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Reviews for The Murderbot Diaries

For All Systems Red

Nebula Award Winner for Best Novella, ALA/YALSA Alex Award Winner, Locus Award Winner for Best Novella, Hugo Award Winner for Best Novella, Philip K. Dick Award Finalist, New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller

I came late to these novellas, and during a difficult month this year I read almost nothing else. Murderbot's voice, a beautiful blend of exhausted cynicism and deep, helpless love, was the only thing that felt like both a match to my mood and an appropriate response to the events provoking it. Murderbot has no illusions about the way the world works and will say so blisteringly, but remains so passionately committed to the people it loves and doing what's right that I kept welling up in response. Its angry, poignant point of view, wrapped up in sharp, short bites of space adventure, is utterly addictive, and I'm genuinely delighted - as well as a little relieved - that the series' success has greenlit a full-length Murderbot novel, so that I don't yet have to bid it goodbye.
- New York Times

It's the wonder of the character - that something so alien can be so human. That everyone who has ever had to hide in a crowded room, avert their eyes from power, cocoon themselves in media for comfort or lie to survive can relate. It's powerful to see that on the page. It's moving to ride around in the head of something that is so strong and so vulnerable, so murder-y and so frightened, all at the same time.

"Wells imbued Murderbot with extraordinary humanity, and while this is a fun read, don't make the mistake of thinking it's not a profound one."
- Los Angeles Times

Nebula finalist Wells (Edge of Worlds) gives depth to a rousing but basically familiar action plot by turning it into the vehicle by which SecUnit engages with its own rigorously denied humanity. The creepy panopticon of SecUnit's multiple interfaces allows a hybrid first-person/omniscient perspective that contextualizes its experience without ever giving center stage to the humans.
- Publishers Weekly starred review

"I love Murderbot!"
- Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice

"Clever, inventive, brutal when it needs to be, and compassionate without ever being sentimental."
- Kate Elliott, author of the Spirit Walker trilogy

"Endearing, funny, action-packed, and murderous."
-Kameron Hurley, author of The Stars are Legion

"Not only a fun, fast-paced space-thriller, but also a sharp, sometimes moving character study that will resonate with introverts even if they're not lethal AI machines."
-Malka Older, author of Infomocracy

Having our hero be an apathetic, pessimistic killer android who can't stand being looked at without its helmet on and who just wants to spend its time in the comforting grip of TV might seem to some readers like an outlandish premise, but in Wells' hands, Murderbot is wonderfully relatable, very funny and a great narrator, editorial asides and all. The story is well put together and sketches out an intriguing future, but the real draw is our host, and the result is a story that builds to an unexpectedly moving climax. More Murderbot, please.
- Romantic Times Top Pick

I laughed, I giggled, and I was on the edge of my seat. The way All Systems Red was written stroke a chord with me and it left me deeply content, thankful for such a nice story. Even while writing this review and rereading all the passages I had highlighted (or rather, the PAGES), I was laughing and hurting that I couldn't quote everything or even hand this novella to everyone just like that.
- A Dragon in Space

What keeps this from being an unrelentingly grim tale of slavery and dismemberment is Murderbot itself. Murderbot might note that rending the puny humans limb from limb is well within its operational parameters, but this is a purely theoretical observation about performance capabilities. Murderbot has no desire to have its personal body count go any higher. Despite the name it calls itself, Murderbot is not very murder-ish at all. It's really quite pleasant, if you get to know it.
- James Nicoll

When its humans are attacked by something outside of the experience provided by its data banks, however, Murderbot must turn its prickly, near-omniscient mind towards not just the survival of its humans, but itself. This slim read is both surprisingly funny and packed with intriguing future worldbuilding, all the more reason to celebrate the sequel due later in the year.
- Barnes & Noble Bookseller's Picks for May 2017

Murderbot isn't interested in being told what they want, or what they ought to want. Murderbot's determination on self-determination is the thematic and emotional core of this novella. All Systems Red a really fun piece of science fiction adventure with compelling characters and great pacing. I really enjoyed it. And I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes next.
- Liz Bourke,

Sarcastic sentience, the intricacies of individuality, and the sliding scale of humanity: all are on full display in Martha Wells new novella, All Systems Red (lovingly labeled as the first installment of The Murderbot Diaries). Wells is, of course, best known for her intricate, intelligent, highly imaginative, and genre-redefining works of fantasy (The Books of the Raksura being the most recent, essential entries in her impressive, Nebula Award-nominated bibliography). It's something special to see her cut loose and dive deep into a world of spaceships, cyborgs, and corporate hostility, all communicated from the dry, awkward, matter-of-fact point-of-view of our resident Murderbot.
- Martin Cahill, Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

The inhuman but relatable to humans point of view, something that Wells has made a trademark with the Books of the Raksura series, gets a science fictional workout in All Systems Red. Here, the author goes into a deep dive into the character with a strict first person setting. Right from the get go, we are in the mind of Murderbot, relatively freshly hacked and free, struggling to juggle the questions of who it is, what it wants, and the needs of the team. There are only hints at the beginning of why Murderbot would call itself that, even as it wishes it could watch an online drama all day long, but the teasing out of Murderbot's story and why it decided to hack its governor module is part of the backbone of the backstory revealed in the novella and I would not dream of spoiling it. The novella works superbly on a character-revelation level... I grew to love Murderbot as a character and empathize with its plight and situation.
- Paul Weimer, The Skiffy and Fanty Show

The real genius of this story is that by the end we think we know MurderBot pretty well. We like it, and yet we're very aware that it isn't human and never will be.
- Rocket Stack Rack

Tense action locks in step with Murderbot's march toward owning its personhood, imbuing the android with more character than other, far larger novels ever manage to do. A tight space adventure with a deep core of humanity, All Systems Red has become one of my favorite books this year to press into the hands of my fellow SF readers.
- Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review The Best Fantasy and Science Fiction of May: 6 Top Picks

All Systems Red is simply wonderful. Wells fits so much into this story - mystery, action, thrills, and more. The story and writing are superb with great world and character building. Wells has created an iconic character with Murderbot; a character who will explore the issue of what it is to be human. I am looking forward to more Murderbot Diaries.
- The Qwillery

I already can't wait for the next one.
- The Verge

"The Murderbot series is a heart-pounding thriller that never lets up, but it's also one of the most humane portraits of a nonhuman I've ever read. Come for the gunfights on other planets, but stay for the finely drawn portrait of a deadly robot whose smartass goodness will give you hope for the future of humanity."
- Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous

A great kick-off for a continuing series.
- Locus

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