All Systems Red
The Murderbot Diaries, Book 1
DESCRIPTION: It was supposed to be a routine security run - so the SecUnit, the half-organic humanoid machine, figured it would be boring. Not that it minded boring. Better a boring trip supervising planetary surveyors, part of the equipment rented from an interstellar exploration corporation, than another bloodbath like the one that led it to dub itself Murderbot. And since hacking its behavioral governor, freeing it from compulsory obedience to both the Company and the humans who had rented it for the mission, "Murderbot" could use its free will to stream the entertainment feeds for its favorite serials. If it did a half-baked job in the meantime, well, the scientists did opt for the cheap rental package, and humans never paid much attention to its kind anyway, considering them as disposable as any piece of equipment. But these humans aren't like the others who have rented it... and this planetary survey job is about to turn deadly serious, with sabotage and equipment failure and the sudden, suspicious disappearance of another survey team on the same world.
REVIEW: The compelling voice hooked me into this sci-fi adventure tale from the first paragraph of this compulsively readable tale. "Murderbot," a genderless and nameless being, has secured its free will, but doesn't know what to do with it other than watch entertainment shows and observe (often with distaste) the ways of humans. The dangers of the mission, and the unusual nature of its human companions (who hail from a rare non-corporate system, that views even synthetic beings as more than just disposable items), open up opportunities it never dreamed possible... but, to take advantage of them, it has to decide if it can learn how to trust - and, of course, survive. Compelling as the main character and voice were, though, they couldn't quite cover for weaknesses elsewhere; the characters tended to remain names on the page, the setting and interstellar world somewhat sketchy, and the logic behind the plot seemed a trifle wobbly when peered at closely. Still, it's a fun, if light, read.
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