Mini-Novella-Review: Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) – Martha Wells

36223860Verdict: So much fun!

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction, Novella

Published by Tor, May 2018

Find it on Goodreads.

It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

I just adore this series. I had so much reading this second book and cannot wait for the last two books to be released. Martha Wells has created a wonderfully vivid world here, with a character at its core that is brilliant, funny, and relatable – and a murderbot. Murderbot is the main draw to this series of novellas: a rogue bot who pretends to not care about anything but its soap operas, it nevertheless cannot help but help other people on its way to solve the mysteries of its past.

For a book this short, Martha Wells deals skillfully with many different things: found family, helping others, the role of society, and maybe most importantly the question of what makes somebody a person. We saw glimpses of how sexbots are treated in this world where their intellectual capacity is huge but their freedom is nil. I hope there will be more exploration of these themes in the last two books, as there is so much Martha Wells has to say on this subject.

One thing that I keep circling back to trying to review this, is an observation on myself rather than on the book. In the book it is explicitly stated that Murderbot is genderless. In the first book (I spoke about this in my review for that) I kept picturing Murderbot as female and I am not sure why that is and what that says about me. This time around I did not picture it as female and I am glad of that.

3 thoughts on “Mini-Novella-Review: Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) – Martha Wells

  1. This series is fantastic!!! I can’t believe how much Wells crams into this novella , but the story never feels rushed and nothing feels glossed over. I had a similar experience, of ending up observing myself, while reading that. I wonder if that is something to do with books about robots / AIs? that as we’re reading about a character who looks human and sort of acts human, but totally isn’t, that we can’t help reflecting on our own humanity?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoy reading the books a whole lot as well.
      I think your point of us reflecting on our own humanity definitely has some truth to it. I think for me it also has something to do with the fact that I overwhelmingly read books with female protagonists.


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