This review may contain spoilers for the first Murderbot Diaries book, All Systems Red.
Since finishing the first Murderbot book, I have been very seriously itching to get my hands on book two. With my library coming through for me, I was very excited to see where Murderbot was heading to.
When we left Murderbot at the end of book one, it was on it’s way to the spaceport to get away from it’s team of friends and find out more about itself. We as readers know that at one point, Murderbot killed a few dozen humans in a mine and that resulting in it hacking it’s own governing system. But did Murderbot hack the system in order to kill the humans? Or did something go wrong and caused it to kill everyone, thus making the hack a preventative measure? This is where Murderbot’s trip back to the mine begins.
We got a few new characters in this book, the best one being ART (a sentient transport ship that Murderbot dubs, Asshole Research Transport). ART is vaguely threatening, blunt, and straight forward in a way that makes me love it as much as I love Murderbot for being the awkward, tv-loving ball of sarcasm that it is too.
I loved seeing Murderbot have another robot friend and I loved seeing both of them come to care for the new humans in the book to the point of risking their “lives” to help them. I loved the mystery of this novella and the idea that Murderbot has been the target of some shady people for longer than it may think. This book made me laugh and it got me as far away from the world as I could possibly get.
It’s come to my attention that I find Murderbot comfortingly relatable and this series is relieving anxiety in a way I didn’t think books could actually do. I feel calmer while reading and calmer after finishing. Do I know exactly why I feel this way about this books? Not really, but at this difficult part in my life, I don’t really care. However, I think it might be something similar to what Tor.com’s Anya Johanna DeNiro wrote about these books. I am not a trans woman, but I’m masculine leaning genderfluid and she makes a lot of really valid points that resonate with me.
At the end of the day, I loved Artificial Condition as much as I loved All Systems Red and as of writing this review, books 3 and 4 in the series have arrived for me at the library so I will definitely be diving into them soon.
PS. Please read this series.