Author: Martha Wells
Release: August 7th 2018
Received: From TOR
Thank you TOR for sending me an advanced reading copy! I received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Rogue Protocol is the third novella in the Murderbot Diaries and let me tell you, it has absolutely held up to my expectations. If you’re been humming and hawing over trying this series, please consider giving it a try, and you’re absolutely missing out!
Murderbot is the private name that the main character of the series has given itself. Other names they go by are SecUnit and Rin, as those feel more comfortable to give out to other people and bots. The series focuses on Murderbot’s escapades as a free bot, and no, it isn’t a total gore fest like the name may imply.
Have I mentioned how much I love this series? I’m sure I have in previous reviews, but I just can’t say it enough. Murderbot/Rin/SecUnit is adorable and so sympathetically quirky they’re impossible not to get attached to.
In Rogue Protocol we start seeing the Murderbot story come full circle – Murderbot has decided they want to help the humans that unwillingly helped to free them, and there’s only one way they can do that. They need hard evidence against GrayCris.
What I love about Murderbot is how exasperated they are half the time. Here they are just trying to complete these personal missions but it seems like everywhere they go there are these pesky humans in need of help and protection. And I mean, Murderbot may be a SecUnit, but they’re not a monster. So naturally they become the unwilling protector for humans. Again, and again, and again. It’s actually pretty funny and very adorable. I enjoy picturing this whole scenario as a grumpy man begrudgingly letting another stray cat into his home (and we all know he’ll eventually get attached to the cat and even name it).
It struck me about two thirds through Rogue Protocol that I was reading a novella where 80% of the characters weren’t human. I can’t think of many other series that have taken this risk. Despite the lack of humans in the novel it is still very complex and full of emotions (confusion and frustration being among them, of course). It forces us to consider what it takes for a creature to be considered sentient. I’m sure most fans have made that decision for Murderbot two books ago, but what about the rest of the bots?
Droids and bots, like humans, fill the spectrum of good to evil. There are some bots that you want to make sure get through everything okay, and then there are the ones that you’re okay with seeing Murderbot take down.
I’m always surprised by the quality of the fight scenes in this series, I don’t know why that is. Maybe because I don’t expect that many in a shorter novel? Regardless the fights are impeccably written and always succeed in fully capturing my attention.
Now that I’ve finished Rogue Protocol, and have an idea of where Murderbot is going next, I can’t wait to start reading Exit Strategy. I have no doubt that it’ll hold up to the rest of the series.