Reviews

Review: Network Effect by Martha Wells 🌀 A full length Murderbot Novel

Review_ Network Effect

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CW’s: Violence, Injury, Kidnapping

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

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.

❤ Check out my review for the rest of the series ❤

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Review

“Just remember you’re not alone here.” I never know what to say to that. I am actually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.”

I loved being reunited with my favorite comfort character! ➽ Murderbot is now living on Preservation as one of the few security agents and still trying to figure out where it fits in with its humans. Once again, I relate to this character so much, as the social anxiety and wish to be left alone to consume media (and not be perceived by other humans) is still very much present. Murderbot has come a long way since the first book and is more comfortable around its humans now. Slowly, it’s trying to carve out a space for itself in the world, even though it has no interest in ‘becoming more like a human’ and wants to find its own path. Going on a mission with the Preservation crew as an equal partner and not equipment is one of the first steps in that direction, though there are still people who see Murderbot as a weapon and/or tool to use. I like that Murderbot still has troubles fitting in sometimes and dealing with its feelings, though it has slowly let certain people into its heart ❤

“You know that thing humans do where they think they’re being completely logical and they absolutely are not being logical at all, and on some level they know that, but can’t stop? Apparently it can happen to SecUnits, too.”

Murderbot & ART really shone through. ➽ I obviously won’t say how, but ART (aka Asshole Research Transport) from Artificial Condition makes another appearance. I love the concept of ART so much, as it’s an AI that’s much more intelligent than any normal bot pilot or construct. It cares so much for its crew and yet also can be very threatening and manipulative. The relationship between Murderbot and ART that we continue to explore here is so interesting, as both are a bit removed from the normal human standards of being. Everyone can clearly see that they care for each other – though Murderbot has a hard time admitting they are even friends – though it’s not really in the traditionally romantic context. It feels more like a queerplatonic relationship, but now matter how you want to label it, it’s one of the most well-written dynamics I have come across!

Murderbot goes on its first full-length adventure and I was excited. ➽ So far we only had novellas but with a full-length novel there was more possibility to have a larger plot and more new characters, which I really enjoyed. A few of the Preservation Crew that we know are also on the mission with Murderbot (until everything goes horribly wrong like usual) and I was especially happy to see Ratthi, Overse and Arada again, as they were among my favorite crew members 🥰 I also liked the addition of Amena, one of Mensah’s children and her beginning friendship with Murderbot. She’s a teenager and still trying to find her purpose, especially as she feels the pressure of trying to live up to her mother, who is a planetary leader. She really grew on me, and I liked how Amena tried her best in every situation and was genuinely caring. I can’t say too much about the plot, but it was definitely suspenseful and more complex, as we had more time for action scenes but also explorations of the different relationships in the series.

“I was unimpressed, having heard ART’s “villain of a long-running mythic adventure serial” voice before, but all the humans got quiet. Amena shifted uncertainly and looked at me. Then Ratthi whispered, “Was that a subtle threat?” I said, “No. It wasn’t subtle.”

IN CONCLUSION.Network Effect is a fantastic installment of the Murderbot Diaries and as a full-length novel it gives us so much more time to explore Murderbot and its relationship with its humanity. I loved seeing some of the old characters again (especially ART) but also appreciated the expansion of the world and exclusion of new characters!

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Have you read Network Effect? Do you like the Murderbot Diaries? What is your favorite adult sci-fi novel? ❤

3 thoughts on “Review: Network Effect by Martha Wells 🌀 A full length Murderbot Novel

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