This is not my first Martha Wells book, but it is my first foray into The Murderbot Diaries, despite this being book number six.
A quick background … “Murderbot” is the name a self-aware robot has given itself, though it doesn’t refer to itself that way out loud for fear of scaring off the humans who are already pretty wary of the destructive power of the machines. Being self-aware (I’m not sure how this happened), Murderbot hacked into its own programming and is searching for the meaning of life. To that end, it just wants to be left alone to search for the answer.
In Fugitive Telemetry, Murderbot is on Preservation Station where it discovers a dead body. It must now work, voluntarily, with the station humans to discover what happened.
I’m really torn on what to make of this novella. It’s really little more than a locked room mystery set in the future, with a robot as detective. The big appeal is not so much the mystery as it is the character(s). Coming in to this as my first read in the series I definitely feel as though I’m behind, not knowing enough about Murderbot to appreciate what’s happening to it here.
I found the concept interesting and the character fun. I definitely want to go back and read the earlier books to learn more about (and hopefully appreciate) Murderbot and its situation.
I know that the series is extremely popular (Hugo winner, Nebula winner, Locus Award) and I sure don’t want to miss out on something that so many are enjoying, but as I read I couldn’t help but make comparisons to another series that I really enjoyed (the Ray Electromatic Mysteries by Adam Christopher). You can read my reviews of these books here (Made to Kill), here (Standard Hollywood Depravity), here (Killing is My Business), and here (I Only Killed Him Once). And as I couldn’t help but make the comparison, I also couldn’t help but enjoy the Ray Electromatic books more.
This is a quick and easy read – probably a one-day vacation read – and I enjoyed it. I’m very interested in reading more, but this probably wasn’t a good place to start.
Looking for a good book? Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells is a novella, the sixth book in the Murderbot Diaries series. Fans of the series won’t want to miss this novella, but new fans to the series probably should start at the beginning and not here.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Martha Wells
series: The Murderbot Diaries #6
hardcover, 168 pages