At tor.com, Liz Bourke reviews the final Murderbot novella, “Exit Strategy,” which as it happens I read last night.
It turns out that starting this novella last night half an hour before I wanted to turn the lights out was, um, optimistic. It’s a fast-paced little sucker and I couldn’t put it down until Dr Mensah was rescued. Which is not the end – wow, do things pick up again after that — but at least it was a reasonable place to pause.
Exit Strategy becomes even more of a joy to read in the emotional climax and dénouement, after the shooting is done and Murderbot is putting itself back together and having conversations while the Murderbot equivalent of woozy and concussed. …
This is a fast, fun, and funny novella that, at its heart, is about personhood, independence, and selfhood: about autonomy, trust, and kindness, as well as anxiety, frustration, and anger. At its heart, Exit Strategy is a kind story, and a hopeful one…
The whole series is kind and hopeful, with any number of decent people shown against in a broader society that is often anything but decent.
I especially love denouements and this series definitely needed one — it was crucial to let the reader see Murderbot get things straightened out with Dr. Mensah. She is the heart of the kindness in this story; without her, I’m sure Murderbot still wouldn’t have gone on a killing spree, but I doubt very much it would have made the same choices or developed in the way that it did through the novellas.
I can’t wait for the novel. Personally, I would especially like to see ART again, but I’m sure I’ll be happy with whatever direction Martha Wells takes this story.
I believe the expected publication date is 2020.