SFF

Fugitive Telemetry

Tor.com. (The Murderbot Diaries, Bk. 6). Apr. 2021. 176p. ISBN 9781250765376. $18.99. SF
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Preservation Station was supposed to be a low threat-assessment, but the SecUnit named Murderbot finds itself standing in front of a dead body, facing a mysterious murder. Mensah asks Murderbot to help investigate the death and find out if GrayCris was involved, even though both sides have little trust for each other. Murderbot attempts to work with Senior Officer Indah and her agents, but identifying the dead is the least of their problems. Deceptions and more deaths lead them to smuggling secrets that could expose Preservation to more problems, so of course Murderbot will have to help the humans deal with it. Except this murderer may be as smart as Murderbot, or—Murderbot would never admit—even smarter. Wells’s (Network Effect) flair for balancing Murderbot’s at-length internal monologues with its external voice and decisive actions creates a main character who is addictive.
VERDICT Back in novella form for a sixth outing, Murderbot continues to bring intelligence and acerbic commentary on humanity to the forefront.

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