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[personal profile] alobear
The latest GYWO Book Club book is All Systems Red by Martha Wells, which is subtitled "The Murderbot Diaries". The narrator is a security robot assigned to a scientific team doing a survey on a remote planet. It doesn't have a name but refers to itself as Murderbot, and the reason for that becomes clear later on in the book.

To begin with, the narrative view is very narrow, as Murderbot doesn't have much interest in its human charges, so they don't get much characterisation or page-time. I found it initially difficult to invest in the story because Murderbot is so unengaged, and none of the other characters are really in it. We don't even get much sense of the setting or what the scientists are trying to do.

Things change about half way through, with the humans and Murderbot working together much more and getting to know each other much better. This is an effective portrayal of Murderbot's changing attitudes to things, but it does mean I nearly didn't carry on with the book to get to the good bit.

Once things get complicated and messy, it's all a lot more emotional and exciting, and the last 50 pages in particular are really good. The end really tugged at my emotions, and I enjoyed the story overall, but it took far too long to get engaging, and I'm still not sure I'm invested enough to carry on with the series.

February 2019

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