Murderbot, my misanthropic friend! Welcome back- back to the PAST! There had been a lot of scuttlebutt floating around telling us that this would be a novella (hooray- I think the novel format dragged the last entry down), and that it would be a prequel.
A prequel? Right after a satisfying promise of adventures with returning beloved characters? Booo!
Once again, I stand by eating my big ol’ helping of crow pie while Martha Wells proves, once again, that I should trust the author and not just strap myself in for my ideas and my own ideas ONLY! All’s well that’s written by Wells…I’ll see myself out.
Was it a prequel? Yes! But, unlike what was reported, it was a prequel set not-too-long-ago. Pre Network Effect but post Murderbot and Dr. Mensah’s return to Preservation Station following her kidnapping from earlier in the series. We aren’t thrown back into the days of pre-hack Murderbot, nor are we in the land of pre-Murderbot Mensah. We get some familiar faces, but we meet many more new folks while ol’ Muderbot helps the security team solve, well, a security issue! Who knows security better than a hacked former SecBot?
This entry is more of a “bottle episode” then say, a season premiere or finale. It’s a taught little mystery, comedy of errors, adventure in dealing with difficult people, and comment on technological slavery- both that of creations and humans.
As always, I have to recommend Kevin R. Free’s audio narration. No one else can sigh with such disdainful abandon!