Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Book Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Pros: interesting protagonist

Cons: short

Murderbot is a SecUnit made of half cloned human parts and half mechanical parts that’s hacked its governor module so it no longer has to obey commands. It’s been assigned to provide security for a small survey group looking at a new planet. But the group encounters an unknown hostile life form that wasn’t mentioned in the original survey report, which makes them wonder what else was missed - or possibly removed on purpose.

This is a 100 page novella, so it’s fairly short. That means it’s light on the world-building and character development. While you get to know Murderbot pretty well, the other characters, with the exception of Gurathin (who’s a light antagonist) and Mensah (the group leader) felt interchangeable. Having said that, Murderbot is fascinating and you really get inside its head.

The plot was interesting and quick paced. There are some tense moments, though the ending comes up so fast it didn’t feel particularly climactic (which may be due to my reading the story in 2 sittings instead of all at once).

It’s fun and entertaining and I’ll definitely read the next one.

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