I’ve been working my way through the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. I was recently able to get the fourth book, Exit Strategy (2018) from the library. It was a quick, interesting read that added to the Murderbot story. It looks like there are currently six books in the series, with more on the way. I think at this point I’m pretty committed to the series, although I do have a hard time keeping all of the books and the humans in the story straight.
So, to recap, the first book All Systems Red is where I met the Murderbot and the humans it saved from the evil company GrayCris. Dr. Mensah was the leader of the humans and became the official owner of Murderbot.
The second book (Artificial Condition) I can barely remember, but it’s where Murderbot spends a lot of time with a very smart ship used for research purposes. I know the ship helps Murderbot and they have an interesting relationship, but I can’t remember the details.
The third book (Rogue Protocal) was more recent and mentioned often in the fourth book. Murderbot goes to Misu to find more information on GrayCris and ends up hiring itself out as a security consultant. Murderbot meets a robot that has a genuine connection with its owner, which is something that is hard for Murderbot to wrap its head around.
And that brings us to Exit Strategy. Murderbot is on its way home, when it hears that Dr. Mensah is missing and/or being held for ransom at TranRollinHyfa–a space station and the corporate headquarters of GrayCris. Murderbot heads to TranRollinHyfa to help her. There, Murderbot meets up with the other humans from that first mission back in All Systems Red, and they all work together to try to save Dr. Mensah.
Murderbot is consistent in each of these novellas in that it is constantly looking to watch more space soap operas but finds itself instead using its strength and powers to protect whatever humans happen to be around. I think part of the reason these books are so popular is that we’d all like to have Murderbot around, keeping us safe. In addition, Murderbot’s awkwardness with human interaction and slow realization of its emotions is relatable in some ways.
I did enjoy this book on the whole. It’s an engaging, fast read. However, I do have problems remembering all the details about what company is doing what and who all the people are. I remember Dr. Mensah because she played such an important role in the first book, but I couldn’t remember the other characters and their interactions with Murderbot from the first book while reading this one. I know I’ve been taking pretty large breaks between books–I don’t want to binge and get tired of them. I also listened to the first book instead of reading it, which definitely makes names harder for me to remember. However, this book might have felt more meaningful if I could have remembered the first book better.
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