Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

details
Title: Rogue Protocol.
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #3.
Writer(s): Martha Wells.
Publisher: Tor.com.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: August 7th, 2018.
Pages: 158.
Genre(s): Science-Fiction.
ISBN13:  9781250191786.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

Previously in The Murderbot Diaries series:
All Systems Red by Martha Wells.
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells.

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The truth can be very liberating. It can help you overcome the greatest obstacles and face your darkest nightmares without having to work twice as much to hold on to a lie. Machines with artificial intelligence aren’t spared from this very dilemma as their programming forces them into abiding by certain rules with zero flexibility. But not for Murderbot. With a hacked governor module, it is free from humans and can go on to watch its soap operas whenever it wants. In the third novella of The Murderbot Diaries, author Martha Wells continues to deliver a captivating adventure where the truth is not only sought but given if things need to get done.

What is Rogue Protocol about? Looking to take down the GrayCris Corporation, the independent SecUnit known as Murderbot is now off to find evidence that can prove their corruption without a hitch. This time around it finds itself in an abandoned GrayCris terraforming facility and makes an ally out of a bot named Miki who serves as a pet-friend to Don Abene. As it covertly follows them into this facility, it discovers that danger lurks right around the corner and if it is to survive this journey, it will have to put aside its antisocial tendencies and confront its most fundamental programming.

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These stories continue to be loads of fun without suffering from its length. In fact, this third installment turns out to be both suspenseful and action-packed while also allowing the story to maintain its introspective qualities through a main character led to pretend to be human although knowing that it’s an A.I in the end. Similar to previous volumes, Murderbot isn’t out to do any good or bad, it simply wants to be left alone with its televisions series but, unfortunately, it is continually pulled in by the strings of destiny to protect humans who constantly find themselves needing help.

What’s even more fascinating here is the various dynamics presented in this novella. The story doesn’t solely look into how Murderbot learns to become a human being or how it strives to communicate with them with the only purpose of getting away from them as soon as possible, but at how other bots form relationships with humans. With countless different robots built with various functions present within this universe, it’s fascinating to explore how Murderbot sees itself amongst this variety in its own search for an identity. Among these relationships are the featured new characters of Miki and Don Abene who showcase a very particular bond that promises cringe at first and infatuation later. Through clean and straight-forward writing, author Martha Wells thus continues to portray one of the most compelling A.I. characters in science-fiction.

Rogue Protocol is another fantastic episode centered around Murderbot and themes of free will, friendship, and justice.


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