Book reviews / Science Fiction

Book review: Rogue Protocol

Honestly, when there are no more instalments of the Murderbot Diaries, I’m going to be so very sad. I basically want to be Murderbot’s friend at this point, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be uncomfortable with that.

So this is the third in the series after All Systems Red and Artificial Condition.  And it is still completely delightful. I missed ART and the dynamic that was created between the two bots, but nonetheless, it was great. We meet a new bot, Miki, who is much different bot than any we have met before.

I was laughing out loud at at many of the lines. For example, when Murderbot is stuck on a transport dealing with humans: “After meeting Ayres and the others, obviously my definition of hell changed.”

Or when she arrived at its destination but ends up having to help humans yet again: “If you had to take care of humans, it was better to take care of small soft ones who were nice to you and thought you were great because you kept preventing them from being murdered.”

The action really kicks off in what was suppose to be an abandoned terraforming platform. Murderbot is on its own mission but it can’t help but intervene when problems arise for the humans on the platform. It’s a really good story!

What I have enjoyed about all the Murderbot stories is that they are self-contained vignettes. There is one thing that needs to happen and it happens. Usually with sass and snarky comments. Often with a reference to Sanctuary Moon. But they are compelling – there is drama, action, Murderbot almost always on the verge of freaking out. Though, I really enjoy whenever it is totally kick ass – which happened more than once in this book.

If you’ve liked the previous two, you will ultimately like this one. I think I liked it even more than the previous ones, just because I’ve spent some time with Murderbot and just enjoy it as a character. I think there is at least one more in the series – so it’ll be interesting to see where it ends.

I think the other thing the series does well is not trying too hard. Not being too over the top. Yes, there’s lots of hacking and drones and bots and things, but they operate in a way that makes it believable. Nothing has to do too much. Nothing seems too contrived. Murderbot also learns things along the way, about itself or about the way it has been treated over the course of its life. Murderbot has some time along to have “an emotion” from time to time, especially with how Miki is treated by her companions.

I hope Murderbot learns to come to term with itself – maybe that is where this is headed. You want Murderbot to be happy, even though it doesn’t quite know how to be happy yet.

Anyway, brilliant read. I want a TV series now or something. Or just about 100 more stories.

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