Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells is the second novella in the Murderbot Diaries series. I previously read, reviewed and loved the first novella, All Systems Red. I do generally recommend reading the first book before starting Artificial Condition, although Artificial Condition does a good job of reminding the reader what happened in the previous book.

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…

In this instalment, we follow Murderbot as it makes its way to the site of a severe malfunction that caused it to kill a bunch of people and after which its memory was wiped. On the way it makes a friend — who is also awesome and I hope we get to read about again — and finds some humans to temporarily guard. Also, the overarching plot thickens (but no spoilers).

I loved this book! After a stressful few weeks, getting back into Muderbot's head was exactly what I needed to relax and make me laugh. I love Murderbot. I love the voice and the sarcasm and the way it understands humans better by watching endless entertainment dramas than interacting with them directly. I also liked the different perspective on humans that we got from ART and Muderbot's take on ART's different taste in dramas. Everything I loved from the first book appears again in this one, including the exasperation at humans doing stupid things likely to get them killed.

This series is gold and if you don't hate non-human sentients they why aren't you reading it already? Hands down this is one of my favourite series ever and I foresee myself rereading it several times. (But for now I'm going to wait until all four novellas are out before I start re-reading — that way lies sadness at having to wait for future books.) I cannot wait until the next book, Rogue Protocol, comes out (due August).

5 / 5 stars

First published: May 2018, Tor.com
Series: The Murderbot Diaries book 2 of 4
Format read: ePub
Source: ARC from publisher via NetGalley with my official iBooks preorder hot on its heals. I read the purchased copy since it had the cover.

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