Up next in my Murderbot reread is Artificial Condition! I definitely liked this much more than the first book. The characters and action are both better developed and the banter is absolutely next level.
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Artificial Condition
- Series: The Murderbot Diaries, #2
- Author: Martha Wells
- Publisher & Release: Tordotcom, May 2018
- Length: 160 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⚡ yes, especially the audio!
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
Artificial Condition is the follow-up to Martha Wells’s Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award-winning, New York Times bestselling All Systems Red
It has a dark past―one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.
Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.
What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…
First off, you definitely want to know what the A stands for but I’m not going to tell you 😂
“Fear is an artificial condition”
The plot: Murderbot is on a journey to find answers about it’s past. Was it responsible for all those humans deaths years before? Did the event even happen? Reluctantly teaming up with A.R.T (😂😂), a large research transport that just happens to have armaments, Murderbot does it’s best to pass as human and investigate the planet on which it’s defining moment occurred.
Yes, the giant transport bot is going to help the construct SecUnit pretend to be human. This will go well.
I think this plot was much more interesting than what happened in All Systems Red.
With a new group of suicidally stupid humans to protect (oh, Murderbot…), It once again proves to be a decent security guide as It keeps three younger scientists relatively safe after their precious data was stolen.
With more hacking, badassery, and snark, the book hard to put down
The Characters: The best part was the banter between A.R.T. and Murderbot. I could not stop laughing. Highly recommend the audiobook for this banter – Kevin R. Free is fantastic and the A.R.T. voice added SO much to the experience
Yeah well, fuck you too, I thought, and initiated a shutdown sequence
I was rooting for them so hard LOL
I think it also helped to have a face and motivation on the antagonist, the one who stole the scientists’ data and would kill to keep it.
Now that Murderbot has tasted agency and enjoys being treated as a human, ish, I think it is asking itself the hard questions about humanity (with the annoying prodding of A.R.T.) and that added a dimension to the character
The sci in the sci-fi: is super light, once again this reads more like an adventure than a Sci-Fi. There is a little more explanation of bot versus construct and a funny ish scene in a med bay that tells a bit more about Murderbot’s physiology.
A few oddities: I docked half a star because I think Wells’ SJW pushing, reads too much like typos in this particular instance. There was a “unique” family structure from one planet and one character identified as “te” – I thought it was a typo and ended up confused. One of those things just thrown in that felt forced and odd. Gotta hold up that Nebula award though, right?? My one objection to the series is what these novellas cost in ebook form – therefore I am taking my time and reading these as my Libby holds come through! This actually seems to be a common comment among Amazon reviews so I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking WHEW 10$ for a novella is – $$$
In closing – definitely check out Murderbot if you love snark, banter, action, AI ethics, and more snark
Sometimes people do things to you that you can’t do anything about. You just have to survive it and go on
-MB in a rare moment of true wisdom