Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Review: 'The Murderbot Diaries: Book 2 - Artificial Condition' by Martha Wells

Cover art by Jaime Jones
'Artificial Condition' by Martha Wells continues not long after events from the first novella, 'All Systems Red', with SecUnit (aka Murderbot) now 'free' and setting off to investigate the truth behind a massacre it feels it was responsible for, and the reason it dubs itself 'Murderbot', but cannot remember the actual incident.

As with the first novella, I loved this sequel. SecUnit is still the awkward introverted cyborg that still hates dealing with humans and being in social situations, and would much rather be watching their favourite serial. But this time it grudgingly makes a friend, of sorts, the bot AI of an unmanned Research Transport, the SecUnit referring to it as ART (what the A stands for becomes very apparent in their early relationship), as it travels to a remote mining moon in search of answers.

The banter between SecUnit and ART is very funny and very human at times, and the two strike up a partnership, with ART also assisting with SecUnit's investigation. The investigation takes a twist when SecUnit takes on a contract for a group of researchers looking to try and get their research back from a scheming corporation.

The story is an exciting and thrilling read. The world building is expanded upon as we get to learn more about worlds, and the corporations that control them. The character development of SecUnit is great too, as it becomes more human like with it's emotions. And as with the first book, I'm still reading SecUnit as female, even though it's written as androgynous. I don't know why, but it just seems to fit the character in my head perfectly somehow.

It's not as action packed as the first novella, but it is tightly plotted and there's more than enough to keep you absorbed, entertained and keep you turning those pages until you finish the book, as I was. Looking forward to reading the next in the series, 'Rogue Protocol', when it's released later in the year.

Available from Amazon, Waterstones, Audible Audiobooks and all good bookstores.

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