TITLE: Fugitive Telemetry.
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #6.
Writer(s): Martha Wells.
FORMAT: Digital Advance Review Copy.
RELEASE DATE: April 27th 2021.
My Overall Rating:
PREVIOUSLY IN THE MURDERBOT DIARIES SERIES:
ALL SYSTEMS RED BY MARTHA WELLS.
ARTIFICIAL CONDITION BY MARTHA WELLS.
ROGUE PROTOCOL BY MARTHA WELLS.
Exit Strategy by Martha Wells.
Network Effect by Martha Wells.
Sometimes you just have to do things yourself if you want things to be done right. It is so, even if it means doing things that you just don’t ever want to do, like, publicly interacting with humans that not only remind you that you’re a construct made out of cloned human tissue, augments, depression, rage, and deadly weapons, but also a SecUnit that just wants to be left alone with its episodes of The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon instead of having to deal with the oblivious, dramatic, and vulnerable reality of human beings. With the sixth entry in The Murderbot Diaries, writer Martha Wells explores a mysterious death prior to the events in Network Effect that sends our favourite Murderbot on a mission to identify a killer.
What is Fugitive Telemetry about? Discovering a dead agent at the Preservation Station mall where Murderbot has been indulging its new boring and peaceful life alongside its new allies that it doesn’t yet dare call friends, this anomalous murder forces Murderbot’s hands into assisting the station security if it isn’t to fall for a crime it never did. While also serving as an opportunity to connect with fellow comrades, it takes it upon itself to solve this mystery and uncover the truth. While it clearly wishes it could get away from this situation and get back to its soap operas, it, unfortunately, has to figure out how and why this agent was killed, especially if it has anything to do with the evil mega-corporation known as GrayCris, the very company that Dr. Mensas and Murderbot have been trying to escape from.
“All I wanted to do was watch media and not exist.”— Martha Wells
Going all-in with her long-established ingredients for this series, writer Martha Wells doesn’t hesitate or falter to bring out the best elements of her Murderbot to keep readers hooked in this latest installment. With the additional and never-before-seen narrative hook in the form of a murder mystery set in space, she now offers fans the chance to watch Murderbot go through the traditional loops of a whodunnit with the expected brash cynicism and total disinterest in human incompetence that you’ve come to expect for this character. Although the pacing does make the mystery feel a bit drawn-out, the story is filled with entertaining moments that will satisfy avid readers of this series who are very familiar with this character’s adventures, whether it’s through the action-packed sequences filled with cinematic moments or the Murderbot’s internally-voiced breakdown of illogical reasoning by humans that constantly irritates it, especially when facing humans who dismiss SecUnits as nothing more than murder weapons.
With this sixth novella, it is also inevitable that readers will have developed a fondness for the character’s impediment, that of conveying human traits despite craving for a simpler, quieter, and far less interactive life. Like a mother insisting that their child acquaints themselves with the social world, writer Martha Wells sends this Murderbot front and center amidst other humans and bots, compared to the usual necessity for secrecy and stealth, as it tries to solve a mystery before things escalate. Its own identity continues to be a mystery in itself, although clearly showing more similarities to humans than it wants to. In fact, it still tries to understand its own place in the world, attempting to distinguish itself from bots, constructs, bot-guardians, Combatbots, and CombatUnits. Fortunately, it can’t deny any longer that being a lone wolf in this cruel world might not have as many perks as being accompanied by people who care for you.
Fugitive Telemetry is an engaging murder mystery set in space sending Murderbot into a perplexing whodunnit with a stupendous twist.