Booklist: After the events of Fugitive Telemetry (2021), Murderbot, ART, and their colleagues remain on the alien-infected planet on the other side of the wormhole, combating the infection and trying to convince the planetary colonists to leave their world for their own safety. But corporate interests oppose their efforts, and it turns out there are more people on the planet than they realized. Meanwhile, Murderbot is having some issues and isn’t operating at full capacity. How are they supposed to successfully navigate everyone through a potentially hair-trigger standoff when they’re not sure they even know what they’re doing? This installment of the Murderbot Diaries is more a tale of political intrigue than violent action. Not that there aren’t pulse-pounding fights aplenty, but the balance has shifted. While Murderbot remains the main character, narrating their snarky take on every situation, Wells continues to build this universe. It’s a compelling setting, both in the conflicts that arise from the culture of the Corporation Rim and the deep history Wells has established. At the same time, she continues to evolve Murderbot in interesting directions. Readers won’t miss the wall-to-wall action that defined the series from its beginning. The characters and the world building remain engrossing and rewarding.