In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.


“I liked the imaginary people on the entertainment feed way more than I liked real ones, but you can’t have one without the other.”


I initially was going to review Murderbot’s four novellas individually, but I found that I just couldn’t really manage it. The novellas are each a quarter of one full story. Each one leads to the events in the next book, while still managing to have a complete story, but not the complete story, within the pages of the novella. Splitting them up is just a bit cruel to me, like this should have been one book and not four novellas.

This series is just so good, and I cannot wait for the full length novel that has been announced. The novellas read quickly, though I expected that. They were fun. They introduced the start to a really interestingly built world I want to see more of. And also Murderbot itself is awesome.

Murderbot is a self-aware SecUnit that hacked its software is now a free agent. But it is just does what it was doing before, instead of killing everyone. Because Murderbot found entertainment and now wants to watch more and more entertainment shows. It is easier to just do what it was doing, being a security unit, because it is good at its job, humans are stupid and predictable, and it lets Murderbot watch more entertainment shows.

Of course, the start of this series is when someone realizes what Murderbot is (or isn’t). This is Murderbot’s journey not only to learning to accept that its life is no longer what it was, but also Murderbot figuring out what it actually wants to do with the life it has, and not just going along with the flow. Which is especially difficult since AI units aren’t free like humans are.

I just really liked these novellas. The characters, not just Murderbot itself, were fantastic. They all added a lot to the story. The world was interesting. But the real star of the show was Murderbot’s trying to figure out how to be “human”. How to walk and talk and act human. While being decided not human. It was great, and fun. The novellas added something good to my life.