All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)All Systems Red by Martha Wells
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

This is why I didn’t want to come. I’ve got four perfectly good humans here and I didn’t want them to get killed by whatever took out DeltFall. It’s not like I cared about them personally, but it would look bad on my record, and my record was already pretty terrible.

i am bad at sci-fi. i struggle with the unfamiliar; with visualizing stuff i haven’t seen and keeping track of invented proper nouns, so even though this is just a little novella, i freely confess that i got muddled with all the mentions of hoppers and and governor modules, the smooshed-up wordery of DeltFall and HubSystem and SecSystems and SecUnits. they make perfect sense as concepts, but i stumbled over them like speed bumps every time they came up in the narrative.

apart from that, i loved this story for the murderbot character, the mystery/intrigue/adventure plot, and the exciting possibilities of What Comes Next. although they are in no way similar, content-wise, my experience reading this mirrored my experience reading Mind Fuck, the first book in manna francis’ outstanding series, which is full of that brand of complicated dystopian bureaucracy and futuretech that ordinarily does nothing for me, but her characters are so vivid and compelling (and get better and better throughout the series), that the stuff i don’t usually dig just kinda melted away. murderbot’s devotion to binge-watching their favorite programs is charmingly relatable and their complicated protective-but-uneasy relationship with the humans in their charge is something i want to see more of, so i’m happy to dummy-stumble over the rest.

my plan is to binge like murderbot—i’ve started stockpiling the rest of this series so i can dive back in whenever i have the urge, and i already have a feeling i’m going to quickly burn through the existing books and catch up to the rest of the murderbot fanclub, becoming a person anxiously waiting for martha wells to supply my next murderbot fix.

i’m so glad that dennis suggested i read the so-very-enjoyable A Guide For Working Breeds, which made me feel like i maybe could love a robot (or robot-adjacent) story, thus opening this door for me.


i am beginning to understand!

review (and reading the rest of the series) to come!


finally getting on this murderbot train!! i hope i get as obsessed as y’all!

read my book reviews on goodreads

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