Audiobook Review: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

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It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.
Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.
What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

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I was gonna wait for my library ecopy of this book to arrive (where it has a couple of weeks waitlist) but I was just too moody to choose something else, and decided to pick up the audiobook instead. And that was an excellent choice because I ended up liking this much more than I thought I would.

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I didn’t think I would love Murderbot more but I surely did. It’s trying to navigate its new life, free from all obligations and trying to figure out what it wants to do. I think all the tv show binging it does is making it much more vulnerable than it wants to be, feeling sympathetic towards humans, wanting to protect them and feeling awful when it’s unable to. It’s such an endearing SecUnit construct and I love seeing it evolve now that it can make its own decisions. And the introduction of another character ART which is a much more sophisticated and powerful transport vessel was just what I needed. Their sarcastic banter is hilariously entertaining and the way Murderbot comes to rely on ART though it doesn’t want to is a bit of a treat to watch. And both of their tv show binging habits and reactions to what happens to their favorite characters is so similar to me that I just couldn’t stop smiling. I never though I would relate so much to AIs.

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Just like the first novella, the plot isn’t very important here though we do get some insight into Murderbot’s backstory which was interesting. The theme of Murderbot encountering and helping another human crew continues and the author cleverly uses these interactions to show how Murderbot is changing. We also get to know a bit more of the world and especially how interplanetary transportation works, but not much more – but I surely hope the world is expanded upon in the later books. The writing is funny and very easy to follow, and engaging enough that I didn’t wanna put it down. The audiobook narration is also perfect, and I thought the narrator did a brilliant job bringing the voice of Murderbot to life, particularly the sarcastic tone of its banter with ART.

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To conclude, I’m having a blast reading these novellas and if you wanna read some thoroughly entertaining sci-fi, you should totally pick up this series. It has a tv obsessed Murderbot which is shy, doesn’t want to but cares about humans and has anxiety and depression, and ironically is full of heart – what’s not to love.

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6 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

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    1. Exit Strategy was my favorite too 😍😍 but I just finished Network Effect yesterday and it has ART again and it was just too amazing not to be an instant favorite. I’ll probably listen to the audiobook again soon because I can’t get enough of it 😍😍😍

      Liked by 1 person

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