Narrator: Kevin Free
Series: Murderbot Diaries #1
Published by Recorded Books on October 30, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction
Length: 3 hours, 17 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
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.
All Systems Red was free from the Tor book club a few months back but when it was part of an Audible sale I jumped at getting it. I’ve seen great reviews and it won a Nebula award. There’s a good reason.
The world-building is fascinating. There are humans, enhanced humans and androids. Murderbot works for the Company that supplies them to expeditions to different planets. Various expeditions have different purposes. They may go to collect minerals / resources, or to study conditions. Murderbot and his droid counterparts are called SEC units. They provide security for the expeditions. They are weaponized to fight if needed.
Murderbot is hilarious, protective of his humans, yet does not want to interact with them. I don’t want to spoil the fun but his human expedition is not like the others. There is plenty of action and a surprising new world for Murderbot in this longish novella. My only complaint would be each one is like half a book in this Murderbot Diaries series. The next one, Artificial Condition is already available, with Rogue Protocol releasing on August 7. Without a doubt, I’ll be buying and listening to them all.
The narrator was new to me but I loved his voice for Murderbot. It had that straightforward style with lack of emotion one would expect for a droid but the words contradict this at times. He handled the dry wit perfectly with great timing and it was an excellent performance. I’m going to need the whole series on audio. I listened at my usual 1.25 speed and LOVED it.
Listen to a clip:
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2018 Audiobook Challenge
- COYER BSBB