Friday, November 27, 2020

Review: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Title: Artificial Condition
Series: Murderbot Diaries #2
Author: Martha Wells
Source/Format: Tor ebook club; ebook
More Details: Science Fiction
Publisher/Publication Date: Tor.com; May 8, 2018

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

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…
**This review may contain mild spoilers for All Systems Red.**

It’s been a while since I last read any stories from the Murderbot Diaries, and recently I was in the mood for it. After the end of All System’s Red, I was curious to see where our favorite media obsessed SecUnit would go after its split-second and pivotal decision to go off on its own. Artificial Condition is the direct continuation, and the story starts a short time after the end of All Systems Red. I had a lot of fun reading this book. It was a fantastic sequel in so many ways, primarily for the main character. It was on a mission, a personal one, to discover the truth behind the incident that caused its memory to be purged. I enjoyed the way Wells handled the mystery aspects of the story. The lessons learned by the SecUnit were tough, and it highlighted the intricacies that often take place in complicated occurrences. It also showed that answers might not bring closure and may in fact present more questions. Along the way, it met some new characters. One of them, ART, is by far one of my favorites yet. The scenes with ART were filled with snarky sarcasm and plenty of commentary about media, which made the “Research Transport vessel” all that more endearing of a character. I hope to see it again in later stories. Artificial Condition is, so far, one of my favorite stories from this series, and I hope to read Rogue Protocol soon. 

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