Book Review: All Systems Red
Hello Blog Universe,
This late-night edition of book reviews is brought to you by my relentless need to read.
Anywho, this time around I’m reviewing All Systems Red, the first of the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells.
I’ve heard of this book so many times from other bloggers and readers, but like all things popular, I get to them in my own time.
It wasn’t until the new year came looming about that I decided I wanted to switch things up and give this series a chance. So what did I think? Well, let’s get right into things!
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.
But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.
On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.
But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
I gave this book five interplanetary stars!
So, I have a confession to make. From the first page, I’ve absolutely fallen head over heels for this book! Sometimes a book just touches you, and this one did that and more. Why haven’t I read Martha Wells’ works before?! Ah! Okay, I’ll stop, for a moment.
This book is centered around a SecUnit that names itself Murderbot. Like most SecUnits, it is charged with protecting its clients from bodily harm while stationed on a faraway planet for survey assessments.
However, unlike most SecUnits, this Murderbot is special. It has hacked its own governor module, allowing it to ignore orders and over time, become its own person (kind of). What do you get with that?
A TV-watching robot that itches for alone time so it can watch reruns of Sanctuary Moon, of course!
Murderbot doesn’t think much of its new clients on this strange planet. That is, until a series of events unfolds that puts its clients and itself in danger. Can Murderbot and its clients figure out what is unfolding on this planet before it’s too late or will Murderbot’s anxiety around humans make this a control alt delete situation?
Man oh man, did I love this book! Let’s start with the obvious. Murderbot is freaking awesome! Cranky, bored, addicted to TV. That about sums up our first impression of Murderbot. But when push comes to shove in this novella, Murderbot becomes so much more than that. I’m not going to spoil anything, but even a self-aware robot can grow from experience.
The characters, while secondary if you ask me, were all really well thought out and believable. My favorite was Mensah, who obviously gets the most page-time out of all the human clients.
The plot was simple but ominous once the ball gets rolling, and I enjoyed the mystery aspect here. While the conclusion seemed a little anti-climactic, I still loved every minute of it. Did I mention how much I love this book yet?
As far as cons go, there is a fair amount of tech jargon that did slow me down a bit, but that didn’t deter me at all.
All in all, All Systems Red is the perfect scifi novella, filled with interplanetary danger, mystery, and action. Can’t recommend this enough!
That’s a Wrap!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!
Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!
Have a great day!
***Can’t get enough of Jaunts & Haunts? Subscribe to my Chills and Thrills Newsletter on my home page so you don’t miss a thing! Newsletter emails go out every Sunday! Also, feel free to check me out at the social media links below!***