NETWORK EFFECT by Martha Wells

Murderbot returns in its highly-anticipated, first, full-length standalone novel.

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.


Title : Network Effect
Author : Martha Wells
Series : The Murderbot Diaries (book five)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : sci-fi
Publisher : Tor.com
Release Date : May 5, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

I enjoyed, but didn’t quite love, the first four novellas in the Murderbot Diaries. With one exception being the second installment which featured ART, aka Asshole Research Transport, because the snark and hilarity was just top notch. Not that the snark and hilarity didn’t exist in all these books, really, because Murderbot is.. Murderbot. But it was just on a higher level.

Was that a subtle threat?
No. It wasn’t subtle.”

So naturally when given a full length (!) Murderbot story which heavily featured ART? Well, it’s no surprise I loved this.

Do you have to call it a relationship?
You don’t like the word ‘friendship’. What else is there?
Mutual administrative assistance?

This series has heavily benefited from this full length story, not just because of the aforementioned snark and hilarity, but all the layers of Wells’ writing and cleverness is just so much more fleshed out. I think, too, this particular stage in Murderbot’s story was just really compelling to begin with. And I hope we get more full length installments moving forward because.. reasons.

You look angry.”
That’s just something my face does sometimes.

If you didn’t think your life was missing a not-human but not-quite-fully-a-construct who once was considered disposable security, and is now mostly autonomous, and loves to watch soap operas and be anti-social, while also multitasking to save humans it mostly likes, and who also has a complicated relationship (or, in Murderbot’s words, what, ew, no) with a research ship, I’m here to tell you.. it is. You are. As in, you are missing out. This won’t be for everyone, I know that, but if this sounds even remotely appealing, it’s worth pushing through some of the installments that you may not totally love (as in, I’m basing this off my own experience of books one, three, and four, being three star, and two being a four), because this one? So much love.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

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