I love Murderbot and I hope that I always will. What I love about these stories, beyond the immediate appeal of an outwardly misanthropic and antisocial being fighting its own feelings and personhood, is that as they go on, Wells seems to be showing that Murderbot is not just a one story kind of murder-construct (aka not that at all), but one that can play around in different genres. No one will convince me that the full-length novel was not her way of giving Murderbot a romance novel plot. And this one is a murder mystery!
This actually takes place in between the original four novellas and the novel, while Murderbot is getting acquainted with Preservation Station (and it’s getting acquainted with Murderbot). We’ve got a dead body (which Murderbot insists on calling “the dead human”), red herrings, missing refugees, malfunctioning bots, and possible betrayals. I very much enjoyed seeing Murderbot play the role of reluctant detective, which is complicated by the Station security and investigators not trusting Murderbot at all. (There’s a truly hilarious moment where Station security asks Murderbot to identify its name on the digital ID they all have, and Dr. Mensah and company are like . . . I don’t think that’s a good idea, y’all, because having a person identified publicly as “Murderbot” is not immediately comforting to anyone.)
Not bumping up to a full five stars on this one just because I really want to reserve that rating for when I have all the feelings, and this was really just more of a fun blorp (a word Murderbot uses to great effect in this novella).