System Collapse

Tor.com. (The Murderbot Diaries, Bk. 7). Nov. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781250826978. $21.99. SF
As readers drop into Murderbot’s head for this seventh outing, after Fugitive Telemetry, Murderbot is having a long-running crisis of confidence. It’s Murderbot’s own system that seems to be collapsing. But its humans are in the midst of a delicate negotiation between colonial factions, with a rival corporation waiting nefariously in the wings, and Murderbot’s degraded performance is going to get its humans killed—unless it can find a way to think very far outside its box while on the run from corporate SecUnits out to eliminate them all. As with previous entries in “The Murderbot Diaries,” the story rides or dies on the cynical, snarky voice of Murderbot itself. But this time around that voice is hiding so much from itself that the story sputters a bit until the antihero pushes past its panic attack and gets its SecUnit skills firmly back online. Then it’s a race against time and corporate skullduggery to save its humans and the colonists from the consequences of their own stupidity. Again.
VERDICT Recommended for Murderbot’s legion of fans and for readers who love cynical antiheroes of all types.
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