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Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

This digital painting cover works well and represents the source material. 👍

Blurb:

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.


Wells paints a face-paced adventure tale into a novella-in-size book that packs a punch in your jaw of science fiction. If the sound of things like beacons, androids, sentience, dystopian futures, etc. fancy your flavor then you can get a load of it packed in these . . . ~150 pages. Although I didn’t experience much poetic nature in the book, the writing was quick and detailed just enough still to not only keep my attention and it did entertain at the same time which is what I look for in a book. Number one thing = entertainment. Someone might ask a question:

Q: Well, how well did it entertain you S.D.?

A: Excellent question. It entertained me on a ★★★★☆ four out of five star scale level.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

11 replies on “Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells”

I’m going to put the reviews of the newest two in the coming weeks but I don’t think I’ll be retro-reviewing the previous ones… 🤠

Yep. I imagine I will read the others at some point. Not quite sure when?
I’ll be looking forward to see what you think about them, Ola.
@Bookstooge, did you read any of it yet?

No, I’ve read enough reviews to know that these aren’t for me.
Plus, I was pissed from the get-go that they charged hardcover Sanderson tome prices for novella sized ebooks.

Well, by the sounds of it even those books at least live up to the caliber All Systems Red displays, then Lashaan? If so, thats great and I may look into giving those a read sooner than I thought. 😁

Yep, I think my only complaint was the lack of poetic nature, but not a big deal at all with how fast a person can rip through the pages. Tally-ho.

Spark the Camp 🔥: