Review: Network Effect by Martha Wells

Network EffectAuthor: Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #5
Publisher: Tor.com
Released: May 5th, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Rating: Kitty Rating

I received a copy of Network Effect through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Network Effect is our fifth foray into the world of Murderbot – and yet it is the first full-length novel of the series. That being said, new fans could easily jump in at this point, if they so chose to. Though I personally cannot recommend the novellas enough, so do make a point of checking them out.

Murderbot is a rogue SecUnit. Once upon a time, they were considered expendable by the humans (read: corporation) that owned them. Now, they’re free. Though they do still seem to have a knack for getting themselves into the most insane situations.

Since gaining their freedom, Murderbot has allied with a bunch of humans. Humans who are doing their best to make a connection with Murderbot. All while getting themselves into situations that certainly require a SecUnit to save the day.

That brings us to Network Effect. It started as an ordinary mission; protect the humans while they survey the area…but then it turned into something so much bigger. Now there are humans to be saved, relatable (well, mostly) A.I.’s to contend with and more.

“This would have all been a lot easier if I wasn’t so worried about the stupid humans.”

Spoiler Warning

I can easily sum up my reaction to Network Effect in one sentence: I want more. I absolutely adored this novel. I did the best I could to savor it, but at the end of the day, I just wanted to read it all. I’ve already resorted to rereading it, and am still craving more. That’s how firmly Network Effect has wormed into my head.

This novel was, simply put, fun. It was exciting and hilarious, giving me all of that Murderbot goodness that I have come to love. It was everything I had hoped for from a full novel, and so (so) much more.

One of the highlights of this novel is the sheer amount of amazing quotes to be found. My digital copy is full of lines I highlighted because I enjoyed them so much. That isn’t an exaggeration either – there have to be dozens of quotes I saved. Ranging from intense to hilarious, and back again.

“I didn’t really feel like negotiating. I have a module on it, somewhere in my archive. It was never much help.”

If you’ve read the previous novellas and enjoyed them, you seriously have to dive into Network Effect. You’ll love it. If you haven’t read the novellas, you can still dive into this novel, as it put effort into introducing the characters all over again. But you will miss out on some of the context and weight of what is happening. So go back and read the novellas, you won’t regret it (I might be slightly biased here, as the Murderbot Diaries is one of my favorite series).

The development of Murderbot’s character was phenomenal, as was the development of all the secondary characters (both human and machine). It added layers to an already fascinating story, and made me love it all the more.

Likewise, the pacing was perfect, as was the comedic timing, if I may say so. Murderbot’s way of thinking is highly amusing for me, so of course, I loved their exasperation to the extreme.

Best of all? Network Effect sets up for future Murderbot adventures, a fact that I couldn’t be happier about. Give me all the delightful Murderbot that you can, Martha Wells, because there is no such thing as too much far as I’m concerned.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, graphic designer, and much more. I love to create art, and am willing to try any artistic technique at least once. I am particularly fond of artworks involving a lot of emotion and color. The purpose of my blog is for me to be open and honest with myself and the world about my attempts to grow as an artist. My other major passion is reading. My TBR pile is larger than I'll ever be able to read, and yet I can't resist adding to it on a nearly daily basis. I love to read science fiction & fantasy, graphic novels, and pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I have a couple of blogs, as you can see. One is primarily my photography, while the other are my book reviews. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
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