Network Effect

350 pages

English language

Published Aug. 19, 2020

ISBN:
978-1-250-22986-1
Copied ISBN!
Goodreads:
52381770

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4 stars (239 reviews)

WINNER of the 2021 Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards!

The first full-length novel in Martha Wells' New York Times and USA Today bestselling Murderbot Diaries series.

An Amazon's Best of the Year So Far Pick

Named a Best of 2020 Pick for NPR | Book Riot | Polygon

"I caught myself rereading my favorite parts... and I can’t recommend it enough." ― New York Times

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 …

6 editions

reviewed Network Effect by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)

This is why books are superior to video

5 stars

I am LOVING this series, and this novel was no exception.

With all the inner monologue and 4th-wall breaking (and the asynchronous HelpMe.file insertions), I keep thinking "how could this be rendered in video?" (Except I didn't think "render" in my head, because holy cow, is it pretentious.)

And my conclusion is: it would be tough, and very few could do it. I'd love to see it done well, but 99% of book-based video is so "lossy", to appropriate a criticism of JPEG as compared to GIF. ("Lossy" meaning all those delicate plot and character nuances are lost.)

reviewed Network Effect by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)

More Murderbot Goodness

4 stars

I was a little disappointed with "Fugitive Telemetry" which was written after this book but is set before it. But in "Network Effect" Wells is on form. As good as the first 4 novellas. The longer format gives the whole story a space opera feel. The beginning on the water planet reminded me of the Culture novels. What stands out to me in the Murderbot series is how Wells manages to give established sci fi narratives and tropes a little twist, simply by writing them through the eyes of "the help", i.e. bots and computer systems. Not only is ART back and we learn a lot more about the relationship between it and Murderbot but again, the unique type of connection that Murderbot can have with other systems and bots plays a pivotal role in saving the day. I also really like how alien tech and its effect on humans …

reviewed Network Effect by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)

Best part so far, I think

4 stars

The first few books of the Murderbot series were very short. This one is the first true novel-length installment and it features all the usual fun:

  • Murderbot is trying so much to read humans and understand their communication
  • Murderbot is learning to navigate its own emotions
  • Murderbot meets ART again, and they are both fond of each other, trying to learn to have a relationship from one bot to the other

And of course, all of it is very funny. Murderbot shut down its own governor module, which was installed to make sure it complies to human orders. Now, murderbot only complies to its own motivations and rules. But another task of the governor module seems to have been anger management, and without such module, murderbot is angry most of the time.

I really loved this book, the best so far. I'm ordering the next two installments now.

reviewed Network Effect by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)

Quirky, sentient machines with purposes

4 stars

My kind of fiction for sure, the sentients makes (mostly) logical choices and doing what they do best (being assholes about it) while keeping the humans alive and saving the day.

I guess it gets partially heavy in the action and combat scenes, the science part is soft and hand wavy but the quirky interactions is kinda funny and assholey, just the way I like it. Whatever traces there are of aliens is weird and not delved into, making them feel more mysterious and foreign when compared to bland, humanoid "trekkie aliens". The story reminds one of B-graded scifi shows, broadcasted on thursdays, and gives a hint of nostalgia (heh).

So far this has been the best book in the series even though the first book was a strong contender.

Review of 'Network Effect' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

My review of Murderbot Diaries was that 1-4 should have been released as a single novel. Together they form a fantastic story instead of underwhelming novellas. Network Effect is exactly that -- a long-form Murderbot adventure that showcases what Martha Wells can do when not restricted by word count.

Network Effort is fantastic. Murderbot's distinct narration and voice is still the highlight, but combining it with a unique mix of science-fiction action and detective mystery really makes Murderbot something special. There is a fantastic mix of energy weapons flying around while your brain is engaged with the intellectual challenges, barely keeping up with the AI/construct characters as they try to get ahead of their antagonists.

And finally, the not-friend's return is perfect.

That said, the novel itself isn't. The sense of suspense is never there, and it's mostly a light-hearted romp through a surprisingly grim view of the future. Basically, …

Review of 'Network Effect' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

“Why do you call it ART? It said it’s name was Perihelion.”
“It’s an anagram. It stands for Asshole Research Transport.”
“That’s not an anagram.”
“Whatever.”

The struggle is real—what do I read while I wait for more Murderbot and ART and Preservation? Nothing. I’ll just quietly pull up a chapter in this book, like Murderbot does with Sanctuary Moon.

A great addition to the Murderbot series!

5 stars

This was a great book. The familiar characters and settings of the Murderbot series, but a longer tale to really flesh out the growing relationship between it, ART, and other humans. It also ends with the promise of more adventures, too! If you're a fan of Murderbot you should pick this one up.

For a full review, check out my blog: www.goodreads.com/review/edit/52381770-network-effect

reviewed Network Effect by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)

The first full length Murderbot novel throws it into a novel situation with lots of pew-pew action and, gasp, emotions.

4 stars

A great Murderbot novel that shows Murderbot continues to mature as an organism with free will and learning to deal with his emotions with his 'clients' while discovering new things about them and what they are willing to do for him.

The novel starts with Murderbot doing what it does best: protecting its clients. But this turns out to be a prelude to the start of a situation where Murderbot gets kidnapped along with his clients and ends up with a situation involving a former bot friend and possible alien technology contamination at a forgotten colony world. Of course he has to get out of it, with his clients intact.

But more than just the 'pew-pew' stuff (which Murderbot is obviously good at), this is also a detective story as he has to figure out the reason why it and his clients were kidnapped, how the alien contamination occurred, how …

Review of 'Network Effect' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The 5th book in Murderbot's series, and the first full length novel, it tells the story of Murderbot getting kidnapped by ART, who we first met in book 2, Artificial Condition. Murderbot's relationship certainly veers all over the place, but it is always funny. Murderbot helps rescue ART's crew and maybe begins more adventures with ART.

I have to admit finding it a bit harder than usual getting thru this book. Maybe the novella length is perfect for Murderbot. It seemed like about the same amount of things happened in this full novel as happened in the previous novellas, but it just took longer for things to happen. Don't get me wrong, Murderbot was still pretty damn funny. Their observations of human interactions, and their growing disgust at their own, are truly inspiring. And coming across (creating?) another "rogue" SecUnit is pretty fun too.

But there were a lot of …

Review of 'Network Effect' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

4.5 This is the book for all of those who - like me - complained over the length of the novellas if nothing else. It is not quite as good as the four preceding novellas taken together, but it sure is a tight little narrative with just the right amount plot and character development. Pacing is a little uneven, though I did like help.files where murderbot gets to tell us about life on Preservation. I also think there may have a been a tad little too many new characters, though I see why they needed to be there. It just gets a little difficult doing all those different voices for reading to my SO (what? you say I don't need to do that? preposterous!) The plot is also not completely surprising in every regard, but it is satisfyingly logical and I would regard it a bit as a Whodunit. What …

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