Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells

I very much enjoy hanging out with the highly introverted Murderbot, and actually found this installment of the series to be a little less slight than its predecessor, as Murderbot hitches a ride with an unmanned ship that turns out to be far more clever and sentient than expected. Murderbot is looking for answers, and with the help of ART, as the ship is nicknamed, Murderbot heads back to the mining planet where a massacre birthed Murderbot’s moniker. Needing a cover to get planetside, Murderbot hires out as a security consultant to a trio of somewhat naive researchers who find themselves in a standoff with a ruthless entrepreneur. Watching Murderbot protect the trio while still digging into the past — and uncovering a whole host of interesting new complications in this fascinating universe — makes for a fun, fast read that leaves you impatient for more.

And that’s part of my problem with this series so far: the fact that each installment is nowhere near a complete book. At about 150 pages each, these novellas are wildly entertaining but not, as they’re currently priced on Amazon, $9.99 worth of entertaining. Not that I begrudge the author her due, but I’m super glad for the public library and the ability to borrow this instead of having to buy. I would definitely consider buying all four novellas, once they’re completed, in a single volume, but as it is, it seems a bit of a cynical ploy for dollars. But hey, who am I to tell people how to spend their money if they like something?

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