I’m terrible at keeping up with series. Unless they’re a comic series where it’s a fast read you can bet I hardly ever do finish it. I am more than happy to admit that’s because I don’t want to be disappointed by follow up books. If I enjoy a story I don’t want to read the sequel and hate it.
That was not a problem with this quartet of books. Exit Strategy finishes up the novella quartet that is leading to the first full length Murderbot Diaries novel, and you should read these.
TL;DR: Finish this series. If you’ve read the others then finish this one. If you haven’t read the series then start it, especially if you are wanting to try Science Fiction.
- Overall this series was fantastic, but I’ll have to say I think they stand best read closer together than farther apart. I read the second and third books tight together with a large gap between books 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 and because of that those two middle books stand as the strongest ones for me right now. I remember them better and the action of those two seems to be more cohesive. Take that as you will.
- Murderbot continues to be a very on point and relevant type of character. In a time when the introverted, anxious person is the new ‘cool’ person Murderbot shines. The true strength of the series is that I don’t think that Martha Wells tries to hard for that, it comes off naturally and not like a grab for attention. Often you see books try too hard to be relevant and hip but it comes off unnatural. We don’t have that problem here, I haven’t had that problem with any of the books.
- For what I would call a Low Sci-fi, something approachable and with a low threshold for all readers this manages to also feel like a very science fiction series. As much as I love John Scalzi, sometimes you can forget you’re reading science fiction and you just enjoy the tones and jokes of the books. You don’t have that here, and I think that makes this a great jumping in point for new Science Fiction readers.
- I really want more about where Murderbot ends up and the people they are with now. I liked all their personalities and the way they clash with and work with Murderbot. It was believable that not everyone loved Murderbot, and others didn’t know how to work with them. The intrapersonal relationships really had a spark to them, and I wish we could get more of that (I really hope there is more of that in the upcoming novel).
Overall I can’t wait for the novel. I’ve actually got it pre-ordered, one of the few pre-orders I’ve allowed myself this year, and I’m stoked. If you haven’t picked these up I 100% recommend them.