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All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)
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Archive: Other Books > All Systems Red by Martha Wells - 5 stars

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Amy N. | 256 comments All Systems Red is told from the perspective of an entity that refers to itself as 'Murderbot'. As our story begins it has already hacked its governor module, the thing that makes it follow the orders of humans and stops it from going on a killing rampage, but it actually has no interest in killing whatsoever. All it really wants to do is watch tv and not have to talk to people.

The premise was strong enough, and I probably would have enjoyed whatever the actual story turned out to be. But it dug into some deep themes (free will, personhood, anxiety) without losing the tongue-in-cheek levity evident from the first paragraph:

"I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It was well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”

At just under 150 pages, this is a pretty slim title, but not one word is wasted, so I feel like I got as much content as some novels manage to cram into twice that length. There are already two sequels with two more on the way, which makes me as happy as a Murderbot with unlimited tv access.


Cora (corareading) | 1456 comments I liked this one a lot. I just got the second one from the library today.


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