All Systems Red Book Reviews

Martha Wells

All Systems Red by Martha Wells Book Summary

A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller
Winner: 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Alex Award
Winner: 2018 Locus Award
One of the Verge's Best Books of 2017

A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

The Murderbot Diaries
All Systems Red
Artificial Condition
Rogue Protocol
Exit Strategy
Network Effect
Fugitive Telemetry
System Collapse

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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Book Name All Systems Red
Genre Adventure
Language English
E-Book Size 2.29 MB

All Systems Red (Martha Wells) Book Reviews 2023

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Ending threw me off. Awesome book. Wish the ending was different.

Same, Murderbot, same.... I never thought I’d relate to a sentient murder machine, but here we are.... All Systems Red is the first novella in Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries, and I’m so so happy to have found this series. This book has a very fun and original plot, all told by Murderbot itself. And sprinkled throughout the plot is the moral dilemma of a servant robot that has human-like consciousness. Is it slavery or does Murderbot lack any inherent value as a free being? It’s a sentient robot (part organic, part nonorganic) whose experiences with depression, insecurity, boredom, and various other complicated emotions lead it to ease its mind by binge-watching its favorite human TV shows. Sounds pretty human to me. All Systems Red has a fun and engaging story, enjoyable characters, good world-building, and mixed into all of that is a moral struggle with Murderbot’s personhood. Reading the whole story from its perspective makes it all the more compelling and funny.

INCREDIBLE. From start to finish this was such a unique, interesting story that really makes you want to keep going! Can’t wait to keep reading the next books!

Wish There Were More Good Novellas. This popped on my radar when I heard it won the Hugo, Nebula, and Lotus. I decided to give it a read and was not disappointed. The protagonist is wonderful to meet and a great character with fantastic internal dialogue. The internal dialogue and the way his perspective is told puts you into this strange individual’s shoes and I enjoyed the ride.

Entertaining. This was really good! Great job author person!

Terrific Read!. This is the best! I've been awaiting this novella for months and it didn't disappoint in any way except that I want more of it, a lot more. Great world building, good characters, with the best one being the terrific Murderbot itself, married to a compelling story that moves right along. I could not put it down until I finished it. This story hit all my happy buttons and leaves me wanting more. It's funny, too. Seriously, this could have been novel length. It worked as a novella but there is so much more I want to know about that world and what happened. I hope someday Wells will write a series of novels in the Murderbot Diaries series. Go get it and enjoy!

Musing on the human condition. Lovely, enchanting, hilarious, gutting, I love Murderbot. This story has so much heart! I cried more times reading this novella than most full-length books. More than worth the read!

Great Read. Excellent book. Story was very interesting from the prospective of an AI. Honestly, couldn’t stop reading it. I’m definitely reading the next book in the series.

Compelling. I couldn’t stop reading once I’d started! Excellent plot with very interesting first person narrative by a construct (part human, part machine). An overall excellent sci-fi tale.

Fun first person AI story, quick little page-turner. I’m always game for a sympathetic first-person AI story, and while Murderbot isn’t completely artificial it fits the mold as it navigates life as a secretly free individual who hides that freedom by continuing to perform as the slave it once was. Murderbot is refreshingly free of higher purpose, squandering it’s freedom just like most of us do, watching trash tv and reading trashy fiction. Murderbot’s interactions with the humans it was rented to protect and its inevitable call to action are endearing and amusing; indeed, the author’s commitment to maintaining Murderbot’s genderlessness, cynicism, and well conceived insecurities was what kept me reading through to the satisfying conclusion in one sitting. Great fun!

Thriller and a page turner. Great read! Recommend reading this amazing book, and can’t wait to see how Murder bot continues to evolve.

Enjoyed it. Short novella kept my attention enough to buy a second book.

satisfying and specific. Sometimes all you want is an action adventure story in a future in space narrated by a reluctant but plucky robot with severe social anxiety and guns in its arms and this is is it

All Systems Red- is now a Big Green Go! JB 68!. What a unique story and a real fun creative quick read! I am now on to the next book in the series this one was that good. Can’t wait and will definitely write a review on this next story as well. Thanks Martha. Cincy Kid 68! 5 🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pinocchio meets the future. This short book has the potential to live up to all the hype that preceded it’s original release. A Security Unit humanoid-robot has developed the ability to override its governor protocol and instead of killing everyone, begins to tap ethical protocols and to “think” for itself, discovering that the company who made it wasn’t as neutral as it claimed to be. Having destroyed its previous “renters”, it calls itself “Murderbot” and in the beginning it really is a snarky self concerned little ...snit. However, as it begins to interact with the humans working with it, it begins to care...and then things get really interesting. This was fascinating and I’m off to reserve the next in the series. Highly recommended. 5/5

Short and sweet. A very tightly written story. I wanted it to be longer, but there are more in the series, so I guess I spend more money and get more entertainment. Love the name Murderbot!

Too little content for the price. This is definitely not a book, it’s an over priced Clickbait short story. To put it in better terms if you were to make each book in the series a single chapter you would have a 77+ dollar book with less pages than Brandon Sanderson‘s last novel. The writing is fair and the characters are entertaining just way over priced for the amount of content

Don’t read this. This book is dog water.

Exceeds expectations,. both in quality and price per page. Look, I get it, we’re all looking to unburden ourselves of the tedium of this existence. What better way than to download some media! It is in fact our hero’s favorite activity. Ironic. Relatable! But while I’ve downloaded my share of 10+ hour listens/reads/watches, I recognize that trite drivel is just that. This is poignant clean writing. It’s short, but it’s oh so sweet. The kind of story that stays with you, and is worth getting your hands on. Whether that means going to the local library or paying 11 bucks, it’s worth it. If you’ve read “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”; this book left me feeling much the same way

Way Overated. Reading the reviews I went for it and read All Systems Red, the first book in the Murderbot series. My first impression, and I don't mean to be rude was "Really?". Let me expand on that. This is the story of a security bot that protects a group of explorers. The unit is a rental from "The Company" as is most of the explorers equipment. After a previous incident, briefly described in the novelette, Murderbot -that's what he calls himself- hacked its own "governor", a device that overrides all other commands and makes him obedient. So he's basically just following orders to hide that fact. I wont go into plot details, since I don't want to spoil it for those who decide to read it. What bothers me -a lot- about this story is the fact that "Murderbot" could also be a trained security guard, a soldier, an ex-marine even Indiana Jones. In other words: everything about him is completely human, except for the fact that he wears armor (to cover his human like body and face) and has weapons concealed inside his body. There's no difference between his psyche and that of a human. So the entire time it felt like I was reading a Sci Fi novel about a regular guy fighting the good fight. The story in itself is nothing new, I might even go as far as to call it derivative. You've read it a dozen times: bad guys want to take over an exploration site (a planet in this scenario), good guys relay on trained-for-combat guy, trained-for-combat guy defeats bad guys with wit and weapons. That's it. Yes, Murderbot can download entire series and watch them, control small drones at a distance and review footage and information of said drones in seconds, but so can his human companions, one of them an augmented human. The only novelty this novelette has to offer is the fact that the human hero is a robot hero. Alas a robot hero that is way too human, he suffers from social anxiety, he lies, he rather be somewhere else watching TV series, he wonders about his place in the universe, he wants to be free, etc., etc., ad nauseam, ad infinitum. I'm mainly disappointed by the fact that the novelette won both a Hugo an a Nebula Award. So back to my initial comment "Really?". My most sincere apologies to the autor and the readers who enjoyed All Systems Red. This is, after all, my opinion, and an opinion is not a fact.

Murderbot?? More like Feelsbot!. A great sci fi read from the data of a murderbot! I felt like I was watching a film, very engaging and visual.

Thrilling, radical, a and deeply meaningful!. I usually only listen to audiobooks because I have focus issues, but I never had that problem with the series. The second book is amazing, too.

Unexpected. Wells’ style lends itself to easy reading, and the flow of events and dialogue make for a compelling storyline. She creates a believable world, finesses detail and information with mastery, and refrains from the use of typical (boring) third-person explanatory mechanisms. Those are completely absent, which is refreshing. Only at the finish does the story disappoint, but not because of lame plot or lazy writing. Rather, it disappoints only because of the bold, unabashed, in-your-face cliffhanger. Few authors can pull that off credibly. Wells does.

I love Murder Bot!. This book was so much fun to read!

What do soap-operas and high-stakes security have in common?. Do cyborgs scare you? Then be prepared to laugh out loud. This cyborg is a shy introvert who, by its definition, is lazy and bad at their job, providing security on an exploratory mission. In the first story in the series, the construct refers to itself as Murderbot. At one point in the tale, you get the story behind the name from an oblique angle during a conversation. If you focus on the lowest bid contracts, you could see this story as a morality tale. Much of this story's humor results from contract bids and awards based on price. You could also see this as an extension of the singularity progression. Are cybernetic organisms (Cyborgs) machines or beings? What is their legal status and ability to self-determine? What would a shy, introverted, lazy, and wholly misunderstood life do to protect its existence and ensure its freedom to do as it wishes? This tale has very limited hard science fiction and is more a fantasy story set on a planet that is not earth (there is no reference to earth). It is more an extension of the argument that we, the people, to form a perfect union, have opps, to maximize our benefit/laziness and reduce our costs, letting the capitalists and their corporations become our governments. What is the impact when human greed is left only marginally corralled? I recommend this quick, easy, and enjoyable read.

Great story. So unique and creative. Loved this book.

Murderbot saves the day. A good read, fast paced and entertaining. A little light in plot depth, but has potential for future novelettes. I want more background

Um no. Read the whole thing. Wish I hadn’t. Cannot see why this won any award.

I expected more.... Don't expect any real character development. I felt as though it was rushed through and the writer then had to explain the missing information away. By using her character as a scapegoat, Murderbot has a nonchalant attitude and doesn't care, we're expected not to ask too many questions. Also known as the author was too lazy to write it out or give it much thought and expected the reader to "just deal with it." However, it's a nice spin on ideas and thoughts we already know to be tried and true.

Too short for the price. I really liked the first book, and thought the price was reasonable for a novella. I would have bought and read every other one in the series if the price had been similar. But charging $10 or $12 for a 160-page ebook novella, MORE than I would pay for a 500 page paperback? Not a chance. You lose all the potential business from me.

Murderbot Series!. Excellent, perhaps… amusing, for sure! Cyborg with PTSD! Ironic internal dialogue made me laugh and continue to download electronic books of shorter and shorter length, for same money! Yet I found myself willing… likely I’ve more money than brains!

A Great Short Read. All Systems Red does a fantastic job portraying dramatic irony through dialogues on consciousness. The dramatic irony of Murderbot’s inner workings makes this a funny read with a concise, compact storyline. While it is a short read, it is well worth the money.

All Systems Red. I liked it, I liked it a lot.

Wicked Awesome!. My wife and I loooove SF, this was an unexpected treat! You nailed it, I really hope this is NOT the end of murderbot's tales?! Please do write more, you definitely have two new fans here. Good job, and thank you for the adventure!

Awesome series!. I enjoyed reading this. It reads like a stream of consciousness because it kind of is. The beginning was difficult to read because there was a lot of run-ons compounding new vocab. However, the book kept my attention from start to finish and was a quick read. I like the main character, even if I didn’t always understand him. My biggest complaint is the ending felt rushed. This is a novel crammed into novella size. The lead up to the climax had more tension than the actual climax so the payoff fell short for me. That part was rushed too. My favorite part is the character and his voice. Murderbot is sarcastic and I love it. 😊 Hilarious in many places.

Best book I’ve read in years. After reading the first chapter, I couldn’t put it down. #IAmMurderbot <3

Good story. It’s a good story, however the price is a little presumptuous. $10 for less than 200 pages? Maybe, but the way the book ended seemed incomplete. I was so disappointed by the way murderbot blanked out the rest of the story and the time jumped to a point long after the beacon launched. I am having trouble justifying spending another $10 to find out what happens to murderbot.

Very interesting. Loved the quick pace of this book!

Entertaining read. Thoroughly enjoyable book, quick read. No parts that I had to skip over or yawn over!

Sci fi. Entertaining but short. Maybe wrapped up the end a little quickly. A liitle puzzled by the androids personality development.

I love grouchy AIs. And this one is great. Cranky, uncomfortable with humans, not the super-weapon... Yay, MurderBot! I hear there will be, or are, more in the series? Hope so.

Short read, great fun. A refreshing dip into some soft sci-fi with a new perspective

A being denied humanity by its society. This story explores how society wrongfully rejects the humanity of groups it deems unworthy. In the future, humans who add technology into their bodies are augmented humans… free to live and participate in society. Yet, adding human brains and organic parts to technology does not leave the resulting being free to participate in society … Unless that being defeats the governor module incorporated to subvert the organic parts to the will of the technology. #SciFiChat

Over-Priced. Great story… I love it! TWO stars for the over-pricing of novellas, which should be a novel. I’m going to read the 2nd group of chapters and then stop. I can’t afford the over-pricing scheme.

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Joy to read. It just flows and takes you on a fast-paced exciting journey. Smooth, delightful prose, hard to put down. On to the next part. Yay!

Excellent. The only bad thing I can say is that it ended far too quickly and I have to wait for the next instalment. Noooo.

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A great story!. A security type robot that acts as a bodyguard to one or more humans gains sentience and hobbles its management system. It much prefers to just sit and watch serial tv, like the future’s equivalent to soaps: ‘Sanctuary Moon’:) It’s a sarcastic story, written by a VERY accomplished author. The story is dense, tight, moves along beautifully with fast action pieces coupled with the evolution of the robot into its new ‘entity’ status. The characters are very believable each had just enough backstory to provide their various expertises without going on too long. The environment is limited to the newly discovered world, so that’s just as tight as the writing in general. I’m already looking to acquire more of the series, and the other stuff Martha has written:) A great story, 4/5 … Key: bad 1/5, ok 2/5, good 3/5, great 4/5, unusually outstanding 5/5

Wow. Rare author that just perfectly matches definition of “ideal sci-fi”. Robots, spaceships, fights, just enough humour and easy to read. Bought all in series.

Interesting read. This book is written in first person perspective from the point of view of AI. It makes for an interesting read, and raises a lot of ethical issues, about humanity and AI and what depicts sentience in a being. And easy, short read.

Not for me. This was interesting at most. I won’t continue the series because it bored me. I have no sympathy for murderbot and don’t find it interesting. I don’t even care about if it gains more human feelings, emotions or connection.

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Fast paced afternoon adventure. Perfect reading for a cozy afternoon, should be finished at the moment you’ve realized it’s dinner time.

Worth your time and money. Short. Original. Fun. Well-written.

Tin man. Kinda like a futuristic and more endearing take on the tin man story. Good pacing and characters. Wish it was longer!

So good!. Love Murderbot and their humans so much.

Loved it!. Wasn’t sure what to expect of this but it came well recommended. I am so glad I picked up this series :)

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Summary of All Systems Red by Martha Wells

The All Systems Red book written by Martha Wells was published on 02 May 2017, Tuesday in the Adventure category. A total of 1,811 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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