Review: All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells

MY ⭐️ RATING: 3.75/5

Format: Kindle Whispersync


A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.”
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.
But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.
On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their
Company-supplied ‘droid – a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as
“Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.


This is the first book of an at least 7 novella book series and a short story. This 156 page novella is a quick and enjoyable read with great narration by Kevin R. Free. Murderbot is great, Wells did a great job crafting this peculiar character who has some funny quirks, like binging it’s favorite TV Show in its down time and an awkwardness towards humans that made me giggle a few times, despite its awkwardness, it still wants to do its main objective, which is to protect them.

“I hate having emotions about reality; I’d much rather have them about Sanctuary Moon.”

I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to enjoy this at first, but as the story went on I started to like it more and more. About a quarter of the way through is when it really shifted for me in how I was feeling towards it. That was also when I started getting some Isaac Asimov’s, iRobot vibes from the story. With that said, the world-building was essentially non-existent and the side characters weren’t near as memorable as I would’ve liked them to be. Unfortunately, I was left wanting, but this has the makings of something good, so I still have plans to see what else is in store for Murderbot and the team, to which I sure hope to get to know more about.

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