Saturday, September 05, 2020

Artificial Condition (Murderbot #2) - Martha Wells

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells is the second novella in the author’s “Murderbot Diaries” series. That leaves two novellas, a novel, and a short story yet for me to enjoy – and even better, something knew to look forward to because the series continues in 2021 with the addition of a fifth novella.

 

Artificial Condition picks up exactly where All Systems Red leaves off. As readers learned in that first book, our Murderbot has a heart, and despite his shyness in dealing with humans, he is fast developing a code of ethics and morality that would put many humans to shame. Strangely enough, he’s developed his moral code by watching thousands of hours of what he calls “series,” something akin to the “soaps” that are so common in our own world. He has learned all about the human condition, and he knows which side he is on, so now that he is a “free agent,” a bot not owned and controlled by a corporation or any other owner, Murderbot is on a mission to clear his reputation of a stain that really bugs him. Did he really go berserk a couple of contract-jobs ago and slaughter all the people it was his job to protect?

 

Murderbot really hopes not, but there’s only one way to find out: return to the scene of the crime to do his own investigation of what happened there. Now, all he needs to do is figure out how to get there without being arrested, or more likely, destroyed by his enemies in the process. Along the way, Murderbot manages to pick up three new clients who need a bodyguard to protect them from a former employer, and to meet ART the robotic brains behind a large research transport vehicle transporting miners and scientists from planet to planet. Let’s just say that ART and Murderbot end up making one heck of a team for the good guys.

 

Bottom Line: Martha Wells packs a lot into 158 pages, including a whole lot of fighting between the good guys and the bad guys, but the main attraction here is Murderbot. What the bot learns about himself and his past in Artificial Condition will change him forever, further advancing the way Wells is developing him over the life of the series. Murderbot is already one of my favorite fictional characters of the year, and I can’t wait to see where he goes next.


Review of All Systems Red (8-23-20)

6 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting! I've added her to my to-be-read list.

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    1. I'm still kind of surprised how much I like the first two books in the series. I'm about to request book 3 from my library.

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  2. Me, too! About how surprised how much the first two books caught and held my interest, that is. :)

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    1. I've already ordered up book three in the series, and should have it next week with any luck (Labor Day may mess that up for me, though). I really like that character a lot. I'm wondering what the novel is like, whether it will read like three novellas stitched together or not. Can't wait to finally get to that one.

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  3. I should make it my goal to read these books before the end of the year. Murderbot sounds so great.

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    1. Lots of fun, Lark. I didn't see them coming even three weeks ago. Before Jen mentioned them on her blog, I didn't even know they existed. Now, they have turned into my favorite "discovery" of the year.

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