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System Collapse, by Martha Wells

Review copy provided by the publisher.

There’s a lot SecUnit doesn’t want to talk about.

Unfortunately repressing trauma has a time limit even when you’re a SecUnit, a.k.a. Murderbot. And when you’re in the middle of trying to find and deal with a lost outpost of humans who are vulnerable to corporate manipulation may be the worst possible time to pretend that nothing is wrong, just when you most need to integrate your human and machine sides. “Need” and “want” are definitely, definitely not the same thing here.

This is the latest installation in its series, and I wouldn’t recommend starting here; Murderbot’s personality and relationships and backstory are all well-established from other parts of the series, and the momentum you have from those will not be the same if you try to start from scratch with this late-series entry. If you already know Murderbot well, though, watching its development to this point is very satisfying. This is the good time I was looking for.

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