I’m a bit conflicted on how to judge Fugitive Telemetry.
First off, it’s a return to the novella format for The Murderbot Diaries after Wells’ Network Effect brought the first full-length novel for the series. In that regard, I found Fugitive Telemetry to be on par, quality-wise, with the second through fourth books in the series. Wells has found a niche telling these shorter episodes in Murderbot’s life. Anyone who has read the previous entries will recognize the dry wit and a creative approach to AI storytelling that Wells has brought from the jump with this series. It’s really one of the better science fiction stories being told today.
On the other hand, I really like Network Effect. I found it was my favorite book in the series and I thought the novel-length format helped give Wells more space to break away from shorter episodes and really flesh out something that I enjoyed a lot. Coming back to the novella format in Fugitive Telemetry, I did feel like I was missing something. I’d love if Wells can continue to carve out time and energy for more novels in the future, while continuing to fill in the cracks and write the novellas to give the fans of the series a taste to bridge the gap.
The gripe about the novella length aside, Fugitive Telemetry is another good entry in the Murderbot Diaries. If you’ve like everything in the series so far, I think you’ll like this one too. If you haven’t read any of the series yet, what are you waiting for?
I so have to catch up on Murderbot! I’ve only read the first two novellas – but I’m really glad the series continues to be so much fun, even if you didn’t love it as much as Network Effect!