This is the awesome seventh entry in Well’s fabulous Murderdot Diaries series, featuring our favorite AI killer robot who’s hacked its governor module to forge an independent and mostly peaceful, if puzzling, life for itself. This full-length novel goes back in time to pick up on events following the fifth in the series, Network Effect. Mruderbot’s still trying to save the Preservation humans under its protection while sorting out its own emotional humanity. And once again, Murderbot gets forced to partner with AI of the ART transport, that continues to prove a frenemy.
Murderbot’s continuing mission centers on guarding humans who are trying to locate any human settlers on a recently corporate-colonized planet who do not want to be “rescued” by the corporation only to turn them into profitable human slaves. Murderbot and crew locate a long-lost group of isolated colonists, who cannot figure out who to trust between them and the supposed rescue team sent in by the new corporate overlord. There’s also the issue of alien artifacts that have potentially been left on the planet in the vicinity of the isolated colonists.
Murderbot itself is malperforming below its SecUnit’s reliability parameters. This gets reflected in Murderbot’s evolving and continually REDACTED narration- crossing out and redacting sections it doesn’t like or trust, while still approaching the world with a sardonic outlook overlayed on candid observations and humor. Suddenly we’re delving into Murderbot’s emotions and evolving humanity, which become even sharper as its reliability stumbles.
Thanks to Tor Publishing Group and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy.