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Rogue Protocol

The Murderbot Diaries, Book 3
Written by: Martha Wells
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The third thrilling book in the increasingly popular Murderbot Diaries, which began with All Systems Red.

Sci-fi's favorite antisocial AI is back on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah's SecUnit is. 

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good. 

Martha Wells' Rogue Protocol is the third in the Murderbot Diaries series, starring a humanlike android who keeps getting sucked back into adventure after adventure, though it just wants to be left alone, away from humanity and small talk. 

Listen to Rogue Protocol and find out why Hugo Award winner Ann Leckie wrote, "I love Murderbot!"

©2018 Martha Wells (P)2018 Recorded Books
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-12-18

Great, but...

This series continues to be great. However, I can't help but feel miffed at the packaging strategy of putting for seperate novellas into $10 separate books. I'd have rather spent 25 on a nice collected hard cover.

It's a minor quibble and not a complaint against the author. I'll definitely buy the 4th one, I just hate that I've spent 40 dollars on a series that is the collective size of novel.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Jeff Koeppen
  • 05-10-18

My least favorite so far

I thought Rogue Protocol was OK. It was my least favorite installment of The Murderbot Diaries series. What I liked about the first two novellas in the series was the amount of humor and the fact that, despite the Murderbot being designed to kill, after he hacked his systems he was a wiseacre and a hoot to spend time with. There was less humor and overall wackiness in this installment. The story was more of a straight-ahead science fiction action adventure, and I didn't like the story as much as the other two. Also, it seemed that the characters weren't fleshed out as well in this one, with the exception of Miki, a robot. I'm looking forward to the fourth and final chapter in the this series. Hopefully it will end on a high note.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Tru
  • 30-08-18

This series needs to be longer

It’s just so good. It’s original. It’s silly and ironically moving for a story about a murderbot but that’s the exact point. It’s going to be bitter sweet listening to the last one when it’s out. Martha!! Try to make this a tv mini series! Thanks for a remarkable story.

5 people found this helpful

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  • cathy kinsey
  • 06-09-18

Short listen, good.

Great book. The three prior books could be combined to reduce the purchase of three books. Separating them all together is just not worth it. Overall, I love reading about an AI that is self aware with a good humor attached. Not to mention all the good characters.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Brian M.
  • 16-11-18

Good story gets a little worn

I like the concept but if I had read this book first I doubt I would keep going with the series. Feels fairly predictable and is not nearly as innovative as the first book felt. Still a good telling and interesting concept.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Will Campbell
  • 17-08-18

too short

Story so short, doesn't feel like it was worth the credit. book lasted me only a couple days.

5 people found this helpful

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  • wonkyblox
  • 08-08-18

Funny and imaginative

Once again Martha Wells and Kevin R. Free complement one another.
Murderbot's "humanity" stands out as he observes and protects the "real" humans.
He turns away when he is "going to have an emotion". But yet he seems almost affectionate when speaking about humans he has become attached to and eventually leaves.
I can't wait for the 4th part to this series.


2 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Hicks
  • 19-10-18

Murderbot Keeps On Keeping On

This third (and penultimate) entry in Martha Wells's The Murderbot Diaries picks up immediately after the prior episode Artificial Condition, setting Murderbot off a new adventure with a new group of humans and bots while continuing its search for evidence against the evil corporation, GrayCris.

Having been binge-listening to The Murderbot Diaries, I have to admit the formulaic structure of these episodes is getting a bit creaky. Both Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol follow the exact same story beats - Murderbot sneaks aboard a ship, encounters and befriends an artificial intelligence aboard ship, then saves the humans. There's not a lot of room for surprise, and the similar length both of these entries share make these events feel very scheduled, the plot operating like clockwork in accordance to a rigorous three act structure. You could almost time the occurrence of both books' events right down the minute.

While the structure of The Murderbot Diaries is by now intimately familiar, Wells does find a few spots to make fresh. The character dynamics and personalities of Rogue Protocol are almost a direct inverse of the prior episode, with Murderbot attempting to hide from the ship's crew before facing its own natural instincts (or perhaps its base SecUnit coding is more accurate) to protect them. We get another view of human-AI interaction, helping to illustrate the diversity among even artificial man-made constructs. Some robots are forced into mortal combat for their owner's entertainment, while others are infantilized and treated more like pets. Actual equality between man and machine, though, is awfully rare and Murderbot at times struggles between its nature as a rogue unit and the expectations placed upon it by humans that view it as nothing more than a standard factory-line killing machine. This societal dimension of the story still has plenty of material left for Wells to explore, and it's been one of the highlights of the series thus far.

Kevin R. Free has settled into narrating duties, having found a comfortable style in the prior entry that he carries over to Rogue Protocol. There's perhaps little point in reinventing the wheel, narration-wise, three books into the series, and whether you dug Free's style or not thus far, you'll know exactly what to expect here. For me, it's a bit too gentle and even keel of a reading and the easy-listening nature of it makes my mind susceptible to wandering.

Rogue Protocol keeps on keeping on as the series builds towards its finale in book #4. Diving into this one right on the heels of its predecessor, though, makes the story feel a bit too repetitive as Wells eschews any narrative risks in order to deliver a safe story built in the exact same mold as book #2. If you've been enjoying this series so far, Rogue Protocol certainly isn't a deal breaker by any means, but it's not exactly fresh and exciting either.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 02-09-18

I love Murderbot!

Once again, Murderbot is trying to find answers this time to help Dr. Mensah, if he can. But, his plans to lay low and escape notice while doing so, ends the moment that human lives are endangered...
As the title indicates this is part 3 and it's part of an overall story ARC which will culminate in a final book... and I for one can hardly wait! In this and the last story Artificial Condition, our SecUnit (Murderbot) met a very special bot each different, and each having a very profound impact on Murderbot as he ponders "the sentient condition". Turning this kinda into coming of age story...
Kevin R Free gives a great performance as my favorite A.I.
So go ahead and add these 3 novellas to your library before the 4th book, Exit Strategy comes out!

PS. Good news. Book4 is scheduled for released in October, 2018!

1 person found this helpful

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  • cavenewt
  • 16-08-18

My only complaint: it's too short!

What a compelling character the Murderbot is! The best characters are always conflicted, and this one is conflicted in new and unusual ways. There are ghostly vestiges of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics in the motivations and actions of our hero.

Kevin Free's narration is perfect; he's a master of dry sarcasm.

I know Martha Wells won't be able to string this along indefinitely, but I will be satisfied if she can produce another 30 or 40 or 500 stories; one per week would be ideal. This latest one only lasted me a day. The Murderbot series will definitely be worth multiple re-listens.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Smudger444
  • 16-08-18

Too Short

The Story line is good. And its nice to have a Heroic robot. But all of these books are too short. This makes to very expensive listening. i think All these books or individual stories in this series could have made one really good best seller, and these stories would have gelled together so much better.

1 person found this helpful

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  • adele
  • 10-08-18

More more more

I love murderbot... My biggest grype is its just too short. So long Renn, till October

1 person found this helpful

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  • Titus
  • 10-03-20

3 books that should be one book.

Entertaining and well written but bad value for money. All 3 books should be sold as one.
I get the feeling I'm being taken for a ride. Better value to be had elsewhere.

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  • Ian
  • 18-06-19

A bit over descriptive

which means at book 3 I've had enough for now. Good book though and prob a good film

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  • Mark H
  • 19-10-18

Murderbot diaries just keep getting better

Great writing, great ‘voice acting’ and great characterization! Such a clever concept as well. Number 5 to listen to now!

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  • Mark
  • 29-09-18

a gradual decline

Book 1 was a real find, a great story, short and furious, book two was a small twist but more of the same, book 3 was derivative.

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  • G. P. Brown
  • 17-09-18

Another Fantastic Murderbot Adventure!

This was another fun instalment of Martha Wells The Murderbot Diaries novella series.

I'm a big fan of Well's capitalist future gone awry sci-fi world and of her memorable and fantastic lead character, the security unit, Murderbot! Our favourite grumpy, socially anxious, security bot is the story's only POV character and that really works as Murderbot is a truly unique character with an engaging voice. Well's gets to inject a ton of humour into the story via Murderbot's wry observations on the things and people it encounters.

Wells's has an engaging writing style which makes these tiny novellas seem even shorter as I was addicted to this one enough that I finished it in one sitting!

The story in this third instalment just picked up where it left off at the end of the last novella. Murderbot was on the go again still seeking information about why people tried to kill its humans in the first novella. This resulted in us getting to meet a new team of humans and two new types of bots! It was not Murderbot's most exciting adventure but it had its moments and was enjoyable enough.

I missed ART in this instalment but we got a fantastic replacement in the form of Mickey. Mickey was totally different from Art but just as much a star secondary character.

Roll on book 4!

Audio Note: Kevin.R.Free did a decent job with the audio without being anything outstanding.

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  • Scott Membry
  • 21-09-19

Enjoyable but too short

As much as I enjoy these books, they are way too short. They should have been combined into a single novel. Yes, I chose to pay for them, but when I get to the end I'm just left feeling a bit ripped off. I can get an equally good book that lasts 25 + hours for the same price as a Murderbot book which is less than 4

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-04-20

An entertaining and imaginative world

Kevin R Free seems made for this story, with his lilting and clear voice, as the Murderbot. I found some of the technical jargon hard to follow, but the story is well made, and your imagination is taken right into this new and strange future world. The characters are fully believable, with Kevin's voice changes giving an authentic feel to the whole stage. I enjoyed the three books very much.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-08-19

Too short but charming

Kind of brilliant. Great single character pov.
All three books for one credit would have been a good purchase

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  • SG
  • 20-09-18

when I'd the next one due?

Enjoyed this book and the series. Interesting thinking about the nature of humanity mixed in with good action scenes and wry humour.