This review was first published by Booklist on April 15, 2018.
Everyone’s favorite Murderbot is back. The second installment in Wells’ Murderbot Diaries picks up where All Systems Red (2017) left off, with the series’ titular character seeking answers to its origin by traveling back to where it first went rogue to learn what really happened. Along the way, it makes friends with an intelligent research transport ship and agrees to protect a group of naive researchers whose discoveries make them a target for murder. Murderbot is one of the most delightful characters in current science fiction: a killing machine who chooses to be a good person, a robot who suffers from crippling social anxiety, a sarcastic misanthrope who really just wants to be left alone to watch TV. The relationship between Murderbot and ART (the intelligent ship) adds an entertaining The Odd Couple element to the story. Like the first book, this one is a fast, fun, exciting read, and the series keeps getting funnier. Perfect entertainment for a quiet evening. Although Artificial Condition can be read as a stand-alone, readers will prefer reading the series in order.