first, some math.
i initially gave this book four
stars cats, which is my go-to reflexive response whenever i like a book, because stars are only important in navigational contexts. HOWEVER, when i (finally) sat down to write a review, i realized i loved it too much, and have tossed it an extry star cat, mostly because the interactions between miki and murderbot are puh-riceless.
…I don’t know, everything was annoying right now and I had no idea why.
Okay, Rin! Miki said. We’re friends, and friends call each other by name.
Maybe I did know why.
as murderbot (occasionally a.k.a. ‘rin’) experiences more of the world as an independent person rather than a leashed gun-for-hire, their personality has been developing into the most reluctant of heroes <— or whatever the gender-neutral version of that word is.
they’re learning how to integrate, how to pass for (heavily augmented) human, and learning alllll about the burden of emotions, loyalty, and (murderbot-shudder) teamwork.
they’re also formulating their own moral compass, and it invariably points them in the direction of saving a bunch of dumb blundering humans who would be terrified if they knew what their rescuer actually was.
this time, it’s not just dumb humans murderbot’s gotta save, but a dumb robot as well.
and it makes murderbot feel so…beleaguered.
miki is a human-form robot assistant, as carefree as a tampon ad—cheery and open and completely trusting of her human companion. murderbot is suspicious of this genuinely mutually-respectful bot-human relationship, which rankles them in a way they cannot identify, but is hundo-percent jealousy.
“What did Miki have that I wanted? I had no idea. I didn’t know what I wanted.
And yes, I know that was probably a big part of the problem right there.”
but miki is not the ditz-bot she appears to be (or she’s not just a ditz-bot) she’s also incredibly brave under all that squee, and me and murderbot both came to appreciate her eventually.
i’m so in love with this series. sure, sometimes i still get lost with all the futuristic wizardry describing how murderbot circumvents this or that tech since i can’t even figure out basic earth-stuff like time zones or leap years, but the character work is sublime and very emotionally relatable.
and that ending? shhheeeeeeeit. please excuse me. like murderbot, i need to go have an emotion in private.