Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries, Book 3
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Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries, Book 3 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 5,041 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 3 hours and 46 minutes
Author Martha Wells
Narrator Kevin R. Free
Whispersync for Voice Ready
Audible.com Release Date August 07, 2018
Publisher Recorded Books
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
ASIN B07D9QD3RT
Best Sellers Rank #2,483 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#33 in Hard Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#83 in Hard Science Fiction (Books)
#118 in Adventure Science Fiction

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
5,041 global ratings
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3 star
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2018
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3.0 out of 5 stars I'm Struggling A Bit With This One
By Books Of Brian on August 10, 2018
I am very close to finishing “Autumn In The Heavenly Kingdom” by Stephen R. Platt – its been a longer journey than I’d expected – a good but slow read which I should be able to post on this weekend. Still, this one arrived on Wednesday and it had to be read.

I’ll start by saying that I’ve read and reviewed the first two books in the series – starting with “All Systems Red”. It’s a book I enjoyed but wasn’t as enthusiastic about as most of those who’ve read it. I've also read and reviewed “Artificial Condition”. I actually thought this was the better of the two and it left me optimistic about the direction in which the story was heading.

Then comes this one and I’m left shaking my head a bit. I’m going to start with this post where I ended my review of “Artificial Condition”:

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“I honestly have only one complaint and it has nothing to do with the book itself. I don’t like the way Martha Wells and the publisher are commercializing the work – hence the Razor / Blades quote. The story is being sold as 4 separate novellas:

All Systems Red – 2017
Artificial Condition – May 2018
Rogue Protocol – August 2018
Exit Strategy – October 2018

They’re sold separately as hardcovers at the price of $16.19 and as e-copies for $9.99. In reality, these are 4 sections of one book – obvious as you read through each separately – and could easily have been published in one volume. The fact that they were all released within an 18 month period only confirms that the Author and the publisher made a pretty crass commercial decision to break the book into four pieces and sell them separately to maximize revenue.

Instead of paying $25 for a single hardcover volume, I’m forced to purchase 4 separate novellas for a combined cost of ~$68.00 in hardcover or ~$40.00 in digital format. Before you say it, I will – shame on me – no one forced me to spend the money – I know I’m being played. Nevertheless, I’m really enjoying the books and I want to get my hands on them as they become available. It just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and it makes me wonder about Wells’ attitude towards her fans and readers. Wells and her publisher gave me the Razor but she’s selling me the blades – one at a time – at a pretty high price.”

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The further I progress into the series, the more this frustrates me. This volume picks up immediately upon the end of “Artificial Condition” – almost seamlessly. It’s obvious that Martha Wells wrote this as a single volume and it should have been published as such. I do feel exploited and a bit betrayed – not by the publisher – I understand and accept their business decision – but by the Author who could have forced a decision more in keeping with the interests of her readers. There – I’m done – last time I’ll say it – until the 4th book is released.

If that were the only thing, we’d be fine. It was an entertaining story and we get more of the same Murderbot that so many people seem to have fallen in love with. Martha Wells serves up another type of Bot to serve as both ally and foil for Murderbot. It’s a quick, easy, enjoyable read. Even with all that, I can’t escape the feeling that something’s going a bit wrong with the story – and I think the problem – at least for me – is Murderbot.

In each Novella, Murderbot grows and his personality develops. He defines himself through contact and cooperation with both new groups of humans, new types of Bots and new Machine Intelligences. Murderbot really started to grow on me in “Artificial Condition”. I enjoyed watching him rationalize his actions and I appreciated the way he connected with and related to both his human and machine acquaintances. To be honest, I found him to be a little annoying in this book. The personality traits he manifested made him feel to me like an odd combination of a grumpy old man and a spoiled teen. I’m sure many – likely most – will find this to be intriguing and lovable. It didn’t work as well for me.

I had a second, more wonkish problem and it’s one that’s been creeping up on me across all three novellas. Murderbot doesn’t define very well for me as an entity. There are many different categories of personhood in the book – humans, augmented humans, machine / human hybrids (like Murderbot), true bots (Miki and the Combat Bots) and artificial intelligences like ART from “Artificial Condition. I’m struggling to find a rationale for the creation of an entity like Murderbot. I continue to ask myself what the advantages of a hybrid entity like Murderbot actually are – incorporating biological vulnerabilities – particularly after the acknowledgement in “Rogue Protocol” that there are also Sec Bots that are even more formidable than Combat Bots. Bots like Miki seem to have to capability to relate to and connect with humans. Combat Bots and Sec Bots seem to be far more formidable combatants than Murderbot. The only thing that really seems to separate Murderbot from augmented humans is the governor module that Murderbot has managed to hack. I just don’t see how he fits in the larger scheme of things – what unique quality a SecUnit like Murderbot with a functioning governor module brings to the table. There has to be a functional rationale for creation of an entity as complex and obviously expensive as Murderbot and I just don’t see it.

I know this won’t bother most but it stands out as a non-sequitur for me. It doesn’t keep me from enjoying the stories – I have. It just keeps me from enjoying them to the same degree as other readers seem to – like an annoying itch that can’t be scratched.

Overall, this is a fun book and I suspect most will see it as a great addition to the story. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s enjoyed “All Systems Red” and “Artificial Condition”. I’m certainly going to buy and read the final installment – “Exit Strategy”. I guess all this means is that the series is not going to make it to my top shelf and I don’t know how much staying power it’s ultimately going to have.
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Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Dee
3.0 out of 5 stars Outrageously expensive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2018
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28 people found this helpful
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robert slade
1.0 out of 5 stars Good, but overpriced.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2018
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23 people found this helpful
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John_C
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first two instalments and very expensive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2020
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8 people found this helpful
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Gray
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea well written: However much too expensive for what is a vey short story.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 11, 2020
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Ken usman-smith
5.0 out of 5 stars DREAM READ
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2018
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