When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people—who knew?)
Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!
I am always up for some Murderbot because this series has brought me so many smiles during the pandemic. So, when I saw the announcement that we were gonna get another novella this summer, I was ecstatic.. and even more happy when I got the opportunity to read this arc.
What’s better than more Murderbot? Murderbot playing detective..!!! This story takes place between Exit Strategy and Network Effect, where Murderbot is still trying to figure out it’s place on Preservation Station and what it wants to do with it’s life. And in the course of it’s stay, it is given the opportunity to help out in solving a murder mystery. The first thing that comes across as soon as we start the book, is the signature humor of our protagonist – how it really would prefer not to interact with any humans, wish it could be binging it’s serial instead of helping out Station Security, and more than hoping that the murder did not have anything to it and Dr. Mensah’s shenanighans from the previous novella.
It was really so cool to see Murderbot interact with humans who did not entirely trust it and were apprehensive about the help it offered, but Murderbot was still very patient in trying to alleviate their fears and stick to their directions (even if it couldn’t stop being sarcastic about them in it’s head). And it’s even more satisfying when we get to see all the humans slowly realize that Murderbot was safe and good and could be relied upon. The mystery itself was written very well, and I truly could not guess who the culprit was. I also like how the author emphasises that Preservation Station is a truly progressive place where everyone has rights, basic needs are available for free to everyone and refugees escaping corporate slavery can find a home and safety – even if Murderbot can’t see the point of it all.
In the end, this was entertaining and fun and I loved being in Murderbot’s head again. This series has truly become a comfort for me and I hope we continue to get many more books in it. And if you are someone who hasn’t picked up this series yet, I implore you to do so because this socially anxious, depressed and serial binge watcher Murderbot will surely steal your heart. And do try the audiobooks because they are super cool.
PS: Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Books for providing me with this advance copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.