Reviews for Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells

jenniereads5d722's review

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5.0

I adore this so much! I love the relationship between Murderbot and ART. I love that Murderbot just cares so much but really doesn’t want to. This is one of my favorite series and I always forget how much I love it.

brghreader's review

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adventurous funny fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

lorimcdonald's review

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adventurous lighthearted mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

novelbloglover's review

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adventurous dark emotional funny mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

 
Book Review 

Title: Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries Book 2) by Martha Wells 

Genre: Science Fiction 

Rating: 5 Stars 

The opening to Artificial Condition was interesting as we re-join Murderbot after leaving Mensah and the PreservationAux team. It has moved to a different location but is wary about being found although it has never been stopped and there is nothing in the news about it. However, it does want to put more distance between itself and the crowed human places and decides to jump on a research vessel for the next 21 cycles until it reaches its destination as it is bot driven meaning there are no humans on board. I am coming to really loved the Murderbot series and I can’t wait to see what happens to Murderbot in this novel and whether or not it will ever reunite with Mensah and the others who it did develop a genuine attachment to during the first book. 

As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel, Murderbot ends up getting on an unmanned research vessel who it calls ART. ART is smarter than Murderbot and instantly recognises what it is but doesn’t do anything about it because it is bored during these cargo trips as it wastes its processing power. For the first few hours they are together they consume the media Murderbot has downloaded and we get to see the differences between them which was interesting as ART definitely cares more for its human crews than Murderbot does. Murderbot ends up explaining to ART that it wants to go to RaviHyral, because it houses the mining facility where it went rogue and killed a lot of humans. However, Murderbot’s memory was partially wiped because of this and it wants to return in order to find out whether the murders were caused due to a malfunction or whether it did it intentionally as that will determine whether or not it trusts itself to return to PreservationAux and Mensah. ART points out that Murderbot won’t stand a chance getting onto RaviHyral because it still thinks and acts like a SecUnit and these humans unlike the others it has encountered will be familiar with SecUnits and possibly destroy it. Murderbot knows it has to undergo changes to appear more human so that it can pass as an augmented human but it doesn’t trust ART to perform these procedures especially while it is vulnerable even though ART performs surgery on humans all the time. 

As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel, I was really liking the dynamic between Murderbot and ART as it was fascinating and wildly entertaining. ART points out to Murderbot that if it wants to pass as an augmented human it needs to change its appearance as all SecUnits share the same height and weight. Murderbot doesn’t want to do this but eventually gives in where ART makes it shorter so it doesn’t match the SecUnit specifications and also changes its code so it can grow the fine hair that humans have on most of their bodies and slightly changes how Murderbot’s organic parts grow around its mechanical parts to make it seem more like an augmented human. While Murderbot isn’t happy with these changes it understands that they are necessary but as they dock in RaviHyral they face a new challenge, it seems that the area where Murderbot went rogue has been erased from the map and it is going to have to interact with humans to find out where it is. This poses its own problem as only workers or contractors are allowed on RaviHyral so Murderbot needs to get employed and ART provides it with a job listing for a security consultant and coaches it through meeting with the humans. 

As we approach the halfway mark in the novel, Murderbot meets with the humans that are looking to hire security and learns that their research data was stolen by their company which had nothing to do with their contract and they want it back. However, Murderbot is aware for the data to be stolen in the manner it was, it must mean something to the company that stole it and getting it back is going to be very dangerous, however, it is happy to have a job that is familiar to it. As they prepare to travel to the prearranging meeting point Murderbot has a bad feeling about it but is temporarily distracted by the fact that ART is armed and it wonders who actually owns ART. As Murderbot predicted they are targeted on the public transport and they almost crash but Murderbot allows ART into its head and ART lands the shuttle without incident. In the aftermath of this, Murderbot informs its clients that they need to change the meeting place because whoever arranged the meeting wants them dead and they agree. However, Murderbot is hoping that this person doesn’t bring any SecUnits with this as they will identify it as a rogue SecUnit immediately but then it gets pinged which can’t be a good sign for this group, especially since it hasn’t achieved its goal of figuring what happened when it went rogue. 

As we cross into the second half of the novel, Murderbot takes its clients to the new meeting where it spots several hostile individuals but successfully gets them out alive. They are told to come back the next day but Murderbot knows they will definitely be killed especially when they are followed while leaving. Murderbot has to incapacitate three hostiles in order to get its clients to safety and they part ways here with Murderbot promising to find them in order to receive payment but there is nothing else it can do in order for them to retrieve their data. Murderbot also believes it has found where the old mining site used to be and heads to investigate it but the second it goes below ground it loses all its connections even when the one with ART which unnerves it. Despite its protests that Murderbots do not care for each other the first thing Murderbot does is check to see if any other SecUnits were abandoned when the mine was shut down but so far it has found nothing useful only a really creepy atmosphere. 

As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel, Murderbot realises that what happened at the mining company wasn’t its fault. It turns out that a rival mining operation wanted to sabotage the one Murderbot was contracted to by infecting all the SecUnits, drones and ComfortUnits with basically a virus which caused them all to go rogue and the SecUnits where responsible for killing the humans and each other before everything was got under control. This doesn’t give Murderbot the peace of mind it was looking for and this is made worse when it realises that one of its clients is still around and planning to attend a meeting with a friend from the company to get their files back and Murderbot knows this is a trap but it can’t dissuade the human. It is also around this time Murderbot realises that there is a ComfortUnit or sexbot following him and it is under the control of the people looking to kill his clients but it discreetly asked Murderbot for help as it knows that Murderbot is a rogue, its free and I have a feeling that the sexbot wants to be free too. Despite this knowledge, Murderbot agrees to take the place of his client in the meeting to retrieve the files and I hope that nothing goes horribly wrong. 

As we cross into the final section of the novel, the meeting goes well as the files are handed over but Murderbot soon learns that its client has been taken hostage and it needs to retrieve her. The sexbot tells Murderbot it needs to insert the combat-override module in order to gain access to the shuttle and it agrees knowing that ART had already disable its data port earlier in the novel so it isn’t under their control. Once in there a fight takes place between Murderbot, the sexbot and the human guards but obviously Murderbot wins but its client is severely injured but ART is there to help. However, ART has to leave soon and it maintains its connection with Murderbot hoping that they meet again someday, with its clients safe and their data returned Murderbot is free to leave and return to PreservationAux now it has completed its mission in finding out what really happened at the mining pit but it still isn’t sure what it wants to do going forward especially since it hacked the sexbot meaning it is as free as Murderbot is and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I think Murderbot might return to PreservationAux as it knows people are looking for it and it doesn’t really want to be pursued by others and I can’t wait to experience it. 

rosebud_reading's review

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funny lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I really enjoy the humor in this series. 

eemilycolleen's review

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adventurous funny fast-paced

4.0

“i sighed again. i was having a lot of opportunities to do it, and i think i was getting good at it.” GOD the way i love an AI narrative.... instant serotonin 

brennaw's review

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adventurous dark funny mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

witbeyndmehsure's review

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adventurous funny tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

mominr's review against another edition

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4.0

Liked it better the second time. I love the introverted nature and his annoyance with humans.

delfeeny's review against another edition

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4.0

I adore Murderbot! I'm weak for a broody character who actually cares a lot. I'm enjoying to get to know it more as it claims its independence and makes "friends' along the way. ART is an amazing addition and a perfect balance for Murderbot's personality. Hopefully they team up again in the next book. I'm amazed at Wells' ability to create such interesting and endearing AIs.
Now that I'm familiar with the world and its terms, this was a much faster read for me. And I really enjoyed this mission, mixed with the overall series' arc about Murderbot's past.
Going to devour the rest of this series asap!