Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
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…
Murderbot needs answers, it knows it has a dark past and wants to know why the horrors happened. More importantly Murderbot wants to know whether the deaths were its fault or because of another reason. To find the answers, Murderbot needs to get to the place where the massacre happened and this is why Murderbot is on a ship travelling through space.
The spaceship transport that Murderbot is on, is an artificial intelligence that Murderbot nicknames ART, which is short for something far ruder. Murderbot does not trust ART straightaway and they definitely have a few issues when they first really meet but gradually you can see how their friendship develops and they start to trust each other. This leads to ART helping Murderbot to act and behave more human and less like a sec unit.
Once they get to their destination ART suggests that Murderbot takes a job as a security consultant for a group of humans. This way Murderbot has the perfect excuse to investigate from his past which has been hidden from the public. But as we discovered in All Systems Red, when humans need help Murderbot can’t help but help.
I really enjoyed following Murderbot’s investigation and found it rather sad at times. Murderbot clearly has feelings even though it tries to hide the fact and it is because of these feelings it wants to find out about its past. I also loved the interaction between Murderbot and ART. They don’t realise it and would both deny it if somebody pointed it out but they learn from each other and have a really good friendship.
For such a short read this book really packs a punch and I read it in one sitting. I am absolutely loving this series so far and can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Martha Wells has been an SF/F writer since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993, and her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-ins for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, YA novels, and non-fiction. She has won a Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, two Locus Awards, and her work has appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the BSFA Award ballot, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been published in eighteen languages.