Monday, July 13, 2020

REVIEW: Exit Strategy (novella) by Martha Wells

Exit Strategy
is the fourth work in the sci-fi Murderbot Diaries series. I bought it brand new.


Murderbot now has the evidence it wanted to give to Dr. Mensah. Unfortunately, its actions on Milu inadvertently put Dr. Mensah in danger. She's now missing and likely being held hostage by GrayCris, because GrayCris thinks Murderbot went to Milu on her orders. Oops. In order to help her, Murderbot must work together with Dr. Mensah's team and hope that this won't lead to its eventual betrayal and capture.

As usual, I wish Tor had released all of these novellas in a single volume. I'm glad I read this right after Rogue Protocol, so I didn't lose any of that story's momentum. Although Murderbot didn't dwell on the final events as much as I thought it might, at least not in a way that intruded on its thoughts too much, it was definitely helpful that all of that was fresh in my mind while I read this.

Like the previous work, Exit Strategy was more action-filled, although Murderbot did get a few media watching breaks. No interesting bot introductions this time around, although there was some fun (for me, not for Murderbot) on-page combat SecUnit action. Oh, and a friendly gunship bot pilot.

I can't say that I actively missed Pin-Lee, Gurathin, Ratthi, and the rest, but it was a relief to once again see Murderbot around humans it didn't need to hide things from. And well, I did miss Mensah - she's so good at getting Murderbot to talk about things it might not otherwise even think about. I really enjoyed Mensah and Murderbot's conversation about why The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon is Murderbot's favorite show, for example.

I was nervous about how this one was going to end, but it actually turned out really well, and I'm looking forward to reading Network Effect and seeing how the next stage of Murderbot's new life goes.

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