Review: Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

  • On: 2nd Nov 2023
  • Category: Reviews

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, first published in 2018

Story number four in The Murderbot Diaries, Exit Strategy sticks to the series formula of being short and focused, delivering another quick and entertaining entry in the Murderbot’s adventures.

The narrative continues on shortly after where Rouge Protocol left off, where Murderbot had acquired evidence of GrayCris Corporation’s misdeeds, and our favourite (and only?) SecUnit protagonist is intent on delivering the evidence to Dr. Mensah (one of the secondary protagonists from story 1, and mentioned in stories 2 & 3). There’s only one problem with Murderbot’s plan though, and that’s that GrayCris is onto Murderbot’s activities and is determined to see that the evidence remains buried – forever!

Murderbot discovers that the sinister corporation has kidnapped Dr. Mensah, and that several of her collegues - Ratthi, Pin-Lee, and Gurathin – are attempting to rescue her. Murderbot reluctantly joins forces with the human trio and together they formulate and action a plan, which naturally, goes awry. The SecUnit must then pull out all the stops and push itself to the limits to rescue and protect the humans that it would, under duress, admit it cares for.

It was nice to reach the conclusion of this quartet of stories (although the adventures with Murderbot aren’t over – at the time of writing there are three other adventures in this universe), although it really felt like four parts of a single story, rather than four self-contained but related stories. I can’t speak to the motivations behind this decision, but I do with they’d either released it as a single novel, or made each story more self-contained – either way would’ve improved the reading experience in my opinion.

Murderbot’s characterisation and humour remain highpoints of the story, and the worldbuilding surrounding the story continues to be a point of interest. I listened to the audiobook version of the story, as I have done with the previous three entries, and my gripes with the narration style remain – but don’t let that dissuade you! The series as a whole is well worth a read or a listen (or you can try to emulate Murderbot and do both at once!), and I look forward to discovering more adventures with everyone’s favourite socially awkward, soap-opera-loving cyborg!

Background image by Casey Horner on Unsplash