Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the final novella in the four-volume sequence of the Murderbot Diaries. The first volume, All Systems Red, won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novella, and those awards are well deserved. This novella wraps up the initial storyline (there is a full-length novel coming in 2020) and it is every bit as good as the first.
As always, Murderbot is a delight. In this book, it is crankier, snarkier and funnier than ever, wrestling with unwelcome emotions and finding it cannot run away from its--gasp--human friends, friends it never wanted to make but somehow ended up with anyway. This story comes full circle, bringing us back to characters from the first novella, particularly Dr. Mensah, Murderbot's initial "owner." (Along the way, we discover just why these "diaries" exist--there is a movement afoot in this universe to grant legal personhood to "constructs and high-level bots," and they want to publish Murderbot's story to bolster their case.) There are several laugh-out-loud moments, and the action scenes are tense and thrilling. It's just a very good story all the way around, and I'm down for more Murderbot as long as Martha Wells wants to write it.
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