Definitely my favorite of the series so far. Murderbot is slowly becoming more comfortable and confident as an autonomous unit interacting with humans, with a purpose that is becoming clearer, as well: to take down the GrayCris corporation whose actions essentially precipitated Murderbot’s discovery and subsequent flight across the galaxy. There’s a greater wistfulness, too, as Murderbot thinks of Dr Mensah, Murderbot’s ostensible “guardian” and the person most willing to see Murderbot as being invested with an inalienable personhood.
In this installment, Murderbot is intent on examining illegal proceedings on an asteroid that has since been abandoned by GrayCris. Murderbot is pretty sure there’s still incriminating evidence dumped in the memory banks of the machinery there, but the quest to recover such is seriously complicated by the presence of a reclamation team that has bought the rights to the asteroid from GrayCris. Murderbot’s skills as a security consultant quickly come into play as the reclamation team comes under attack from mysterious sources.
That isn’t the hard part for our grumpy AI, tho: the real challenge is figuring out how to deal with Miki, the reclamation team’s pet robot. Essentially a glorified baggage carrier, most robots of Miki’s design are treated like the help or worse. But Miki is treated like a friend and an essential part of the team, something Murderbot has a hard time processing.
I’ve stated in previous reviews that I’m deeply skeptical of the commercial novella format, especially when in an easily collectible series, an opinion that has only been strengthened by Tor.com’s recent decision to embargo digital library sales for the first four months after a book’s initial pub date. I am unashamed to admit that I’m one of the people without the disposable income to enjoy these books without the help of my tax dollar funded libraries, so I imagine I’ll be reviewing the final(?) Murderbot diary quite a long time from now. At this point, tho, I’m genuinely more interested in finding out what happens to e-book sales than to Murderbot. That said, at least I want Murderbot to do well.