Jonathan Pongratz's Reviews > Artificial Condition

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
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really liked it

Original review at Jaunts & Haunts


I gave this book four interplanetary stars!

First and foremost, I have to admit that it literally hurts to not give this book five stars, but then I wouldn’t be honest, now would I?

I quickly fell in love with the first book of this series All Systems Red and dove into this one pretty quickly too. I mean, after things ended in the first book, how could I not?

This time around, our beloved Murderbot is headed for a mining site to find out what really happened all that time ago when its clients were killed. Murderbot has to know if it killed all those people itself, or if outside forces intervened.

But that’s easier said than done. The mining site is on another planet, and what’s worse is that it doesn’t have its SecUnit armor to opague its faceplate anymore. Nope, Murderbot is going to have to blend in, and we all know how well that’s gonna go.

Can Murderbot make it to the site of its past and put things together, or will this just be an exercise in futility?

I love this book regardless of my rating. There’s just something about this series this is distinctly original and captivating that I simply must have more. I guess this series just calls to me. That being said, I did not have the perfect experience that I did with the first, so I guess the honeymoon phase is over.

That being said, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

For starters, Murderbot hasn’t changed a bit. All the great awkwardness between it and other beings is at times hilarious, riveting, and cringeworthy. I lived for all of the interactions, specifically ART. Man, that is a match made in heaven!

The concept is still as strong as the first book, maybe even more so this time around. The universe of Murderbot is clearly vast, and we get to see just a little bit more of this complex, strange universe in this installment. I did enjoy the different scenarios we got to experience. It was the polar opposite of the last book and really fleshed things out a bit more, leaving me wanting more at every step.

The writing is where I started to have conflicting feelings. The level of Wells’ skill is undeniable. That’s not in question. Where I started to have issues was actually with something I mentioned in my first review. The jargon. The technical jargon can get a little heavy in places, so much that I found myself rereading paragraphs several times. Now, this isn’t the biggest deal, but it definitely took me out of the story here and there.

Plot I also had some slightly conflicts with as well. I felt that the first novella really set a heavy, gruesome stage that had me turning those pages as fast as my heart desired, but once I got to the middle of this book, it was clearly more of a mystery.

Now, I’m not one for labels, but I was hoping for a little bit more action and intrigue as far as plot went, and I just didn’t quite get that this time. Don’t get me wrong, it was still extremely entertaining, I was just hoping for more than what it was.

In the end, this is a great follow up to the first novella. It’s still got plenty of spacy scifi action, adventure, mystery, and of course, murder (they don’t call it Murderbot for nothing!). Definitely worth a binge read!
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Reading Progress

December 29, 2019 – Shelved
December 29, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
January 11, 2020 – Started Reading
January 11, 2020 –
page 53
January 12, 2020 –
page 101
January 13, 2020 –
page 119
75.32% "The tech jargon was a bit much in this past chapter, but I do understand what happened."
January 13, 2020 –
page 137
January 13, 2020 – Finished Reading

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