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The Murderbot Diaries: An Exploration of 'Artificial Condition'

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐️

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells is the second book in the Murderbot Diaries series, and it is even more engaging and thrilling than the first one. In this book, Murderbot, a self-aware security unit who hacked its own governor module, decides to investigate its past and find out why it killed a group of humans in a mining incident. Along the way, it encounters a sentient transport ship that calls itself ART (short for Asshole Research Transport), and they form an unlikely friendship based on their mutual love of media and sarcasm. Murderbot also meets a group of humans who need its protection from a mysterious threat, and it has to balance its own mission with its growing attachment to them.

I really enjoyed this book because it expanded the world and the characters of the series. ART was a great addition to the story, and I loved the interactions between ART and Murderbot. They had a lot of witty banter and humorous moments, but they also showed genuine care and respect for each other. ART helped Murderbot to understand itself better and to develop more social skills, while Murderbot taught ART about empathy and loyalty through mutual love for the show - Sanctuary Moon.

The plot was also fast-paced and exciting, with plenty of action and suspense. The mystery of Murderbot's past was intriguing and revealed some surprising twists and secrets. The human characters were mostly forgettable and I wasn’t too invested in them. Murderbot getting invested, feeling attachment, figuring out and solving the issue of “The Crew” was interesting. I was hoping that ART continues the journey with Murderbot but it doesn’t seem like it.

I thought the first book in Murderbot series was just okay and was skeptical about the rating and reviews this series has received, that is until I read this book which sold me on the unique premise. The short 3.5 hours length of these books also make it quite easy to quickly read through. I’m off to the next book to see what’s next in store for Murderbot.

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