by Martha Wells
Murderbot, with the help of a transport vessel named ART, heads to the mining facility where it killed a number of humans, in hopes of learning what caused the massacre.
The pacing of this one, especially the first half, is slower than the first book in the series. Murderbot is finally alone, the way it likes to be, and on the last leg of its journey to learn what happened to cause it to name itself ‘Murderbot’. It learned to befriend other AI and, for the sake of travelling easier, how to be more human. Things pick up in the second half, when Murderbot is hired by a team of scientists who believe it to be an augmented human, not a rogue SecUnit.
Although the pacing is perhaps unbalanced, I think that it was a good follow-up to All Systems Red. It gives more insight into who Murderbot is and how it interacts with both bots and humans. It learns to accept its new appearance, have human interactions, and put down the television programs for a while. While its newfound freedom comes with limitations, Murderbot grows up a bit and uncovers something more than a product defect, reluctantly making some friends along the way.