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Murderbot wasn't programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah — its former owner (protector? friend?) — submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who's going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it's caught?

172 pages, Hardcover

First published October 2, 2018

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About the author

Martha Wells

89 books14.5k followers
Martha Wells has been a science fiction and fantasy author since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993. Her New York Times Bestselling series The Murderbot Diaries has won Nebula Awards, Hugo Awards, Locus Awards, and an American Library Association/YALSA Alex Award. Her work also includes The Books of the Raksura series, the Ile-Rien series, and several other fantasy novels, most recently Witch King (Tordotcom, 2023), as well as short fiction, non-fiction, and media tie-ins for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: The Gathering. Her work has also appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the British Science Fiction Association Award ballot, the USA Today Bestseller List, and has been translated into twenty-four languages.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,469 reviews
Profile Image for carol..
1,532 reviews7,856 followers
April 22, 2023
"I had a complex emotional reaction. A whole new burst of neural connections blossomed. Oh right, I often have complex emotional reactions which I can't easily interpret."

Murberbot continues its adventures, and exploring the learning curve of what it means to be a Murderbot. Absolutely solid balance between planning, action, and dialogue in this installment.

"It was very dramatic, like something out of a historical adventure serial. Also correct in every aspect except for all the facts, like something out of a historical adventure serial."

My nitpick--and damn if Wells wasn't the one to point it out--don't do that, authors--is that there was a part that said 'Bot can't process organics. Like no organic material in, no waste material out. Does. Not. Compute. Unless Wells' organics are plant-based, then we might have a system. This seems like a bit of chemical sophistry, as 'Bot does require some oxygen now and then.

“Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic Murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail."

Still, it had a perfect resolution--all the feels--so we'll go with five non-robotic stars. Besides, it contains on of my favorite lines (oh, shut up. ).

Re-read July 2019 with Dan 2.0. Still a fun read. Read right after Rogue Protocol, which gives a greater sense of character development.

Re-read 12-22. Murderbot = my Sanctuary Moon.


Love the 'Bot and want to join a re/read? Discuss the upcoming release? Nataliya and I lead a group:
Profile Image for Nataliya.
743 reviews11.8k followers
April 27, 2021
“I don’t want to be human.”
Dr. Mensah said, “That’s not an attitude a lot of humans are going to understand. We tend to think that because a bot or a construct looks human, its ultimate goal would be to become human.”
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
And so, my friends, we have arrived at the conclusion of Murderbot novella series - the four stories that made sure that what seems like every other word out of my mouth over the last week has been ‘Murderbot’. And this conclusion is good. Very good.
Murderbot now has enough dirt on the GrayCris corporation to make it really sting. The problem is, GrayCris is now aware of MBot’s rogue existence and abducted Dr. Mensah - the person for whom MBot feels gratitude and friendship and non-forced loyalty. Plus, they are really pissing Murderbot off, after all the carnage and the stress it just went through (). This world of ridiculous corporatization of the universe cannot keep MBot quiet and obedient.
“(Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail.)”
Murderbot gets to revisit what ART once called “its crew”, its humans from the first novella, who once again (as always) need the help of its sarcastic, grumpy, pessimistic, slightly paranoid and satisfyingly competent (regardless of how much it tries to convince us otherwise) selfless self.
“On the feed the humans settled some details of what I was designating as Operation Not Actually A Completely Terrible Plan.”

“So the plan wasn’t a clusterfuck, it was just circling the clusterfuck target zone, getting ready to come in for a landing.”
And the wonderful emotional journey to accepting and ascertaining its own personhood is not even close to ending, with all the contradictions and complexity that you can expect. Murderbot’s voice is full of disillusioned cynicism and at times anger but also love - for those who despite its resolve made it care. MB is so accustomed to being used that it’s almost lost when it sees that others actually care about it, and it’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
“Huh, why did I like Sanctuary Moon so much? I had to pull the memory from my archive, and what I saw there startled me. “It’s the first one I saw. When I hacked my governor module and picked up the entertainment feed. It made me feel like a person.”

What I love is that Murderbot never conflates personhood with humanity. Being able to pass for a human does not make it strive to be one, and it’s a refreshing concept in a world where Humanity is viewed as a crown jewel of everything, something to aspire to. No thanks, none of that for ’Bot. Murderbot is what it is, and I have utmost respect for it.
“Listening to the SecSystem’s audio, I heard a crew member in the corridor say, “I’ve never seen one out of armor. They really do look human.”
I made a gesture in that direction that I had only seen in the shows that were rated high on the obscenity scale.”

“I’d been pretending to be human off and on since I left Dr. Mensah, but this was the first time I’d had anything on me that officially labeled me as human. It was weird.
I didn’t like it.”
This has been an amazing four-novellas-long journey. It made me feel all the emotions, but overwhelming among those was happiness - because that’s what finding a really good book does.

5 stars for this one and 5 stars for the entire series.
“I still couldn’t believe this. “They want to hire a SecUnit.”
“They want to hire the person who saved their assessment team from combat bots and contract killers, and they don’t care what that person is.”

My review of the first novella, “All Systems Red” is here.
My review of the second novella, “Artificial Condition” is here.
My review of the third one, “Rogue Protocol”, is here.
My review of the fifth story (and the first full-length novel), “Network Effect”, is here.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
April 25, 2020
4+ stars, pushing 4.5. This fourth novella wraps up the initial set of the adventures of Murderbot. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Murderbot, the snarky, introverted cyborg hero of Martha Wells’ THE MURDERBOT DIARIES series, returns from its trip to Milu, the deserted terraforming facility in space. The cyborg Security Unit ― which has committed the unprecedented crime of hacking its “governor” that required it to obey orders ― was searching on Milu for additional evidence against the evil-ridden corporation GrayCris, as related in the third novella in this series, Rogue Protocol. Because of key evidence found on the Milu trip, Murderbot decides it needs to meet face-to-face with Dr. Mensah, who is technically Murderbot’s owner and possibly also its friend … though Murderbot would say it doesn’t “do” friendship.

Murderbot’s return to HaveRatton Station isn’t as straightforward or successful as it hoped. Station authorities have been alerted that there’s a rogue SecUnit on the loose, and security personnel are pulling out all the stops to capture or kill Murderbot. Worse, Mensah may be in serious trouble. News sources on HaveRatton state that she’s traveled to TranRollinHyfa, a major space station where GrayCris has its corporate headquarters, to answer GrayCris’s legal claim of corporate espionage against her. Now Mensah has disappeared and is presumably in the hands of GrayCris. Murderbot gets another chance to hone its talents at armed conflict and human rescue missions and, perhaps, at friendship as well.

Old friends and old enemies both make an appearance in Exit Strategy, the fourth novella in THE MURDERBOT DIARIES series. Murderbot continues to develop as a personality, shedding part of its deeply ingrained introversion, but still reluctant to open the door to friendship. Mensah’s understanding of Murderbot’s fears both draw Murderbot to her and make it want to run away.
That she understood even that much made me melt. I hate that this happens, it makes me feel vulnerable. Maybe that was why I had been nervous about meeting Mensah again, and not all the other dumb reasons I had come up with. I hadn’t been afraid that she wasn’t my friend, I had been afraid that she was, and what it did to me.
It (Murderbot is never assigned a gender, and probably would be appalled at the thought) still frequently criticizes human stupidity, though it doesn’t even try to pretend to itself any more that it isn’t going to do whatever it can to help out people who need its assistance. It’s all delivered up in Murderbot’s hilariously sarcastic voice.
On the feed the human settled some details of what I was designating as Operation Not Actually A Completely Terrible Plan.
The first novella in this series, All Systems Red, won both the Nebula and Hugo awards, and the following novellas in this series have maintained its engaging combination of space opera adventure and Murderbot’s unique concerns about its self-identity and choices. Cyborg SecUnits are viewed as mere property by their developers, but Dr. Mensah and others have urged Murderbot to view itself as their friend and as an individual with independent rights and freedoms. Murderbot struggles with both views, and seeing that struggle play out is one of the appealing things about this series.

THE MURDERBOT DIARIES series has been a pleasure to read. The four novellas in this series range from about 150 to 175 pages each, so they go down quickly and easily, but they have some real substance along with the excitement and mayhem. I’m delighted that Wells is now planning to publish a full-length Murderbot novel. There can never be too much Murderbot in my life!

I received a free copy of this ebook from Tor for review. Thank you so much!!
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,108 reviews2,791 followers
December 19, 2021
Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4)
by Martha Wells, Kevin R. Free (Narrator)

Murderbot "cares" now. How disgusting but it does care about Dr. Mensah, who freed it from a lifetime of slavery to its former owners. And Dr. Mensah needs its help because she's been kidnapped by GrayCris. This makes MB very mad and you do not want to make MB mad!

Three of Dr. Mensah's co-workers are trying to negotiate Dr. Mensah's release but negotiating with murderous cheating creeps never goes well so Murderbot has to take control. It's presented with many situations it's never encountered before and will make use of lines from its favorite fictional downloaded media to come up with snappy, menacing retorts. Not that it has any trouble being menacing on its own but it can use all the help it can get with pretending to be tactful to those it hates. And it hates these kidnappers. Its fictional serials, that it knows are extremely unrealistic, sometimes provide it with risky and likely to fail ideas as the action gets very fast and furious. The evil GrayCris Corporation throws everything it has at MB and it throws it right back at them.

I just love the snark and dry sense of humor of MB. It has a potty mouth on it and a mountain of brewing resentment towards those who have treated it like a piece of debris and now it cares about the humans who have treated it kindly. This story is the last of the four novellas for this series arc and it tidies things up very nicely for MB. But there is more to come, thank goodness, because I'm not ready to stop following MB around on its adventures as a free agent.

Pub October 2, 2018
Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
234 reviews3,011 followers
May 9, 2022
Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book.

3.5 stars. The same book keeps being written with a slightly different plot

I thoroughly enjoy the basic premise of The Murderbot Diaries, with a lighthearted style of writing and a unique twist on the classic tale of a sentient robot. There is some humor thrown in as well, which is always appreciated by me as a reader. However, this book now continues to get rehashed with small variations to the plot, to the detriment of this series.

The plot continues to be the poorest part of these books, and while that would be difficult given the short page length on these books, it really is quite bland. These adventures that Murderbot goes on are just blending together now, and I would challenge anyone who has read these books to explain to me the differences in the plot of each of these books (without cheating) a year+ after reading them.

I desperately wish that the plot would expand to do something really unexpected and unique, but I think I'm going to have to keep holding my breath. I do like these books, but remain frustrated as I feel like I might end up loving them with some changes to them.

Also - I would knock off the score a bit for these books based on price alone (these books are extremely short but priced as much as a full length novel), but I'm cheap and get all my books from the library. But it is worth noting for people who buy their books. You would end up paying close to $100 to buy all of these books, and when totaled up they equal the length of one long book.
Profile Image for Karl.
3,258 reviews264 followers
October 6, 2018
Ms. Martha Wells latest installment of the “Murderbot Diaries” is volume number four, reportedly the last of the ‘diaries’; this one is titled “Exit Strategy”. For those that have read any of this amazing series, already know that murerbot is not really a bot (robot) or technically a murderer. He is a highly augmented human who is gainfully employed as a security unit. He guards the lives of those who hire him.

Not only is ‘He’ highly intelligent ‘He’ is also personal and is burdened with empathy, loyalty and a love for escapism into video dramas. Ms. Wells has found her own robotic Harry Potter, in this case battling the evil corporation.

This is space opera at its finest and is capable of drawing in any of those readers who may be jaded to the outer space genre. Murderbot is likeable, relatable and self-deprecating enough to capture the imagination and will make one want to find out exactly what is around the next page.

Last July 16, 2018 it was announced by Tor.com Publishing and Senior Editor Lee Harris “(we) are proud to announce that Murderbot will return, making its full-length debut in a new novel.” Said author Martha Wells: “I’m really happy to be able to write this novel. I was hoping to be able to continue Murderbot’s story a little longer and explore more of its world, and I’m so glad to have this opportunity. I hope the readers enjoy it as much as I do.” Sadly no date has been announced as to when this book is to appear.

The series consists of:

All Systems Red (2017)
Artificial Condition (2018)
Rogue Protocol (2018)
Exit Strategy (2018)

This is a most excellent and enjoyable series. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for karen.
3,978 reviews170k followers
June 18, 2021
"So, you're a SecUnit." She made a half-shrug gesture I didn't understand. "Is that...weird?"

It was a complicated question with a simple answer. "Yes."

this novella was meant to conclude the murderbot series, and while it does tie off the story that begins in book one and ends on a satisfyingly-ambiguous note for murderbot's future; a perfectly reasonable tone for a full-series endpoint, i'm glad i read this knowing there are two more published after this (and more on the way) because i am not through murderbotting.

i do hope that mensah makes an appearance in the later books, because of how important she has been to dear murderbot on their journey to becoming their own person—a rogue murderbot burdened by their feels.

She wasn't afraid of me. And it hit me that I didn't want that to change. She had just been through a traumatic experience, and I was making it worse. Something was overwhelming me, and it wasn't the familiar wave of not-caring.

Fine, I sent. I sounded sulky, because I was sulky.

I hate emotions.

life's rich pageant, murderbot-style. keep 'em coming, ms. wells!


i am burning through these murderbot books the way we burned through our ozone layer and i fear my "wait, there's no more?" wake-up call is going to be just as devastating when it comes.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.4k followers
March 6, 2019
It was very dramatic, like something out of a historical adventure serial. Also correct in every aspect except for all the facts, like something out of a historical adventure serial.

Amazing. As always.

I’ve written a full review for the Murderbot series before, so I guess the biggest thing I have to say about this conclusion novella is that it sticks to everything it has already succeeded at. This series is… so much fun, and also one of my favorite examples of playing with tropes I’ve ever seen.

Robots-turning-human stories often utilize the trope of the robot falling in love. This is a trope we have all read before and been annoyed by before. This series? No romance. No romantic feelings. Murderbot is growing feelings, yes, but platonic feelings.

The thing I really, really, really like about these is how they play with the trope of the close-to-human-being who reads as non-neurotypical. I think often when books use or incite this trope, it’s for a side character or evil character, and it just kind of reads awful. But I personally love this trope when done well.

I think neuroatypical people are very, very used to seeing themselves in mostly villains. But more importantly, I think we are very used to seeing ourselves as outsiders - we project ourselves onto characters who are considered monstrous by the rest of the world because they don’t feel in the same way everyone else does.

That’s… me, and it has always been me. I obsess over media because it is one of the lenses through which I first saw the world. I avoid being emotional in front of other people because I have taught myself to hide my emotions. I overcommunicate and feel too much [had to get that Hayley Kiyoko reference in]. But I am also a human being, even if it’s sometimes hard for people to see me as such.
So though it may sound weird, the fact that this series writes a character who reads as somewhat non-neurotypical, but is not villainized for this, and is constantly framed as a good person trying to do their best - that means a lot to me.

Well, and also they’re really funny. It was just announced that Martha Wells is coming out with more, and I honestly cannot wait.

Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
Profile Image for Kevin Kuhn.
Author 2 books563 followers
June 3, 2020
This is novella four in the Murderbot Diaries series. It wraps up an overarching storyline but leaves plenty of possibilities to continue following the exploits of the delightful, if antisocial and introverted, Murderbot. I enjoyed the episodic structure of this series, but it does pay a price in the form of slow starts. Author Wells is forced to cover background events and some repeat worldbuilding in order to catch up new readers, or readers who have paused in between novellas.

Like “Rogue Protocol,” “Exit Strategy” takes some time to get into the action. The redeeming quality is that the stories are told in first person and Murderbot has a fun, snarky, dry sense of humor that makes the background and setup less painful than it otherwise might be. And once Murderbot arrives at the belly of the beast (GrayCris’s Headquarters), the story flies. Here Murderbot must use all it’s smarts, hacking know-how, and combat skills to rescue Dr. Mensah, a human that seems to have wiggled their way under Murderbot’s hard exterior.

I continued to enjoy watching this non-typical hero -- a part-human cyborg that would probably be classified as autistic in our culture. Author Wells is clever and consequently, so is Murderbot. So, we endup with a snarky introvert, that is a tactical and technical genius, and can kick some serious butt! While the deck is continually stacked against our hero, you’ll never doubt its ability to outsmart the enemy, but this confidence in the outcome doesn’t seem to hinder the excitement of the ride at all.

I appreciated the ending, there is somewhat of a price to pay, and there’s a clever tie-in to Murderbot’s fascination, nay - obsession with sci-fi soap opera serials on the entertainment feed. Wells has already released a full-length follow-up novel, titled “Network Effect”, that I look forward to, although after binging four Murderbot novellas, I might need a short break. I’m happy Wells went with a full novel, rather a series of smaller novella, as I was tiring from the inevitable slow starts.

Another sluggish start, but quickly turns into an action-filled romp and a fitting end to a fantastic series with a most memorable main characterbot. Four and a half stars for “Exit Strategy.”
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
849 reviews5,811 followers
May 28, 2023
I hate having emotions about real humans instead of fake ones, it just leads to stupid moments like this.

Honestly, this series not only gets better as it goes, but it also gets funnier and more heartwarming. Exit Strategy, the fourth in the Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells, is another ass-kicking good time full of sci-fi fun and…well… a lot of ass-kicking. It also brings the loose narrative arc full circle returning Murderbot to aiding Dr. Mensah and the crew from the first novella, All Systems Red, and while Murderbot will tell us ‘I was having an emotion, and I hate that,’ I, too, was having emotions and I was LOVING that. Seriously, when I heard this series about a security robot with free will and intense social anxiety (Tor dot com has a great article you can read here that makes the case for Murderbot also being an expression on autism) was rather emotional and heartwarming I had no idea how true that could possibly be. But for someone who practically as a rule avoids book series like the asshole I am, here I am 4 books down with nothing but eagerness in my heart for more. These books are SO charming and at the end of each book I say “this has been my favorite.” This once again holds true.

Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail.

An aspect of the Murderbot series I really enjoy is how much it is setting up meetings that sound like they might run afoul of trouble because even the best laid plans of murderbots and men often go awry or whatever it was Robert Burns said. And we get Murderbot’s snarky commentary the whole way, such as ‘details of what I was designating as Operation Not Actually A Completely Terrible Plan’ or ‘the plan wasn’t a clusterfuck, it was just circling the clusterfuck target zone, getting ready to come in for a landing.’ A chuckle a page this one. Wells is so good at describing action too, and in a way that Murderbot would be able to experience it using all the security cameras at once, but it really struck me reading this one just how visual the books are.

The company is like an evil vending machine, you put money in and it does what you want, unless somebody else puts more money in and tells it to stop.

I love how hard this one leans into critiques of corporations and how profit motives inevitably lead to problematic behavior. Like murder! This book perfectly falls into a plot that has been slowly brewing where now Murderbot has to go save old “friends” due to consequences of their own actions. But we get a really great look into the politics of the galaxy and some banger lines like ‘Disinformation, which is the same as lying but for some reason has a different name, is the top tactic in corporate negotiation/warfare.’ Blend this with continuing the narrative on Murderbot grappling with emotions in a way that makes this series about a robot often a series about what it means to be human despite Murderbot’s insistence ‘I don’t want to be human.

This was the first time I’d had anything on me that officially labeled me as human. It was weird.
I didn’t like it.

If you haven’t checked out Murderbot, I would highly encourage you to suit up in your sci fi armor and dive into All Systems Red. By the time you reach Exit Strategy you’ll be as hooked as Murderbot is to watching Sanctuary Moon (there is an AMAZING little bit about that in here). I love these, can’t wait to keep going!


The bad thing about having emotions is, you know, OH SHIT WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ME.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,885 reviews1,922 followers
December 19, 2021

This is the point in the series when Murderbot comes in from the cold. Nothing about this read is emotionally easy because Murderbot is so confused. Until the organic memories can be fully integrated into its systems, emotions will keep flooring it. Author Wells gets all five stars for this entry in the series because that integration is not an easy thing for Murderbot, or in fact for the organic being reading its diary.

(Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail.)
I was having an emotion, and I hate that. I’d rather have nice safe emotions about shows on the entertainment media; having them about things real-life humans said and did just led to stupid decisions like {the one Murderbot is telling us about}.
Huh, why did I like Sanctuary Moon so much? I had to pull the memory from my archive, and what I saw there startled me. “It’s the first one I saw. When I hacked my governor module and picked up the entertainment feed. It made me feel like a person.” Yeah, that last part shouldn’t have come out, but with all the security-feed monitoring I was doing, I was losing control of my output. I closed my archive. I really needed to get around to setting that one-second delay on my mouth.

Wonderful. Truly, and simply, wonderful prose, wonderful plotting, wonderful world-building, and a wonderful, satisfying character arc.
Profile Image for Beverly.
805 reviews290 followers
December 6, 2020
Exit strategies are what SecUnits do best, next to fighting. They move very quickly and think very quickly, before humans know what is going on, the SecUnit will have packed you and your bag to safety.

Murderbot has just found out that his favorite human, if it had a favorite human, has been kidnapped by the malignant corporation who tried to kill her before. Murderbot may have been the inadvertent cause of this dastardly deed. Murderbot is extremely perturbed. You don't want to upset this extremely skilled murdering robot.
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
724 reviews1,202 followers
August 6, 2018
Niki's Narrative Novella Review [Part 4/4]: I entered into this final installment a little worried. For the character, for my emotions, for that heightened expectations that comes from reaching the end of something truly fantastic and hoping the quality holds up. I was not disappointed. Exit Strategy had the perfect balance of all the amazing elements that make this series so special. Did I shed a tear at some point during this book? I can’t remember. It might have been a combination of laughing and crying, or just something in my eye. Either way, I have strong opinions about how much I’d love to see this world expanded on more. I still have a few questions, but more importantly I’d miss Murderbot too much. In an interview I read, Wells mentioned that this is the end of the story arc, but she’s already thinking about what to do with it next (yay!).

So if you need me, I’ll be in my cubicle recharging from this series and trying not to get snot on my phone. I really hate it when I leak.

...read the rest of narrative at www.NikiHawkes.com
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,606 reviews1,480 followers
February 27, 2022
Sale Alert: Kindle daily deal 27Feb22 $4.99

Re-reading right before Network Effect comes out on Tuesday 5/5. So happy to hang with Murderbot again.

Holds up well. Totally excited to jump into a new story tomorrow.

Original Review

Murderbot, so far has been un unexpected treat. I love the journey I’ve taken with the Cyborg security unit gone rogue that for the most part just wants to be left alone to watch media, but instead gets dragged into protecting the stupid humans who seem to be in danger all the time. Even more surprising is how It is starting to form bonds with said humans.
“I was having an emotion, and I hate that.”

Dr. Mensah, one of the said humans that Murderbot might care about has been kidnapped detained by GrayCris an semi evil organization. Murderbot has some information that will be detrimental to GrayCris and this could be a trap, it is probably a trap, like 99% probably a trap, but it is time to go save the person that treated Murderbot more like a real person than everyone else.
“(Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail.)”

What could go wrong. Well practically everything but that is the fun in these stories. There is always a lot of action, along with explanations that are a little MacGyver-esk in there telling. I was happy to see some of the crew from the first story and feel like in some ways we have come full circle. Murderbot, might be a little uncomfortable with things like feelings and friends but it has some of both of those now and just has to figure out what to do with them.

I love that it probably has a home now and with a full-length novel around the corner I’m looking forward to all the trouble you know it is going to get into. I do hope to see ART and of few of our other past friends in that.
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,557 reviews2,312 followers
January 18, 2021
Exit Strategy by Martha Wells is book 4 in the series. I read the first one but have listened to the rest. Since book one, I picture the unisex murderbot more female than male but in book two it seems more male.
Either way, it is certainly has more humanity than most humans. The story is peppered with humor, lots of action, adventure, corporate intrigue, and fantastic tech busting from our favorite murderbot! It is a super hacker on two artificial legs! A wild ride through the universe with one of the nicest Miller's you could know! Love it!
The narration complements the story so well! Nicely done!
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews864 followers
October 27, 2020
"I was having an emotion, and I hate that. I’d rather have nice safe emotions about shows on the entertainment media; having them about things real-life humans said and did just led to stupid decisions."

The Murderbot Diaries Wiki | Fandom

Murderbot has always been really interesting, but in Martha Wells' Exit Strategy it is also a much more well-rounded character. Once again, Murderbot finds itself protecting stupid humans when it would rather be watching one of its favorite space soap operas. These humans include some of the team that it helped in its first mission, including Dr. Mensah. Exit Strategy is very satisfying, a really fun read that you'd come to expect from the Murderbot Diaries. 4.5 stars

“(Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail.)”
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,219 reviews2,049 followers
July 13, 2019
Gosh I have enjoyed this series so much.

In Exit Strategy Murderbot gets himself into even more trouble than usual and practically the whole book is action as he escapes from seemingly impossible situations and rescues various people against all odds. As the books have gone along he has increased his capabilities with every event and by now he can apparently control whole space stations with his hacking abilities.

I suppose I should really say 'it', not he, but by now Murderbot seems practically human. He has not decided however if that is a good or bad thing. In fact we leave him at the end of this book trying to make many decisions about his future.

This was supposed to be the last book in the series but now I discover that there is a full length book being written right now so that we can enjoy more adventures of the wonderful Murderbot in 2020. I can't wait!
Profile Image for Ms. Smartarse.
590 reviews248 followers
January 5, 2023
Murderbot is excited to play mysterious saviour to the research crew from book 1... until it checks the news. Turns out, its impressive fighting from the previous book has made things quite a bit worse, and Dr. Mensah is now in serious danger.

Our lovable SecUnit is thus forced to get its hands dirty by "discarding Plan Actually Not All That Terrible and shifting to Plan Approaching Terrible". *cue Mission Impossible theme song*

Murderbot n Mensah
Click for full size

Here we have yet another awesome action-adventure story, that sees Murderbot constantly complain about its inadequacies... all while skilfully hacking its way around GrayCris' security plans. Luckily it has the computing capacity to do both simultaneously. To be fair, for a minute (or two) Murderbot does think it has met its match... but only just.

Plus the writing style finally improved enough to even have me shed a few tears. A very welcome surprise... unless of course I'm getting soft, which is not something I like to entertain (oh yeah, Muderbot and I are true soulmates).

Score: 4.4/5 stars

Hugs, hand-holding, snarky (inner) banter and awesome fight scenes... what's not to love? Normally, this is where I would come up with some clever excuse for my refusal to award a full 5-star rating... but I forgot to add a draft. So let's just assume I was my usual nitpicky self... who nevertheless got addicted enough to instantly start on the next book.

“It was an accident,” I said.
She nodded. “What part was an accident?”
“Most of the parts.”

Review of book 1: All Systems Red
Review of book 2: Artificial Condition
Review of book 3: Rogue Protocol
Review of book 4.5: Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory
Review of book 5: Network Effect
Review of book 6: Fugitive Telemetry
Profile Image for Fiona.
1,220 reviews224 followers
November 29, 2022
Take it from Murderbot - just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

By this point in the series, you're either familiar with this work, or you need to turn right back around and start at number one. It's not that each of these books doesn't stand alone - they do - but you will be missing out on a fantastic series otherwise.

It seems fitting that this is the book I end the year on, so I will. And what a relief that, though this series of shorts is finished, we have a full length Murderbot book to look forward to. This was an excellent close to an excellent series.

Edit on third reread of ??? - every time I read this series, it just gets better. SO MANY inconvenient emotions this time around.
Profile Image for Gary.
442 reviews185 followers
November 8, 2018
Everything comes full circle for Murderbot in the conclusion to Wells’ quadrilogy of novellas. The GrayCris Corporation takes Doctor Mensah hostage, believing her responsible for the difficulties Murderbot has caused them. Murderbot must affect a rescue of its friend without giving up the goods it has on GrayCris and while almost certainly walking into a trap. Wells weaves together all the elements that have made this series such a rousing success: caustic humor, lightning-paced and suspenseful storytelling, and a deeply human emotional core. The action in Exit Strategy is almost non-stop, but the true reward for readers is the completion of Murderbot’s character arc, its journey from self-serving anti-hero to selfless hero; a transition it achieves without losing the edge that made it so endearing in the first place.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,962 followers
December 3, 2018
This latest and perhaps last Diary wraps up a very interesting time for our wonderful Security Bot.

Who knew that going completely rogue, hacking his/her own programming, and calling no shots but his/her own could be so HAIRY?

Oh, wait... EVERYONE knew that. :)

I know I just got done hacking my own programming and just went through the exact same issues as our favorite Murderbot. Guilt. Emotion. Friendship. Yeah. I hate all those things, too.

But at least I have my SF soaps! Soaps make everything good.

What's next on the agenda... could it be a full novel with Art? Hmmm???
Profile Image for Melindam.
631 reviews273 followers
July 24, 2022
“(Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail.)”

“By tricky I meant I was getting an average of an 85 percent chance of failure and death, and it was only that low because my last diagnostic said my risk assessment module was wonky. (I know, that explains a lot about me.)”

Satisfaction level: 100% - Still reeling from impact!
Content level: 100%
Narration: 100%
Excitement level: 100% - still reeling from impact. WOO-HOOOOOOO!!
Happiness level on learning that there will be another novella this year: 100%
Impatience level (wanting it right now): 200%
Profile Image for Book Clubbed.
146 reviews165 followers
June 16, 2021
I have been reading this series in order over the last week, so I've spewed out the majority of my thoughts about this series. In lieu of a typical review, I'd like to note a few things I appreciate about this series as a whole.

1) The robots communicate in their feeds all the time, with no interruptions or interjections by humans. It is an entire language bubbling below the surface, as the oblivious humans wander about. Delightful, and also terrifying to think about (if we get to such a stage), for a simple human like myself.

2) The characterization of each robot, including ships, with their personalities often reflecting their functions and the amount of exposure they've had to humans or other robots. I loved the Brave Little Toaster, but this is a little more nuanced.

3) Typically, we see the humanization of AI or a robot from the perspective of the humans, as it learns how to be "good" or some other trite lesson. With Murderbot, we see the development of an unique identity, but we also see it gauge how much of that development to share with humans, balancing internal change with a carefully cultivated persona.

Stop wiping your butt and listen to full pods here.
October 30, 2020
I want the All Systems Red Murderbot back. They were much wonderfully grumpier, deliciously funnier and way more scrumptiously misanthropic than this one here.

Also, slow-paced, boring plot is slow-paced and boring.

Also also, the idea behind this series would have made a Slightly Very Cool Standalone (SVCS™) but stretching it to oblivion this way makes everything feel watered down as fish and doesn't do the very refreshing, original concept justice. At all.

But hey, I am naught but a former breeder of moderately murderous crustaceans with Despicable Book Taste (DBT™), so what do I know and stuff? (The fact that everyone and their third cousin thrice removed 💕lurves💕 this series seems to indicate I read it Super Extra Wrong—SEW™—and stuff.)

· Book 1: All Systems Red ★★★★
· Book 2: Articifial Condition ★★★★
· Book 3: Rogue Protocol ★★★
151 reviews44 followers
March 17, 2022
reread: march 17, 2022
muderbot is still KILLING IT (both figuratively and literally).

what a perfect conclusion to the arc that began with the first novella

original review: september 21, 2020
me: i would die for murderbot
murderbot, probably: NOT IF I CAN HELP IT

5 out of 5 beautiful (stressful) stars. i think this novella really cemented the fact that the murderbot diaries is my absolute favourite sci-fi series of all time.

also, the og team is back in this one so it’s DOUBLE the fun (??) times

side note: if you haven’t already, i would highly, highly recommend searching up tumblr fanart of murderbot. you won’t regret it
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,536 reviews9,771 followers
January 30, 2023
**3.5-stars rounded up**

Exit Strategy is the fourth novella in Martha Wells' beloved SF series, The Murderbot Diaries.

I have really enjoyed my time with this series so far. It's hard to believe how attached I have become to the unconventional protagonist, the antisocial SecUnit, Murderbot.

I have read all of the novellas in this series via audiobook. Part of the reason for that is because they're narrated by Kevin R. Free, who is the absolute perfect narrator for this series. He is Murderbot in my mind.

In this installment, we reunite with Murderbot, who continues on their galaxy-wide quest to find answers regarding their past, all while gathering info on the mysterious and sinister GrayCris Corporation.

After Milu, Murderbot chooses to return to HaveRatton Station, which may turn out to be a big mistake. It hopes to meet with Dr. Mensah, but it looks like Dr. Mensah may be in a bit of trouble.

Experiencing something that could be defined as a feeling ((yuck, says Murderbot)), it decides it will do what it needs to in order to help save Dr. Mensah; pairing up with some old acquaintances in the process.

I was pleased with this novella, although I feel like it didn't quite capture my attention in the same manner that the previous three have. I think for me, it felt like it wasn't quite as humorous as the earlier books.

Perhaps, that's because Murderbot didn't have the same lovable AI characters to exchange witty banter with. Yeah, that is probably it.

I am loving how Murderbot continues to evolve, as far as its relationships with humans go. I am particularly into whatever is happening with Mensah; it's quite intriguing.

The next book in the series, Network Effect, is the first full-length novel in this series, coming in at 350-pages. I am super excited to get into that one!

I highly recommend this to Readers who enjoy action-packed, lighthearted, often hilarious SF stories. Look no further, Murderbot is where it's at.

Profile Image for Craig.
4,984 reviews116 followers
July 30, 2022
This fourth Murderbot short novel ties up the storyline left hanging from the earlier books (which really do need to be read in proper sequence), and further investigates and develops the character of Murderbot, the introverted and depressed spiritual grandson of Marvin and Hal. Three laws...? We don't need any stinkin' laws! Murderbot knows who its friends are and goes to all lengths to protect them. It's a book filled with fast-paced action, but the deftly nuanced character study is the main attraction. Recommended.
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