Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

Title: Rogue Protocol.
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #3.
Writer(s): Martha Wells.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: August 7th, 2018.
Pages: 158.
Genre(s): Science-Fiction.
ISBN13:  9781250191786.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

Previously in The Murderbot Diaries series:
All Systems Red by Martha Wells.
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells.


The truth can be very liberating. It can help you overcome the greatest obstacles and face your darkest nightmares without having to work twice as much to hold on to a lie. Machines with artificial intelligence aren’t spared from this very dilemma as their programming forces them into abiding by certain rules with zero flexibility. But not for Murderbot. With a hacked governor module, it is free from humans and can go on to watch its soap operas whenever it wants. In the third novella of The Murderbot Diaries, author Martha Wells continues to deliver a captivating adventure where the truth is not only sought but given if things need to get done.

What is Rogue Protocol about? Looking to take down the GrayCris Corporation, the independent SecUnit known as Murderbot is now off to find evidence that can prove their corruption without a hitch. This time around it finds itself in an abandoned GrayCris terraforming facility and makes an ally out of a bot named Miki who serves as a pet-friend to Don Abene. As it covertly follows them into this facility, it discovers that danger lurks right around the corner and if it is to survive this journey, it will have to put aside its antisocial tendencies and confront its most fundamental programming.


These stories continue to be loads of fun without suffering from its length. In fact, this third installment turns out to be both suspenseful and action-packed while also allowing the story to maintain its introspective qualities through a main character led to pretend to be human although knowing that it’s an A.I in the end. Similar to previous volumes, Murderbot isn’t out to do any good or bad, it simply wants to be left alone with its televisions series but, unfortunately, it is continually pulled in by the strings of destiny to protect humans who constantly find themselves needing help.

What’s even more fascinating here is the various dynamics presented in this novella. The story doesn’t solely look into how Murderbot learns to become a human being or how it strives to communicate with them with the only purpose of getting away from them as soon as possible, but at how other bots form relationships with humans. With countless different robots built with various functions present within this universe, it’s fascinating to explore how Murderbot sees itself amongst this variety in its own search for an identity. Among these relationships are the featured new characters of Miki and Don Abene who showcase a very particular bond that promises cringe at first and infatuation later. Through clean and straight-forward writing, author Martha Wells thus continues to portray one of the most compelling A.I. characters in science-fiction.

Rogue Protocol is another fantastic episode centered around Murderbot and themes of free will, friendship, and justice.





35 thoughts on “Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

  1. I’ve always been fascinated by AI, I really ought to get started with this series. It will be interesting (and slightly scary) to see how AI continues to form our society going forward!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! I read about how difficult it would be to communicate to machines (even intelligent ones) what we mean by concepts like “good”, “ethical”, etc. Try to formulate that in a strictly logical way without loopholes?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it’s been a long time coming, and I just know Wells has a lot of craziness in store for us!

        Once I finish the book I’m currently reading I’m reading the fourth book. At least that way I’m keeping up with the series even if barely so.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished Rogue Protocol a couple of weeks ago and had no idea how to review it, especially because of its short length. This was a solid summary. I normally don’t like sidekick robots like Miki, but it brought an interesting dynamic between it and Murderbot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I struggled as well to try to say as much as possible without spoiling anything too hahaha It’s never quite evident with these novellas. I was skeptical about that relationship at first, thinking that it couldn’t be better than ART and then was surprised how quickly I got attached to Miki by the end of the story! 😮


  3. I just can’t get enough of this series. Murderbot is one of the best characters I’ve read in quite some time. I continue to be impressed with how much Martha Wells can do within the confines of the shorter novella length, though I look forward to her first full length Murderbot novel (after I read Exit Strategy). And given how much I’ve enjoyed these I really want to try some of her other works. If they’re as good as Murderbot then there’s still loads of amazing reading to be done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Same here. I think Murderbot’s snarky personality and continuous cynism are that makes me love that bot so much too. I’m actually glad that Martha Wells went ahead with a full-fledged novel. I always thought that it would be the perfect medium for her to showcase her writing skills and to give that AI all the room it needs to dazzle us even more! I never thought of looking into her other books… I should definitely see if they sound as intriguing as Murderbot now! 😮


  4. Murderbot is an amazing character indeed, and it’s so easy to get attached to it: the more MB tries to disconnect itself from humanity and the “corruption” of feelings they engender, the more we like it and are able to see behind all the dissembling with which it tries to hide some truths from itself. Having loved the first four novellas, I can hardly wait for the upcoming full-length novel 🙂
    Great review, thank for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautifully said, Maddalena! It’s awesome to see this world evolve through the eyes of an AI who just doesn’t want to care. It’s learning when it doesn’t want too, making life seem so precious. I look forward to reading Exit Strategy and then getting my hands on the novel when it comes out. So many goodies await! 😀 Thanks for reading, Maddalena!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well Lashaan I’ve just read the review for the first book in the series written by a fellow blogger. She bought and read it because of us so… I see this series gathers lots of fans!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I cringe to admit that Martha Wells writing is one reason I rarely reach for adult books…. she puts me to sleep even when I love her topic! Fortunately the length of these don’t allow for that sleepy sort of detail so I totally fell for Murderbot. I’m even caught up with the series except for the latest book (this one?) I love his relationships with other robots too. And how he’s drawn into humans’ problems.

    Liked by 1 person

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