I stumbled upon All Systems Red by Martha Wells in a bookstore, recognized the author, and decided to check it out from the library based entirely on the tagline “The Murderbot Diaries.”

I mean, murderbots? I must read about them.

What is a murderbot, you might ask? Well, it’s a SecUnit, a security guard made of organic and machine parts, and a requirement for groups investigating other planets. There’s a fair degree of bureaucracy and graft involved, with systems made in the absolute cheapest way possible, so failures abound.

Murderbot is pretty bored with its work, but doesn’t have any choice so it drifts through its days, doing the bare minimum. And then the failures–those not unusual due to cheap construction issues–start piling up into quite a coincidence. If murderbot wants to keep the humans under its protection alive, it’s going to have to really try.

I loved this book. It’s funny, in the dark sort of way you’d expect from the description. Though short (144 pages), it’s packed full of action–crises and dealing with them, all heading towards a final event, so it doesn’t feel rushed or jumbled. And did I say it was funny? If the first line makes you chuckle or smile a bit, this is the book for you.

And there are three more books out already!

Has anyone read this book? What were your thoughts?

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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