Rogue Protocol is novella #3 in the 4-book series focused on the Miscellaneous Adventures of Murderbot. Murderbot is THE GREATEST, something that Emmalita has expounded upon in her reviews. Murderbot is an organic-robot construct who was designed to provide security to teams of humans but really wants to be left alone to watch it’s favorite tv shows. There is a mysterious backstory and the theme hooking the novellas together is Murderbot’s quest to solve the mystery. It’s a funny, unique, and captivating approach to scifi and Murderbot is by far the most interesting robot character I know of.
This series contains an array of … creatures? Constructs? … including human beings, augmented humans, sex bots, security bots (Murderbot is one), bot bots, ships with robust consciousness, and ships with minimal processing. There is an undercurrent of “what does it mean to be human” but it’s not a central theme (this is not Blade Runner, the novella). As an organic-robot construct Murderbot can “pass” as human which isn’t clear from the cover images (where it’s wearing it’s full security armor). But Murderbot has no dreams of living as human and mostly wants to be left alone.
Murderbot is delightfully curmudgeonly.
I highly recommend this series…BUT
You go to a coffee shop and they had a delectable cinnamon bun just dripping with icing. Everybody said the buns were the absolute best. So you go to get one, only to realize the spectacular bun was $40. At $40 you might still enjoy the cinnamon bun, but I would be asking myself, “Is this bun 10X better than a regular cinnamon bun?” Even if it’s dramatically better than average the high cost would impact my enjoyment of it. I would get hung up on the idea that the coffee shop was gouging customers to leverage the popularity of their great bun. I wouldn’t be able to get past the price and just simply enjoy it. I would eat it but be just a touch bitter about it.
Each Murderbot book is a 160 page novella so all 4 together would make a single hefty scifi book (Leviathan Wakes – another fantastic scifi book is just under 600 pages). To read all 4 books it’ll cost $36 (Leviathan Wakes is $10). Murderbot Diaries is the $40 bun.
Price shouldn’t impact a review or your enjoyment of the book and yet for me it does. I feel the author (more likely the publisher) is gauging based on the series current popularity. Based on the online reviews I’m not the only one choking on this issue.
My rating reflects the quality of the book without my bitterness about the pricing. See if you can get them at the library or if you have a kind friend willing to share with you (THANKS MALIN!). But I AM bitter about it.