Review: Network Effect by Martha Wells

52381770._sx318_sy475_This was one of those books where I preordered it as soon as it was… preorderable? Release day couldn’t come fast enough once I heard that an entire Murderbot novel was in the works!

You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you’re a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you’re Murderbot.

Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.

I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.

When Murderbot’s human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.

“I wasn’t going to let him hurt me.”

I said, “If I thought he was going to hurt you, I’d be disposing of his body. I don’t fuck around, either.”

Oh, Murderbot. Why are you so awesome?

I think it’s because it’s hilariously relatable in so many ways. Everything from its exasperation at nobody listening to it for their own security (despite being literally designed and programmed for security), to its low-key disgust at human bodily functions (ick).

This full length novel adventure takes place after the events of the first four novellas, so I would suggest hopping into this series via them so that you don’t miss any context. You could probably find enjoyment from the story without having read them, as it does give as much of the context as it can, but it really helps to have some of these characters’ relationship to Murderbot explained in a bit more detail.

Murderbot finds itself embroiled in another crazy adventure when what should have been a routine survey mission ends up with it being kidnapped by a friend (term used loosely) from its past who needs help rather desperately.

This novel was a wild ride from start to finish, with everything from space pirates to sentient killware. I started the audiobook the second that it came out, and finished it in two sittings. It made me laugh, more than once (Murderbot’s internal dialogue about most things is fucking hilarious), and it made me smile more than once too.

For a character that professes to hate feelings, it sure has a way of poking the feels a bunch. ^_^

Kevin R. Free yet again nailed the narration of the book. He just is Murderbot to me, at this point. I don’t think that I would have enjoyed this as much (it would still have been a favorite, mind you) in print as I did in audio. Murderbot’s snark just comes across better in audio, I think.

So, all told, if you loved the Murderbot novellas, you’re going to love this. If you haven’t experienced Murderbot, then run, don’t walk, directly towards some excellent sci-fi. I cannot wait for more! 5/5 stars!~ ^_^

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One thought on “Review: Network Effect by Martha Wells

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  1. I always say I want to try science fiction as an adult, but it’s overwhelming to start with a new genre all together, reading this review, I’m itching to start with this one. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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