Backlist Reader Challenge 1: Murderbot

Backlist Reader Challenge 1: Murderbot

All because of several awesome reviews, I have been itching to read Murderbot since its release back in 2017. I think this qualifies as a Backlist reader, because it’s 2019 and the series is done.

Murderbot Series
Author: Martha Wells
Buy all 4 books here

 First up: All Systems Red


The book that won a few awards, the story is in a first person point of view. It is not strictly a person, but a Security Unit (known as SecUnit). Somehow, it feels like calling itself a Murderbot. The story starts in a distant planet, where Murderbot is tasked to protect a bunch of people.

Aside from having organic and inorganic parts, Murderbot has hacked its own governor module, a program that lets a company controls its movement/ decisions. So now we have a deadly droid that is self- aware and highly paranoid.

Even though it is a hacked module, it is quite dedicated in its job. All Systems Red starts in the middle of its story. I guess one of the reasons why it is popular, Murderbot is funny (though it denies it) and the story background is creative and original.

Artificial Condition

Because of the incident in the previous book, Murderbot sneaks away and teams up, by accident, with a Research Transport Vessel. The droid had named the vessel ART, for reasons you have to read to find out. Artificial Condition becomes the bot’s journey to self- discovery, which would have been cool, if not the fact that it is a robot.

Well, despite calling itself Murderbot, it has not actually murdered anyone yet. So far it has dodged a lot of aliens and things that try to kill it, but has successfully protected the humans under its protection.

Then we go to

Rogue Protocol

Building up to a climax, Rogue Protocol is somewhat more action than entertaining. It is like James Bond has found the villain’s liar, and has to defeat the villain. This book is more about the minions that stands in Murderbot’s way, and how the poor droid has to navigate treacherous bots and aliens to achieve its goal: answers!

By book 3, our dear bot has moral dilemmas, can you imagine that? I bet it is having this bittersweet moment of “why did I hack my governor module?”. The world around it is asking some serious questions, and the answers…

Exit Strategy and end…

The Answers a revealed in the final book for the Murderbot Diaries. If bots keep diaries, I really wish they are as entertaining as this one. Having to travel cross galaxy to find itself, and then back to save its former owner/ guardian is a lot of work! There is a lot of powerful people out for its head, because that’s where the information is, and Murderbot has no intention of letting the bad guys get it.

While bots are not programmed to care, Murderbot is strangely caring. The people around it is quite incapable of looking after themselves, so it can be a little ( very) frustrating for our SecUnit to do its job.


No joke about how good the SecUnit is in protecting people. Sherlock Holmes would have been amazed at the level of paranoia this robot has. If it was human, it would have been really unhealthy to harbour such worry.

Murderbot Diaries, saving the world one galaxy at a time Share on X

Not only the series is highly original, the world building is amazingly detailed. Murderbot itself is a character worthy of a hero, even though it might argue otherwise. This series is also available in Audiobook, but I think you already know that right?

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