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[Scifi+humour review] Ridiculously Introverted Murderbot vs Humanity – 1:0 All Systems Red by Martha Wells

I had heard all sorts of wonderful things about All Systems Red before I picked it up (I have a lot of Goodreads friends who know their stuff when it comes to sci-fi! Yes, I’m looking at you, Caro M.) Now I trust their recommendations even more, because this book is easily my best February read.

5 Reasons To Read All Systems Red

“Murderbot” is a jailbroken security android (cyborg? Well, you know.) Basically, SecUnits (as they’re called) function as remotely controlled synthetic human slaves, and they don’t get a say in any of what they’re doing, which is mostly murdering hostiles and getting mashed in the process. Murderbot though, a name it has sarcastically given itself (and will be henceforth referred to as ‘them’ in this review), have jailbroken themselves and would rather just watch hours and hours of sci-fi soaps than interact with humans, who actually give them anxiety fits. Murderbot is incredibly introverted, you see. But in order to not disclose:
a) having a mind
b) having free will
c) their predilection towards sci-fi soap operas,
Murderbot still has to do their job. Which is how they end up on a ship with a crew they actually don’t hate, but… on a mission nobody should be on. Hint: it’s a mission that is kind of hard to survive, and it’s clearly rigged.

Murderbot Is More Human Than The Actual Humans

Murderbot comes across as an incredibly introverted personality who is empathetic like any other human being (maybe more so?), but shy of it and trying to hide it even from their own self. Seeing them turn to face the corner when talking to humans or panic while trying not to have their fave scrunch up into a mask of despair when being spoken to was incredibly amusing – and not in a mean way. Murderbot’s shyness is SO relatable! You will love this character to bits. I know I did.

It’s Like A Doctor Who Episode With David Tennant

For any Doctor Who fans, this book is like a good episode from the Tennant days  a hostile planet pretending to be neutral, and things slowly get worse and worse and he crew has to figure out what is up. It’s just so good! My interest didn’t drop even once, while reading this. And I realized how much I miss a good Doctor Who episode from the old days. (Well… the “newer old days”!)

I thought this was topical on the whole #FEELS topic. Ha. Topic. Topical. (Don’t hit me.)

The Virtues

This book has incredibly good virtues and such an amazing moral atmosphere. And it’s presented in such a self-deprecating manner as well (Shruti, you must read this!) Murderbot is willing to throw themselves in danger to protect the ones they care about, even though they’re aware humans are not really supposed to care “back”. It’s really touching how Murderbot calls them “my humans”. I would say Murderbot is a true sci-fi knight.

Murderbot’s Gender Or Lack Thereof

Well, this is going to be hard to formulate. So, have you ever felt underrepresented? If you’re a woman, you most likely have. Because we’ve got like maybe 2 heroes who jump in and save the day. Other than that, guys always do all the saving. Murderbot though? They don’t really have a gender (and are often referred to as ‘it’ in the book, but I refuse – Murderbot has too much personality for that!) Anyway, despite probably looking like Terminator, Murderbot is not referred to as male – which is why I found myself imagining them more female than male by the middle of the book! I was surprised, but I figure it comes from wanting to see myself represented as able to do stuff, you know? And Murderbot I’d a character that lets you do that. It’s pretty great.

It’s Just So Funny!

So maybe this should have been the number one reason. This book will keep you laughing throughout the entire time you’re reading it, I mean, when you’re not having #feels. The manner it is written, and especially the manner Murderbot talks in is just priceless. I can’t wait for further installments of The Murderbot diaries!

Other Books You Might Like

I wish I could recommend you more books like that! But such gems are not common. And I would be very happy if you recommended me something similar. Meanwhile, I can only think of two books that fit the style – in terms of humor, at least. Redshirts has the same kind of “I can’t stop laughing” thing going on, and also shares some moments of poignancy by the end. It’s also impossible to put down. As for The Martian, some of the topics might be unrelated at all, but the main character is similar to Murderbot – very resourcefull, brave and has the same vein of humor in the way he talks. It’s also written in first person. I enjoyed both of these a lot!

Redshirts   The Martian

You can buy the book here at Book Depository and buying using this link supports the blog.

Have you read All Systems Red? Maybe you have some similar recommendations for me?

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

58 thoughts on “[Scifi+humour review] Ridiculously Introverted Murderbot vs Humanity – 1:0 All Systems Red by Martha Wells

  1. I enjoyed this book a lot too but the ending felt rushed, maybe because it’s a novella. The build up was great but it ended quite abruptly.

    1. You mean the very ending, where they have already left the planet and Murderbot is ‘free’? Yeah, I agree, I was also kind of sad about that bit, I… wanted them to all stay together. But I guess it ended like that because it will have sequels?

      1. Yeah that didn’t sit well with me. I wish the Murderbot had stayed with the team. I expected the team to have another adventure somewhere else in the next part. It was quite abrupt – the ending.

        1. Wait what. Rewind. How did you not read Illuminae yet??? And how did it miss this 😀 or maybe my brain was just refusing to accept it xD Six I have not heard of, but I, Robot is on my list, of course 🙂

    1. Well, I have never read those, so I can’t say, but yes, they’re probably different 😀 but yeah, there was definitely tugging at the heartstrings in this one!
      Thank you 🙂

  2. Collapsing Empire by Scalzi was also hilarious! And he managed to write one of my fave female characters of all times (Kiva Lagos) 😀

    I had all systems red on my tbr, but then i took it off during a purge. I’m gonna put it back now… 😀
    Lovely review!

    1. I didn’t get granted the ARC for Collapsing Empire, so I huffed and puffed and didn’t bother buying it xDDD (book blogger problems lol) But maybe one day 🙂 I’d love to read something else by Scalzi though, he seems to have an amazing sense of humor.
      I think you should put it back, yes 😀 this book is SO worth it!! And thank you 🙂

  3. I haven’t heard about this book. But it is no surprise as I am way too less interested in sci-fi books 😛 I love sci-fi movies but to read a sci-fi book? well, that idea overwhelms me. But yes, this book definitely sounds interesting because of that Murderbot. It is such a funny name 😀
    Oh I loved Martian. yeah the movie, because I haven’t read that either 😛
    Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages recently posted…Ten Books With Strong Social Messages That Impacted MeMy Profile

    1. Really, scifi and scary, and no urge? I thought we had half of the same Goodreads friends xD if not, you should really add Caro M., Sad Sunday, Efka and Orient from my friends. And Apatt and um… someone else I’m forgetting. You must have at least a few of these people. Because hell, they’ve SOLD me this one, and NOT ONLY this one. People have good tastes xD

      Anyway, I’m glad! I’d love to see your review. Try not to blast through this book in 5 minutes though 😀 it IS very short, and you’re a fast reader – would be a shame to just blink and have it end on you xD it’s a wonderful reading experience. I kept laughing 😀

  4. I absolutely love your title for this review!! 😀 And your reasons make this sound like a must read! And I love the Martian as well, so to hear it compared makes me really keen to check it out as well 😀

  5. Instant add to my TBR!! THIS SOUNDS SOOOOO AMAZING!!!

    Genderless cyborg, funny stuff ongoing along side bad things happening YESS I WANT IT I VOLUNTEER TO READ IT!!

    You probably all know when you read a review about a book and you already know that you would need it in your life right? This is how I feel after reading your review!! I need to see if it is translated in Bulgarian or if we have it in some bookshop so I could buy it!!

    1. Yay, I am happy 🙂 I’m sure you’d love this! If you post a review, spam me with the links! I really want to see your opinion 🙂

      I don’t know if it would be translated, but I think reading it in English is the best idea, to get the humor and everything 😀 I hope you can get it this way or another 🙂

    1. I know, that’s a very good point! But since I’m female, I could just imagine them as a her. That also means, however, that any other gender can also do the same. I think I put a stray sentence in there somewhere saying that 🙂 or maybe only meant to…

    1. Aw, thanks 🙂 yes, I think you’d really like this book, plus, it’s not a long one (it’s much too short!! T_T) I hope you like it and please please spam me with links if/when you post a review for this 🙂

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