Wednesday 27 November 2019

Book Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Sci-Fi)

Title: All Systems Red
Author: Martha Wells

Publication Date: 2017
Borrowed from the Library


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. 

I am not a big sci-fi reader, so I approached All Systems Red not sure what to expect. I read it for a book discussion on YouTube that will be taking place in January, and I picked it up anticipating indifference at best. However, in the end I loved it and finished reading it in one night. The character of Murderbot is so wonderfully drawn. Right from the first page you get a great sense of its personality, and I loved the blend of serious moments and humour. The rest of the cast are a little wishy-washy--we only get a basic sketch of them--but that doesn't matter since Murderbot is the principal focus. There was no hard-science talk to put me off and the story moved at a good pace. I closed the book thinking I would definitely be willing to give the rest of the series a try. Therefore, this is a five-star read for me.

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