Book Review: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells


Title: Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2)

Author: Martha Wells

Release date: May 8, 2018

I recently read (and loved) book one of Martha Wells’ ‘The Murderbot Diaries’ titled ‘All Systems Red.’ In the series opener we’re introduced to Murderbot, an augmented human security being who has hacked their own governor model and walks the line between letting their personality show while remaining as machine-like as possible.

I couldn’t wait to dive into book two.

Saying that – this is a hard sequel, meaning you most definitely need to have read book one to know what is going on and as such, while I still remain as spoiler proof as possible – this review will allude to events in book one that may be a spoiler. I suggest you don’t read this review unless you’ve read book one.

What I liked: Where book one followed our Murderbot grappling with their feelings towards the crew they were purchased to protect, book two picks up following the events of book one and we see our sarcastic bot heading towards the scene of their own personal turmoil. Boarding a ship by hacking the security system and interacting with the mechanical beings that make up the various programs of each ship, before ending up in a cargo style ship.

It’s here that Murderbot strikes up a tentative friendship with the program that controls the ship, dubbed ART.

Wells does a great job of having these two characters develop a friendship and when Murderbot shares their reason for heading to their destination, ART becomes a partner/aide to help our bot get to the end goal.

Wells writes with such an ease that the story whips by, aided by the quick wit and sarcastic nature of our main character.

This entry really summed up how much Murderbot craves companionship, even if they are dead set on remaining as far away of being human as possible.

What I didn’t like: While the main aspect of this story is Murderbot and ART becoming friends, I found it was a bit of a slow slog near the start as we get to see them tentatively interact and ensure neither are there to hurt the other.

Why you should buy this: If you loved book one you’ll love book two. Wells has crafted a truly classic character and I really can’t wait to see what happens next. I’ll be starting book three soon and it looks like book six is about to be released. If you love sci-fi/horror and witty banter, this is a perfect series for you to discover.


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