Rogue Protocol – Martha Wells

“I have the worst luck with bot-driven transports.”

By this point, we’re quite clearly in an ongoing story, so not only will reading this review possibly have sort-of spoilers for the first two novellas (All Systems Red and Artificial Condition), but quite frankly those are so bloomin’ good – as is the whole story so far – that you need to stop reading this right now and go start on those!

I mean, you just inhaled them and came back, they’re that good right? Yay! 🙂

So, yes, we once again pick up with our loveable Murderbot (Mb from here), the SecUnit who managed to hack their governor module so that it could spend more time watching TV shows. After deciding the quiet life wasn’t quite what it was looking for, Mb ended up in a bit more of an adventure in the second instalment, and we pick up exactly where we left off.

It’s fair to say that Mb is still grumpy, but despite its shyness around humans it’s sort of maybe getting the hang of pretending to be one. Which is all fine and well until it meets a human-form robot, Miki, and has to deal with all sorts of unwanted emotional response to the fact that Miki is treated as… a pet? A friend?… by the humans – and the fact that Miki knows fine and well Mb is more like itself. What is a bot to do?!

There is just so much packed in to these novellas, every bit of it to love. Mb is the perfect blend of confusion and anxiety as it tries to make it on its own, while still being a lethal killing machine. Throwing in another non-human character is just *chef’s kiss* on the ongoing emotional journey, it really is.

My only complaint here is that it feels far too short. By the time we’ve had all the action and all those pesky emotions it’s pretty much all over and it’s just as well that there are more books already – including a new novella due out in just a few weeks, hurrah! 🙂

Kindle: 150 pages / 6 chapters
First published: 2018
Series: The Murderbot Diaries book 3 (of 6, with the newest due 27th April 2021)
Read from 26th-28th March 2021

My rating: 10/10

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