Sep 262018

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is the first book in the Murderbot diaries. Murderbot is a security unit who tells you in the first sentence that she hacked the governor system that controls her and prevents her from killing everyone. Mostly she did this so she could watch entertainment media but she also did it because the company that owns her makes a lot of incompetent decisions and she doesn’t trust them.

What is Murderbot exactly? It is a combination of cloned human flesh and mechanical parts. Technically, it is a very enhanced human with no sex drive, built-in weapons and free will as long as its governor remains inactive. It has no wish to be human as it finds most humans to be annoying. It doesn’t have much curiosity about humans because entertainment media is far more interesting.

Murderbot’s lack of interest in humanity is pretty refreshing in science-fiction. This isn’t Data or Pinocchio. Murderbot does have emotions, but they are mostly fear of socializing, a desire to be left alone and a severe craving for the stories of its favorite media, Sanctuary Moon. It enjoys security work, and prefers to keep its humans alive, but that doesn’t mean it is attached to them.  Quite honestly, Murderbot often tunes humans out so it can get back to watching shows.

In the first book, Murderbot is rented by a bunch of scientists who are surveying a planet. Mysterious things happen that threaten the lives of the humans and Murderbot does its best to protect them. The mystery is interesting and there is plenty of action. You will really feel for this deadly killing machine. I laughed out loud a bunch of times while being on the edge of my seat when Murderbot was in danger.

Let me put it this way. I downloaded a bunch of books for my flight to Orlando last week and this book was one of them. I had seven more books to read after this one, but when I finished it, I logged onto the airplane wifi just to purchase the next book. I finished the second book before the flight was over.

So yeah, I like the series a lot.

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