Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah—its former owner (protector? friend?)—submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it’s caught?

Please note that this review contains spoilers for the previous books in this series. Read my review of All Systems RedArtificial Condition, and Rogue Protocol.

One of the things I love most about Exit Strategy is that the plot is all about the unintended consequences of the previous books coming home to roost. While trying to do good and find information to help Dr. Mensah, Murderbot has accidentally gotten her in trouble. After leaving Milu and returning to a larger station, Murderbot discovers that it is in all the newsfeeds as a rogue SecUnit and that Dr. Mensah has been kidnapped by GrayCris.

Circling back to one of the main themes of All Systems Red, Murderbot and Dr. Mensah are not heros. Not in the traditional sense at least. They’re merely people who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and the actions they took from that point has accidentally led them into hot water. Now Murderbot has to confront its past decisions, (unwillingly) reconnect with some old friends, and try to save Dr. Mensah.

As the climax of this narrative of the conflict between GrayCris and Preservation, there’s a lot of great action in Exit Strategy. Wells does an excellent job at bringing all the emotions and action together as Murderbot, Ratthi, Pin-Lee, and Gurathin cobble together a plan to save Dr. Mensah and get the hell off TranRollinHyfa. Even though I’ve read this novella before, the pacing of the action and character emotions is so good I always find myself worrying about whether Murderbot will make it. Which is a mark of an excellent story in my opinion.

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About the Author

Martha Wells has been an SF/F writer since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993, and her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-in fiction for Star WarsStargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, YA novels, and non-fiction. She has won a Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, two Locus Awards, and her work has appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the BSFA Award ballot, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been published in twenty languages.

You can find her at marthawells.com or on Twitter at @marthawells1.

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