Hi and welcome to the reading world!
Today I’m going to be reviewing a sci-fi novella, All Systems Red by Martha Wells.
This is the first in The Murderbot Diaries, a series that is uniquely composed of both novellas and so far one full length novel.
All Systems Red introduces us to the SecUnit that calls itself the Murderbot. This is no ordinary SecUnit, as Murderbot has covertly hacked its governor module and is now dividing its time between watching space operas and its job protecting a group of scientists on a remote planet excursion.
Based on what I’d heard going into this novella, I was hoping for a witty narrator with a fun story. While Murderbot has its own technical terminology that took me a little to get into, the sarcasm and internal narration style worked well and genuinely got laughs out of me while I was reading.
I can sometimes struggle to get into sci-fi world systems, and I was especially worried about this given the short length. However, All Systems Red manages to accomplish world building, character development, and a fast paced plot in a concise and engaging read. The isolated setting and unknowns make it particularly compelling as Murderbot tries to keep its own secret of a hacked governor module safe while doing its job as a SecUnit in this environment.
Personally, I did think that some of the major climatic moments were a little rushed in some instances and that the ending had some elements that weren’t totally necessary for me as a set up to the series, but I think these by no means make the book any less enjoyable or engaging to read.
Overall, All Systems Red is a great introduction to a series I’ve heard incredible things about. It did take me a little to get into at the start, especially while I was trying to navigate the universe specific terms and exposition, but the story and protagonist make for a great read that’s difficult to put down. I’ve already read the other novellas currently out in this series and will be reviewing these on the blog in the future, and I’m excited to read more!
Have you read The Murderbot Diaries?
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