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 was the first book I started for #SciFiMonth and it was a good one! It is incredible how much impact one character can make on whether you really love or hate a book. This was the case for me in All Systems Red.
“As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”
Murderbot was one of those characters that I fell in love with from the start. This snarky, awkward, introverted robot was the main perspective for the entirety of the story and a joy to follow. I have never read a novella where I laughed out loud more than in this one. Murderbot’s dry, sarcastic humor in reference to humans and it’s outlook on life were the best moments of this book. Unfortunately, we were not able to get too much character development amongst the human team that Murderbot is striving to protect, but I do not fault the story or author for this. The author did a great job of focusing on what mattered and making me care deeply about this robot and these humans even in the short time a novella has to tell its story.
“Also, you may have noticed, I don’t care.”
To say Murderbot was the only good thing about All Systems Red would be doing it a huge disservice. There was tension and danger from the very beginning and it doesn’t let up throughout the story. The mystery behind what happened to the other team, along with the threat of the alien planet’s creatures tearing Murderbot’s team apart kept me intrigued and engaged throughout.
I love this book, I love Murderbot, and I cannot wait to continue the series with Artificial Condition.