Audiobook Adventures: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells (Narrated by Kevin R, Free

Copy of Book Review (56)

Spoiler Warning: This review may contain some spoilers for the first novella in the series, All Systems Red.

Hey everyone! Welcome back to Audiobook Adventures! I haven’t left it months between audiobooks this time… In fact,  having listened to All Systems Red (my review for that is here) the other week, I have blitzed through the rest of the Murderbot Diaries series over the last week.

Now, being novellas, they’re not the longest books – so saying blitzed is probably over-egging it a bit! – and with the stories being linked together, I did just roll from one book to the next, therefore, for my own sanity, I am going to review them all as one!

So what are these books about? Well, they’re about a self-aware security droid/bot (a SecUnit) that has escaped its service to ‘the company’ (with the aid of Dr. Mensah and her team of scientists from Preservation). Now it is free to travel the galaxy, watch serials (TV shows) and no longer be in charge of keeping humans safe in what is a fantastic book about the possibility the nature of sentience and artificial intelligence.

For a more specific description of each book, I’ve included their Goodreads synopsis as follows:

Artificial Condition

artificial condition

It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

Rogue Protocol

rogue protocol

The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions 

about where Dr. Mensah’s SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

 

 

Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy

Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah—its former owner (protector? friend?)—submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it’s caught?

   –      –     –     –    –     –     –     –     –     –    –    –    –     –     –

So, overall what can I say about the Murderbot Diaries, both as a collection of stories and as audio books? Well I loved them! Kevin R. Free perfectly captures the snark of Murderbot in his delivery with a great performance. As I said in my All Systems Red review, his delivery could be seen as quite dry, but it really suits the sarcastic tone of Murderbot’s thoughts.

As a character, Murderbot develops throughout each book with a very strong and distinct voice, which is an impressive feat considering the short length of the novels. And you know what is even more impressive? The variety of strong side-character that appear throughout each of these books. In a bit of an ironic turn, but pretty understandable considering the general theme of these books, is that the A.I. characters have stronger characters and voices than the humans of the story. I especially enjoyed Murderbots chats with the computer system known as ART.

One thin I would say about these novels is that there is a certain amount of repetitiveness in the plots. They all resolve somewhat around Murderbot meeting a group of humans who he decides to protect for a reason after hey encounter something that is trying to harm them. There is enough variation in setting, the humans themselves, the reasons why Murderbot has to protect them and the monster to keep things interesting though, and I still thoroughly enjoyed each story.

So would I recommend the Murderbot Diaries? Yes! They’re a great quick, action-packed, funny read that brings far more in terms of theme, character and world-building than you would expect from novellas. Oh, and there is a novel out I hear, so I’ll definitely be getting to that one! I can’t wait to hear more of my favourite snarky droid/bot.

3 thoughts on “Audiobook Adventures: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells (Narrated by Kevin R, Free

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