it was going to run away. It went from “media and no murder, please and thank you” to “melting” when Dr. Mensah gave it agency. Of course its going to want to run away. And of course, knowing what I know now I’m glad that Murderbot had a chance to make friends away from Preservation Alliance and then came back to them later on.]