This third installment of the Murderbot Diaries, Rogue Protocol, is the most fun yet. Much of the action takes place on an abandoned terraforming rig above a storm-filled planet. Lightning bursts illuminate the thick clouds below, bursts of static disrupt communications, and Murderbot has a creepy feeling they’re being watched. Wonderfully suspenseful!
Murderbot is, in actuality, not heartless, but courageous and kind (though it would be furious to be described by such “human” terms). Watching Murderbot wrestle with its humanity is on of the greatest joys of the series.
Another strength of these books is the way Murderbot communicates with and/or hacks into other computerized entities--and the wide variety of these bots, constructs, and augmented humans. This skill comes into play numerous times during this story, and is intriguing in every instance, adding to my admiration for Murderbot’s skill and propelling the plot forward.
Murderbot befriends a “pet” robot named Miki, who was a delightful character. Miki’s innocence created a marked contrast to Murderbot’s snarky attitude.
The team leader Abene was the most memorable human (and had the largest human role in the story), but an injured member named Hirune, an excitable crew member Kader, the guard Wilken, and a hijacked drone, were also active participants in the narrative. Other characters were largely forgettable and hard for me to keep track of. A small quibble in an otherwise excellent book.
The plot was exciting with enough twists and turns to keep me turning pages. Recommended.