Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)
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.

Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5) Details

TitleNetwork Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 5th, 2020
PublisherTor.com
ISBN-139781250229861
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Space, Space Opera, Science Fiction Fantasy, Adult, Robots, Audiobook, Artificial Intelligence, Adventure

Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5) Review

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    Update 5/4/20: My full review, finally! This book will be published tomorrow, May 5. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: 4.5 starsMartha Wells’ Murderbot has been gathering enthusiastic fans (which would be certain to have Murderbot hiding behind its opaque armored faceplate), along with multiple Nebula, Hugo and other awards and nominations, as each of the first four novellas in the MURDERBOT DIARIES series has been published over the last three years. In Network Effect, the first full-l Update 5/4/20: My full review, finally! This book will be published tomorrow, May 5. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: 4.5 starsMartha Wells’ Murderbot has been gathering enthusiastic fans (which would be certain to have Murderbot hiding behind its opaque armored faceplate), along with multiple Nebula, Hugo and other awards and nominations, as each of the first four novellas in the MURDERBOT DIARIES series has been published over the last three years. In Network Effect, the first full-length novel in this series, Wells is able to explore a more complex plot and to more fully develop Murderbot’s character and its relationships with others.Murderbot is now with Dr. Mensah and the other Preservation Station characters who Murderbot was protecting in the first book, All Systems Red, and the fourth, Exit Strategy. Preservation is an unusually liberal society in this universe, where single-minded, coldhearted corporate profit-making is the norm, and Mensah and her family and friends treat Murderbot, who they call “SecUnit,”as a person rather than as a possession. Mensah’s brother-in-law Thiago, however, is suspicious of Murderbot’s influence over Mensah, and Mensah’s adolescent daughter Amana considers Murderbot an annoyance, especially after it scared off someone she thought was a romantic interest (“Yes, it was hilarious”).As Network Effect begins, Murderbot is accompanying Thiago, Amana and several others on a survey expedition of another planet. After surviving an encounter with pirates — where Murderbot gets a chance to flex its muscles and show its expertise as a security consultant — the group lifts off the planet to rejoin their base ship in space. Just after the base ship exits a wormhole on its return to Preservation Station, there’s another attack on their group. This one succeeds in capturing Murderbot and Amena in their spacesuits and pulling them onboard the raider ship. Murderbot is completely bewildered to discover that the ship that attacked them is its old friend ART (an acronym for “Asshole Research Transport”) from Artificial Condition. But ART, the powerful artificial intelligence that controls the ship Perihelion, is nowhere to be found once they’re onboard the ship. Instead there are gray-skinned hostile humans that immediately try to kill Murderbot. Now it’s on!The bot and AI characters — Murderbot, ART, and a couple of new ones — are absolutely fantastic. Murderbot’s and ART’s friendship (though Murderbot would be really reluctant to call it a friendship) gets a lot more complicated and real, especially after Murderbot thinks ART has betrayed it. One of the subplots features sentient killware, a lethal kind of spyware/malware, which was one of the best parts of this book, fascinating and unexpectedly poignant. Murderbot takes some substantial steps forward in its self-understanding and in deciding what it wants to do with its life. The right of self-determination for all sentient intelligences is an ongoing theme in Network Effect.In addition to Murderbot’s favorite human Dr. Mensah, a couple of other human characters start to stand out, including Mensah’s daughter Amena, who has a way of cutting through Murderbot’s protective shell. Wells has a degree in anthropology, which explains a lot about how well she writes the relationships and interactions between people and bots in this series. The title “Network Effect” has at least two different meanings: it’s a key aspect of the enemy Murderbot and its friends and allies face in this novel, but it also references the growing and changing ties between Murderbot and its human and non-human friends. Murderbot still hates the F-word — that would be “feelings” — and it likes to snark about humans’ stupid decisions, but it’s now willing to admit that it cares about people and actually enjoys helping and protecting them.A little of the tension went out of her body. “Thank you.” Her face looked younger. She looked like she had been pretending to have hope and now she didn’t have to pretend anymore.(Confession time: that moment, when the humans or augmented humans realize you’re really here to help them. I don’t hate that moment.)Network Effect isn’t perfect: the pace lags in parts and the plot gets overly convoluted and confusing in the second half. One significant aspect of the key danger that the characters face doesn’t make sense to me logically. (view spoiler)[It’s an alien malicious code that needs to be passed from machine to humans to machines as it infects and takes over and controls you. No good reason is given for this odd quirk. (hide spoiler)]But the good parts of Network Effect are just SO good that they completely outweigh any plot weaknesses. One more example: There’s a bit with some “HelpMe.file” excerpts that Wells uses to good effect to relate some of the backstory. They’re initially a bit of a headscratcher, if only because of their odd headers, but when the payoff comes much later in the book, it's a brilliant plot turn.Murderbot — both the character and the series — has grown on me immensely with each book in the series. Murderbot may be a cyborg, but it’s one of the most human and appealing characters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.Update 5/1/20: Rereading as of yesterday. I started looking at my ARC yesterday evening so I could write my full review, then I said to myself “I’ll just reread the first 50 pages or so,” and now I’m on page 200. DON’T JUDGE ME.Comments after first read: 4.5 stars - it was great! The only thing better than a Murderbot novella is a full Murderbot novel ... with ART (the Asshole Research Transport) in it. Review to come! Cheers!! I'm sorry most of my Murderbot-loving GR friends have to wait until May 2020 to get this, but I promise it's worth the wait.Initial post: A copy of the ARC of this book landed on my doorstep today!! I literally gasped in delight. What a fantastic surprise! Thank you Tor!!THERE CAN NEVER BE ENOUGH MURDERBOT IN MY LIFE!
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  • Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
    January 1, 1970
    [4.5/5 stars!] There are few things in life that make me happier than spending time with Murderbot.… which is ironic, considering it would rather do literally anything than be social. The Novellas alone were enough to solidify the series as an all-time favorite, so discovering this full-length novel was in the works immediate jumped it to the top of my priority list for 2020. Network Effect was every bit as sardonic, action-packed, and endearing as the novellas, but took it one step further by a [4.5/5 stars!] There are few things in life that make me happier than spending time with Murderbot.… which is ironic, considering it would rather do literally anything than be social. The Novellas alone were enough to solidify the series as an all-time favorite, so discovering this full-length novel was in the works immediate jumped it to the top of my priority list for 2020. Network Effect was every bit as sardonic, action-packed, and endearing as the novellas, but took it one step further by adding even more depth to the characters.The unique writing style is the best thing about these books (aside from character construction). It doesn’t follow typical storytelling constructs and often comes across as more conversational than anything else. There’s a great deal of punctuation used to convey Murderbot’s sardonic tone, and no shortage of profanity for comedic impact. I’ve never read anything that comes this close to how I communicate in my daily life, so even the bones of how the story was presented sang to my soul. There were a few occasions where the sarcastic voice was a bit heavy-handed, but this is one of the few cases I would rather a little too much than not enough.And then we have Murderbot. The best character in sci-fi, hands-down.I think it’s my spirit animal. It’s awkward and introverted and just wants to be left alone to watch its tv serials and I can relate to every single solitary time it couldn’t bring itself to “people” anymore. But the brilliance in this novel is that, social obligational constructs aside, it still craves connection. And that’s where the story becomes much more than a action-packed sci-fi. It’s about a rogue SecUnit trying to carve out a place for itself in the universe. Did Murderbot make me cry? Maybe. I don’t know. Fuck off.Recommendations: The Murderbot Diaries is in close running with The Expanse and Planetside as my favorite sci-fi on the market. It’s exciting, it’s funny as shit, and it has that magic X-factor that gets people emotionally invested. Start with All Systems Red, and I bet you’ll know within the first few pages if it’s something you’ll enjoy. I was hooked from the first sentence, and it has only gotten better from there. Consider this an official Obsessive Bookseller endorsement – this series is fantastic!Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.comOther books you might like:
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  • Nataliya
    January 1, 1970
    “(You know, if you don’t want to be manually eviscerated with your own energy weapon then maybe you shouldn’t go around killing research transports and antagonizing rogue SecUnits.)” I finally figured out that one of the reasons I love Murderbot so much is that it’s my soul-sibling. MB’s preemptive pessimism and expectation of the worst case scenario every time it is faced with a new problem is exactly my modus operandi, although I’m rather good at concealing it. “I was worried about Men “(You know, if you don’t want to be manually eviscerated with your own energy weapon then maybe you shouldn’t go around killing research transports and antagonizing rogue SecUnits.)” I finally figured out that one of the reasons I love Murderbot so much is that it’s my soul-sibling. MB’s preemptive pessimism and expectation of the worst case scenario every time it is faced with a new problem is exactly my modus operandi, although I’m rather good at concealing it. “I was worried about Mensah, if everything had been okay while I was gone. I wasn’t sure exactly what “okay” would involve, but I was willing to settle for “unmurdered.”“It was too dark for her to see my expression. I’m not sure what it was but you could probably describe it as “skeptical.” (Ratthi says that’s how I look most of the time.)” This is the first full-length Murderbot novel, following four amazing novellas that I only discovered a couple of weeks ago, but already cannot remember what life was like without Murderbot in it. (I kid, I kid - well, mostly.) In typical Murderbot fashion we have all the snarky sarcastic grumpiness of our prickly media-obsessed nonhuman person who is secretly a softie, but if you mention the f-word ((view spoiler)[feelings (hide spoiler)]) to it you have only yourself to blame for what’s going to follow. We have space exploration and space raiders and alien abductors and sentient killware and contamination by alien remnants, and space flight and explosions and other stuff that tends to result in the catastrophic systems failure and forced systems shutdown more often than not.But what we have at the heart of this story is, of course, the issue of personhood and interpersonal relationships. And friendship - that other dreaded f-word. “In a low voice, Ratthi commented to Overse, “Anyone who thinks machine intelligences don’t have emotions needs to be in this very uncomfortable room right now.” You see, after a pretty traumatic life of being treated as nothing more than “an appliance for a team”, a dangerous weapon that can be discarded and abandoned if its human clients need to save their own hides, and being very much an introvert to begin with, Murderbot is not too comfortable with feelings and affection and emotions. Not that it does not have emotions - those are present in abundance - but MB is very uncomfortable expressing them. M-Bot is a very private person and prefers it that way. “Ratthi had said, “I think you should let it go for a while, at least until we get ourselves out of this situation. SecUnit is a very private person, it doesn’t like to discuss its feelings.” This is why Ratthi is my friend.” MB has its favorite human Dr. Mensah, and our old friends from the Preservation Aux survey team from the first novella (“Just clients. And if anyone or anything tried to hurt them, I would rip its intestines out.”) but it is more than reluctant to admit how much others can mean to it. Especially when a certain “ART” is concerned, an immense artificial intelligence located in the interplanetary spaceship that Murderbot befriended back in the second novella, and gave it, ahem, an interesting nickname (“Except that I’m being held prisoner by a giant asshole of a research transport.”). “(If I got angry at myself for being angry I would be angry constantly and I wouldn’t have time to think about anything else.) (Wait, I think I am angry constantly. That might explain a lot.)” Murderbot goes through a complicated and confusing mix of emotional breakdown and a temper tantrum (although that last one was mostly justified given all those feelings of betrayal), and tries to come to term with the blatantly obvious fact that its relationship with ART is that of a deeply committed friendship. Yeah, I know. “It still sounded disgusting. “Do you have to call it a relationship?”Ratthi shrugged one shoulder. “You don’t like the word ‘friendship.’ What else is there?” I had no idea. I did a quick search on my archives and pulled out the first result. “Mutual administrative assistance?” Yes, emotional vulnerability is difficult for our SecUnit. Can’t fault it for that - MB’s life until a few kilohours ago used to be basically a neverending case of PTSD. “I yelled, “ART, stop talking to my human behind my back!” 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.” ————— The other continuing thread is the right of a sentient intelligent being to self-determination and personhood, the overarching theme of the entire series. Murderbot’s world is the corporatized universe of the future, where planets with their inhabitants are property and indentured servitude to companies is a way of life, and Corporation Rim is a very powerful supragalactic entity “(Corporations didn’t actually invent space and planets, despite the patents the company had tried to file.)” Unlike the more egalitarian and utopian outliers of the Preservation Alliance, Corporation Rim will always view our MB as not a person but property, tool, weapon, appliance, dangerous but disposable. And the more we get to know MB the more and more jarring this feels; instead of desensitization the incongruence between what it IS and what the corporate world considers it to be becomes more and more painful. As it should be. “I was getting tired of being told what to do. Self-determination was a pain in the ass sometimes but it beat the alternative by a lot.” In the middle of snark and lightheartedness and overall hijinks the serious reminders of SecUnits slavery and subjugation (“SecUnits are not rabid murderers unless humans specifically order them to be”) and any of the transgressions (even involuntary) punishable by torture and death are sobering. And anger-provoking. And poignant. “I love it when humans forget that SecUnits are not just guarding and killing things voluntarily, because we think it’s fun.” And no person needs to take that kind of treatment from anyone. (view spoiler)[ “I want you to know if you help me, I’ll help you, and that you can trust me. Now here’s the code to disable your governor module.”———————“Just because we’re both rogue SecUnits doesn’t mean we’re going to be friends, but I knew if it went back, it would be dead. I’d hacked my governor module and kept doing my job because I didn’t know what else to do (except you know, a murderous rampage, but murderous rampages are overrated and interfere with one’s ability to keep watching media) but that was different from escaping and then going back. I said, “Because change is terrifying. Choices are terrifying. But having a thing in your head that kills you if you make a mistake is more terrifying.” (hide spoiler)] The ending of Network Effect left me so happy and hopeful. Because I love seeing our MB grow and develop and find what it wants and go for it. The universe owes it that at the very least. “(Confession time: that moment, when the humans or augmented humans realize you’re really here to help them. I don’t hate that moment.)” ———————5 stars. Now excuse me as I start my re-read already.And now the impatient wait begins for the further adventures of Peri’s SecUnit and Asshole Research Transport.————— EDITED TO ADD: I caved in and switched the pronoun to Murderbot’s preferred “it” instead of “he”, based on the word of God Martha Wells . Feels jarring but I’ll try. My review of the first novella, “All Systems Red” is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...My review of the second novella, “Artificial Condition” is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...My review of the third one, “Rogue Protocol”, is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...My review of the fourth one, “Exit Strategy”, is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...——————— Ratthi sighed, leaned against the wall and said, “So, you have a relationship with this transport.” I was horrified. Humans are disgusting. “No!”Ratthi made a little exasperated noise. “I didn’t mean a sexual relationship.” Amena’s brow furrowed in confusion and curiosity. “Is that possible?” “No!” I told her. Ratthi persisted, “You have a friendship.” I settled back in the corner and hugged my jacket. “No. Not—No.” “Not anymore?” Ratthi asked pointedly. “No,” I said very firmly.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    Post-release thoughts aka Review: Worth it. Working on full review now.Pre-release thoughts: MURDERBOT NOVEL. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
  • Choko
    January 1, 1970
    *** 4.75***"... “I was having an emotion, and I hate that.”― Martha Wells, Exit Strategy "It is obvious I love this series - I engulfed the whole thing in two days. What I would like people to know about the Murderbot Diaries is that yes, it is a Sci-fi series with a cyborg for the main character, but it should not be read by Science Fiction fans only. If you are at all interested in the way humans relate to each other and how those with either body dysmorphia or Asperger's aspects might view th *** 4.75***"... “I was having an emotion, and I hate that.”― Martha Wells, Exit Strategy "It is obvious I love this series - I engulfed the whole thing in two days. What I would like people to know about the Murderbot Diaries is that yes, it is a Sci-fi series with a cyborg for the main character, but it should not be read by Science Fiction fans only. If you are at all interested in the way humans relate to each other and how those with either body dysmorphia or Asperger's aspects might view their role in human society, this is the series for you! It is about friendship even when those we love might not understand what friendship is. Families like mine, who have someone dealing with certain spectrum of autism in members of our family or social circles, would gain a lot of perspective as well as recognize a lot of the behaviors in Murderbot and some of his friends. "...“(“I don’t want to be human.” Dr. Mensah said, “That’s not an attitude a lot of humans are going to understand. We tend to think that because a bot or a construct looks human, its ultimate goal would be to become human.” “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”)”― Martha Wells, Exit Strategy " I have no words to express how much joy this book brought me and I would really like to share it with as many people as I could possibly reach! The writing is simple, but very appropriate for the subject, and the plot in the first four novellas as well as in this fifth volume, but first full size novel, is meticulous and deliberate, but the interpersonal relationships between the characters is what makes this story shine. The constant running internal monologue Murderbot shares with the reader is awkward, uncertain, insecure, and so very human, that I laughed and cried in equal measures. And even though he is one of the grumpiest, more easily annoyed and impossibly stubborn creatures you could meet, he will steal your heart and bring optimism and light to your soul! "...“(Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail.)”― Martha Wells, Exit Strategy " Highly recommend this series for everyone, and you should definitely read the series in order - not good for a stand alone. "...“It was very dramatic, like something out of a historical adventure serial. Also correct in every aspect except for all the facts, like something out of a historical adventure serial.”― Martha Wells, Exit Strategy " Now I wish you all happy reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a good Book 😉💜👍
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    Everything I was hoping for! To be honest this full length book was no different from the previous novellas except in its number of pages. Murderbot was still its cranky, sarcastic, amazing self. The story went from one action sequence to the next. And that special little bit of magic that Wells weaves into her writing to keep the reader captivated was still there.Loved the return of ART who is cranky, sarcastic and amazing, just like Murderbot! I enjoyed the way the author brought the Preservat Everything I was hoping for! To be honest this full length book was no different from the previous novellas except in its number of pages. Murderbot was still its cranky, sarcastic, amazing self. The story went from one action sequence to the next. And that special little bit of magic that Wells weaves into her writing to keep the reader captivated was still there.Loved the return of ART who is cranky, sarcastic and amazing, just like Murderbot! I enjoyed the way the author brought the Preservation team into the action and also how she has set events up for the next (full length we hope) novel.I strongly recommend that this is not read as a stand alone. It needs the build up of the earlier books, especially the previous encounter with ART, to fully appreciate all that goes on. Easily five stars for me:)
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  • K.J. Charles
    January 1, 1970
    Marvellous. Incredibly readable and deeply humane depiction of a friendship, which is funny because the protagonists are a misanthropic and deeply traumatised killer cyborg that just wants to watch soap operas, and the utterly amoral AI of a large spaceship. Murderbot is a fantastic creation, and the emotional arc is deeply engaging as it reluctantly develops feelings, and friendships, and responsibilities. The external plot is a bit out of focus at points, but the joy of this is all in the char Marvellous. Incredibly readable and deeply humane depiction of a friendship, which is funny because the protagonists are a misanthropic and deeply traumatised killer cyborg that just wants to watch soap operas, and the utterly amoral AI of a large spaceship. Murderbot is a fantastic creation, and the emotional arc is deeply engaging as it reluctantly develops feelings, and friendships, and responsibilities. The external plot is a bit out of focus at points, but the joy of this is all in the characterisation and narrative style. Plus the fights are excellent and there's some really good creepy stuff. Spectacularly readable.
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  • Melindam
    January 1, 1970
    “Surely they won’t suspect anything,” Ratthi was saying to the others at the bulk dock. “Who runs around with a friendly rogue SecUnit? Besides us, I mean.” I DO, I DO, I DO. :)"...my risk assessment module thought everything was great. (I know, it worries me when I say that, too.)"Performance reliability: 200% Murderbot is back and gets emotionally compromised!(view spoiler)[ "..was glad I could pretend to be too overwhelmed by being reassembled to respond, because I kind of was overwhelmed. “Surely they won’t suspect anything,” Ratthi was saying to the others at the bulk dock. “Who runs around with a friendly rogue SecUnit? Besides us, I mean.” I DO, I DO, I DO. :)"...my risk assessment module thought everything was great. (I know, it worries me when I say that, too.)"Performance reliability: 200% Murderbot is back and gets emotionally compromised!(view spoiler)[ "..was glad I could pretend to be too overwhelmed by being reassembled to respond, because I kind of was overwhelmed. That was ART, and my humans, and humans I had known for maybe five minutes, and a Barish-Estranza SecUnit that 2.0 had randomly found, all cooperating to retrieve me. I’m going to stop talking for a while now." (hide spoiler)]ART is back and gets emotionally compromised!(view spoiler)[ “ART should know how you really feel about it! And this is serious, it’s like—you and ART are making a baby just so you can send it off to get killed or deleted or—or whatever might happen.” “A baby?” I said. I was still mad at Amena telling ART about my emotional collapse behind my back. But I really wish ART had a face, just so I could see it right now. “It’s not a baby, it’s a copy of me, made with code.” (hide spoiler)]The readers are back and get emotionally compromised!And while we all know Murderbot just hates this with a vengeance, I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it and I am so on board for more! :)All those F-words: F*CK, FR**NDS, F**LINGS! ♡♡“So, you have a relationship with this transport.” I was horrified. Humans are disgusting. “No!” Ratthi made a little exasperated noise. “I didn’t mean a sexual relationship.”
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  • Mimi
    January 1, 1970
    There's gonna be a full-length novel coming out... *checks calendar*... in 2020. That's actually very optimistic of Tor, assuming that we're gonna make it to 2020. But I'm excited (for the book).Announcement:https://www.tor.com/2018/07/16/more-m...Cover reveal and excerpt:https://io9.gizmodo.com/weve-got-the-...* * * * *So I was wrong. We did make it to 2020.* * * * * Wrote that ^^ back in February. It is now May. Obviously I spoke too soon and jinxed it. There's gonna be a full-length novel coming out... *checks calendar*... in 2020. That's actually very optimistic of Tor, assuming that we're gonna make it to 2020. But I'm excited (for the book).Announcement:https://www.tor.com/2018/07/16/more-m...Cover reveal and excerpt:https://io9.gizmodo.com/weve-got-the-...* * * * *So I was wrong. We did make it to 2020.* * * * * Wrote that ^^ back in February. It is now May. Obviously I spoke too soon and jinxed it.
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  • D.G.
    January 1, 1970
    So many feelings! Oops, I said the f word - Murderbot is going to be cross with me. But I can't help myself. Since my loss, the release of this book is the only thing I've been looking forward to this year and it didn't disappoint. Things I loved:☑ ART is back!! I feel that I can write reams on this alone but I'll have to wait until my second or third re-read. I loved the way Ms. Wells how the Preservation folks and ART came together - even if Murderbot didn't. Of course, the most shocking devel So many feelings! Oops, I said the f word - Murderbot is going to be cross with me. But I can't help myself. Since my loss, the release of this book is the only thing I've been looking forward to this year and it didn't disappoint. Things I loved:☑ ART is back!! I feel that I can write reams on this alone but I'll have to wait until my second or third re-read. I loved the way Ms. Wells how the Preservation folks and ART came together - even if Murderbot didn't. Of course, the most shocking development of this book is that Murderbot and ART have a "relationship" (quotes aren't mine, they are Muderbot's.) I also loved the setup for the next book(s), because we know for a fact they'll be together. (It was so cute how excited ART was to meet Dr. Mensah.)☑ We got some explanations as to part of ART's function, met some of his crew and met more Preservation folks. We also got to learn more about alien remnants and why they're so dangerous. I'm not sure I got what was the bad guy hoping to achieve but the techie explanations in this series usually go over my head in the first read. I'm hoping to get some clarity when I read it next. ☑ Is this the start of the SecUnit revolution? (Or whatever?) Loved the addition of Three and Murderbot's realization that its quirks are not because its a SecUnit but it's its own person. I liked how the 2.0 issue was resolved because otherwise, this would have been too much like the Bobiverse.☑ Really glad that Preservation folks were important part of the plot: Ratthi (my favorite of them all) and really liked the addition of Amena. Also, I know Murderbot said that Dr. Mensah was his "teammate" but to me, she's more like its mom.A few quibbles☒ I wish Murderbot and ART would have talked more about what they were so mad with each other. Saying "I apologize for calling you a fucker" wasn't enough for me. (I know this would involve talking about feelings, but it's not as if ART doesn't know how to force difficult conversations.) Hoping this will come about in future books!☒ I don't like that Dr. Mensah is referred as Amena's "second mom" because it makes it seem like she's secondary. Why not go with mother/mama/mom? ☒ Corporations as evil, eevil, eeevil! I'm sure this resonates well with readers these days but at the end, Corporations are groups of people and I don't like the assumption that everybody in Preservation is good because they are sort of socialists while everybody in the Corporation Rim are bad because they're capitalists. I hope we won't have to wait 1.5 years for the next book and that some Preservation folks make it to future books (Amena will be a good candidate, although probably not for this next mission.)In the meantime, I have some new shows to watch! Lineages of the Sun or Timestream Defenders Orion? RE-READ #1Yes, I already re-read this book even though it has been out for like a week. As always a few things always pop back for me on the re-read:I get it, the Corporation Rim are the bad guys of the series.I guess Ms. Wells point is to explore a world where Corporate excesses are not checked and how bad things can become. That said, I still don't like the idea that being a Corporate immediately means you're bad person. I think I'd like to see a good corporate and a villain from Preservation.I still don't know what the heck the villain(s) was trying to accomplish here.If somebody got it, please explain it to me. What makes a person, a personLike Murderbot, I didn't get why Amena and ART were so upset about the whole 2.0 situation but I got it now. I thought of ART as a person so why I was so callous of 2.0? Three as Murderbot's St. PaulYou know, the one who actually spreads the word. Also, are the files that Murderbot shared with Three "his diaries? (You know, books 1-4?)I bought the hardcover so I can go back easier to favorite sections and also, spell the names correctly. :) Seeing the actual book, also made me realize why sometimes I have difficulty figuring out if Murderbot is speaking out loud or just thinking in the audiobook. There are so many asides!!
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  • Mara
    January 1, 1970
    Somewhere between 4 to 4.5 stars... guys, Murderbot is back and it has stolen my heart even more than before! I cannot begin to express how comfy and cozy I feel spending time in Murderbot's head, so I'm so glad I had this book in my arsenal as a comfort read after the tornados in my neighborhood this week. Murderbot is the killer humanoid that I love cheering for, and this first full length novel gave me plenty of opportunities to root for them in crazy situations. ART is back and the interplay Somewhere between 4 to 4.5 stars... guys, Murderbot is back and it has stolen my heart even more than before! I cannot begin to express how comfy and cozy I feel spending time in Murderbot's head, so I'm so glad I had this book in my arsenal as a comfort read after the tornados in my neighborhood this week. Murderbot is the killer humanoid that I love cheering for, and this first full length novel gave me plenty of opportunities to root for them in crazy situations. ART is back and the interplay between Murderbot, ART, and a new character, Amena (Dr. Mensah's daughter), totally melted my heart. These books make me laugh out loud, and NETWORK EFFECT had a ton of one liners or wry observations that had me cracking up like a crazy person on my couch.The only part of this that didn't fully work for me was the pacing-- I'm not sure the full magic of the novellas translated into the novel length in terms of how the plot unfolded, and therefore I do think there were moments that dragged a bit in that quarter. That said, this is definitely my second favorite entry in the series so far (right behind ALL SYSTEMS RED), and for those of you who have been waiting for this next installment, I really don't think you'll be disappointed. A great time, and now I just have to wait yet again for even more Murderbot to bless my life.
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  • The Captain
    January 1, 1970
    Update (5/5/2020): Ahoy there mateys!!!   RELEASE DAY!!!!!  I LOVE MURDERBOT!!!!!!The crew should know at this point that I LOVE MURDERBOT!!!  In fact, it be fair to say I be a bit obsessed.  I have read the four novellas in the series multiple times and have disciplined those crew members who have not yet met the Murderbot.  I consider know meself as the number one fan.  I read this FULL-LENGTH Murderbot novel a while back because Matey Tammy @ Books,Bones,&Buffy gave me an Arc.  Then I reread Update (5/5/2020): Ahoy there mateys!!!   RELEASE DAY!!!!!  I LOVE MURDERBOT!!!!!!The crew should know at this point that I LOVE MURDERBOT!!!  In fact, it be fair to say I be a bit obsessed.  I have read the four novellas in the series multiple times and have disciplined those crew members who have not yet met the Murderbot.  I consider know meself as the number one fan.  I read this FULL-LENGTH Murderbot novel a while back because Matey Tammy @ Books,Bones,&Buffy gave me an Arc.  Then I reread it yesterday to celebrate the release.  Am I gonna tell ye what it's about?  NO ABSOLUTELY NOT.  This be one of the time where spend yer loot on something other than vittles, grog, and tobaccee.  That's an order.Once ye have caught up, celebrate with me that #6, Fugitive Telemetry, is scheduled for 2021.  Arrrr!Update (1/29/2020): I loved it. Can I have some more? Arrrr!I was denied a copy of network effect on Edelweiss! Why oh why? I be devastated. I neeed more Murderbot! I LOVE MURDERBOT!!! I be so sad that I want to toss meself overboard. But then I would never get more Murderbot! May 5, 2020 cannot come soon enough. Arrrrr!
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  • Nafeeza
    January 1, 1970
    Network is the first full length novel in the Murderbot Diaries and picks up soon after the events of Exit Strategy. Once again one of Murderbot’s friends is in danger and now it will do whatever it takes to save them. What can I say my friends, if you loved the novellas, you will surely love this one too! Wells took everything we loved from those and kicked it up 10 notches in this book. Murderbot makes me remember why I love to read. It is just a frolicking good time with so much sass and hear Network is the first full length novel in the Murderbot Diaries and picks up soon after the events of Exit Strategy. Once again one of Murderbot’s friends is in danger and now it will do whatever it takes to save them. What can I say my friends, if you loved the novellas, you will surely love this one too! Wells took everything we loved from those and kicked it up 10 notches in this book. Murderbot makes me remember why I love to read. It is just a frolicking good time with so much sass and heart. Wells is a master at blending the dry wit with pulsating action sequences. I would be at the edge of my seat one minute and laughing my ass off the next. In this one we get introduced to new characters and see the old ones in a whole new light. We also get to explore more of the character dynamics that we adored in the previous books and watch Murderbot form new ones. We have enemy ships, hostile alien reminants, things xploding and going splat, you know the usual fun exploring space times.At it’s heart though this series is about connections and found families and the lengths we would go to to protect that. And I for one loved seeing Murderbot realizing what it wants and finding it’s place in the world, surrounded by the humans and bots it loves. (Please don’t tell it, I said it was having emotions. It so hates that.) Honestly this book just makes me all warm & fuzzy inside. And if you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend that you fix that immediately! It is one of the best space adventures I have been on in a long time and I truly hope we get more Murderbot novels in the future. All the freaking stars. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an early copy in exchange for a honest review.PS: If you’re wondering if you need to read the novellas in order to read this book, that would be yes my friends and you will not regret it. Also if you are a fan of a certain character from the second novella then you are in for a treat.
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  • Silvana
    January 1, 1970
    Revising my previous rating to 3.5 stars and rounded it down. Yeah, I'm a bit disappointed. The book would easily be a four star or even a five if it's a novella and could shed the many, many padding in it. I was very excited during the first 35% of the novel which was awesome and endearing at the same time, with the coolest action scene in the book. Afterward however I slogged through it until the 80% mark. I listened to the audio and remember having to rewind chapters because almost none of th Revising my previous rating to 3.5 stars and rounded it down. Yeah, I'm a bit disappointed. The book would easily be a four star or even a five if it's a novella and could shed the many, many padding in it. I was very excited during the first 35% of the novel which was awesome and endearing at the same time, with the coolest action scene in the book. Afterward however I slogged through it until the 80% mark. I listened to the audio and remember having to rewind chapters because almost none of the narration stuck. When I finished listening to one chapter for the second time, oftentimes I thought 'well apparently I did not miss much after all!'. I believe the simple plot does not justify the page length. There were many telling and not showing. I mean, everyone loves Murderbot including me, with their glorious snarky, series-binging self. But I need more story, more exciting worldbuilding. There were some additional, uh, characters, whose appearances have not assured me worth more than a plot device. To finish my rant, for me this novel just have too many fan service in regards to the Bot's relationship with a particular AI, it felt like reading a romcom which cute/funny parts were milked and milked it became grating. I understand the need for the Bot's character development but I don't enjoy reading them acting like a emotionally pent-up lover. It should have stopped at the vitriolic best buds type. I don't want to spoil but if you pay attention to the cover, you'll know who it is. I know, I know, I'm totally in the minority here. I still love the Bot, mind you, and will continue reading the sequel, which I think will have far fewer pages ;)
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  • Montzalee Wittmann
    January 1, 1970
    Network EffectBy: Martha WellsNarrated by: Kevin R. FreeSeries: Murderbot Diaries, Book 5Nothing like listening to Murderbot all day! Chases away the blues! Both Art and our Murderbot are more human than most people! What a fun book! Full of wit, humor, great sci-fi, AIs that DO care despite what they claim, action, aliens, and adventure! A feel good story!
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    I am... how do you say............ shook
  • William
    January 1, 1970
    Vastly overpriced, insanely overpriced, obscenely overpriced series. I loved the first book, but refuse to be robbed for the others, especially with mediocre reviews. Ms Wells and/or her publishers should calm down and realise that fair pricing will make her more money in the long run.
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  • Richard Derus
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all. I...can't yet, it's too soon.Yeah.But soon.
  • Shaun Hutchinson
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, Murderbot, I love you.
  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    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 fe 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. **---This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
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  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    The plot, basically: MURDERBOT AND ART TEAM UP TOGETHER BUT NOT REALLY BECAUSE ART IS AN ASSHOLE AND IT'S AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGThe plot, slightly more professionally: Murderbot is sorta kinda figuring it out. It's now a contractor with Dr. Mensah's team, but during a routine(ish) expedition where it foiled an attempted pirate boarding and then got everyone home, its crew is ambushed and kidnapped by none other than ART. ART, who has lots its crew and itself and is possessed by grey-skinned The plot, basically: MURDERBOT AND ART TEAM UP TOGETHER BUT NOT REALLY BECAUSE ART IS AN ASSHOLE AND IT'S AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGThe plot, slightly more professionally: Murderbot is sorta kinda figuring it out. It's now a contractor with Dr. Mensah's team, but during a routine(ish) expedition where it foiled an attempted pirate boarding and then got everyone home, its crew is ambushed and kidnapped by none other than ART. ART, who has lots its crew and itself and is possessed by grey-skinned Targets in search of a Weapon...and who will do anything they can to find it. Now it's up to Murderbot to save the day, protect its humans (no matter how annoying), and figure out a way to bring back its not-friend from the deleted bin."No hugging," I warned her. It was in our contract. "Do you need emotional support? Do you want me to call someone?"OMG I just loved this book. If the novellas were all about Murderbot figuring out its freedom, this was it figuring it out just a little bit more, and showing other constructs freedom as well—and about a not-friendship between two AIs who are very much not speaking to each other or on good terms at all, thank you. (mild spoiler: ART is recovered)Murderbot maintains its snarky humor, and its Not-Feelings-At-All-Because-It's-A-Murderbot, and while the plot sagged a little in the middle, the beginning and endings were wild rides and honestly I just loved the characters so much that the rest of the review is probably just going to be me quoting the entire book.Aside from the humor, there are themes of trauma and recovery and what recovery looks like, in addition to the ever-present themes of humanity, sentience, love and friendship and relationships. And the importance of media in helping some folks figure out how people tick."I apologize for calling you a fucker."It said, "I apologize for kidnapping you and causing potential collateral damage to your clients."Things really start to get good with ART returns, because with the addition of humans (and ARTs protective fascination with juveniles—poor Amena, who is put into an unenviable position between two AIs) they have to navigate their relationship, ART's kidnapping of Murderbot to rescue both it and its crew and the fact that it accidentally kidnapped Murderbot's humans and almost killed them and oops it didn't really care because they weren't ART's crew...and a lot of other things.You can either have an existential crisis or get your crew back, ART, pick one.Anywho, if the first two thirds of the book are piracy and then kidnapping gone awry, the last third is straight bonkers. I laughed, I cried, and then I cried again because vicious little Murderbot 2.0 (which calls itself that) is amazing, and well, I just need a second book.Or another novella. It doesn't matter, I need more Murderbot in my life. And more Murderbot with ART.I told her, "It's an anagram. It stands for Asshole Research Transport."Amena blinked. "That's not an anagram.""Whatever." Human words, there's too many of them, and I don't care.I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
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  • Dawn C
    January 1, 1970
    I’m entirely unable to be objective here because I’m hopelessly in love with the Murderbot stories. They’re like pizza, when it’s good, it’s good, and when it’s bad it’s still pretty good!Okay I stole that from a meme and there is no such thing as a bad Murderbot story anyway.There’s plenty of action and humor in this one. Sure, the plot drags a little, especially over the middle part (a common recurrence with Wells’ writing), but watching our favorite sec unit grudgingly meet family and make fr I’m entirely unable to be objective here because I’m hopelessly in love with the Murderbot stories. They’re like pizza, when it’s good, it’s good, and when it’s bad it’s still pretty good!Okay I stole that from a meme and there is no such thing as a bad Murderbot story anyway.There’s plenty of action and humor in this one. Sure, the plot drags a little, especially over the middle part (a common recurrence with Wells’ writing), but watching our favorite sec unit grudgingly meet family and make friends (ugh, the f-word!) is absolutely adorable. Its budding relationship with ART is alone worth reading this for.Wells touches on many interesting themes though Murderbot’s observations and unique disposition in life, and a lot could afford to be explored more, so I hope this is not the last Murderbot diary.
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  • keikii Eats Books
    January 1, 1970
    To read more reviews, check out my blog keikii eats books! Quote: “Okay. I wasn’t going to ask, but that’s probably a very good idea.” She took a sharp breath. “Thank you.”You don’t have to thank me for doing my stupid job.But it is nice. Review: Network Effect was just an endlessly enjoyable read. You can't possibly want more than you got, except if you want more book to read. In which case I empathize because I, too, want more Murderbot. Always. Network Effect was just everything a fan of the To read more reviews, check out my blog keikii eats books! Quote: “Okay. I wasn’t going to ask, but that’s probably a very good idea.” She took a sharp breath. “Thank you.”You don’t have to thank me for doing my stupid job.But it is nice. Review: Network Effect was just an endlessly enjoyable read. You can't possibly want more than you got, except if you want more book to read. In which case I empathize because I, too, want more Murderbot. Always. Network Effect was just everything a fan of the novellas, like me, could want in a full length novel.That said, I do think that the novellas are important to read before reading this full length novel. A lot of context would be missing. A lot of characters are the same between the two books, and a lot of the story is crossed over, too. Martha Wells does a good job at catching the reader up, but it still feels like you're missing something if you don't read the novellas. I should have reread them before reading this. I may be being overcautious here, because I typically am, but I do feel they are somewhat necessary.And granted, while I have been a key factor in certain clusterfucks of gigantic proportions and my risk assessment module has serious issues, my threat assessment record is pretty great, like 93 percent.Murderbot itself is just so relatable. I love it. If I were a SecUnit, I would be Murderbot. Its reactions and relationships with the other characters are...darling. I love every single interaction Murderbot has with other people. And AI. It is better to say that Murderbot puts up with people than to say it likes them. Murderbot is snarky and disinterested and overall has a bad opinion of humans. It is good at what it does, but is panicky when things aren't going perfectly and people it cares about are in danger. Though it won't admit to caring about people. Yet Murderbot also kind and just wants to do a good job. And really, we could all aspire to be Murderbot.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.I love the writing style. Murderbot is sneaky funny. Murderbot is running around, just doing its thing (typically trying to save someone who has to be saved) and then it just comes with this parenthetical aside that ranges from making me amused to making me giggle outrageously. In one instance I laughed really, really hard. And the book is just so endlessly quotable. I don't typically save quotes, but I have so many for Network Effect. It's great.If I sound calm, I was actually not calm. I thought I’d had control of the situation (sort of control, okay? don’t laugh) and then it had unraveled rapidly.I actually thought the story was the weakest part, but that's great news because the story was so good. How could it possibly stand up to the awesomeness that is Murderbot and Associates? I mostly cared about this alien menace attacking ships because it had captured Murderbot and its associates, but it was still entertaining and engaging. They have been taken to a new system with really weird, almost impossible enemies. and ART is in the mix, too. And it isn't looking good. At least they have Murderbot on their side.(Confession time: that moment, when the humans or augmented humans realize you’re really here to help them. I don’t hate that moment.)I can't wait for more. Network Effect sets up possibilities of more Murderbot to come, which is perfect because I adore it.ARC received from Tor Books on Edelweiss. This did not affect my review.
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.LIKE WHOEVER WROTE THIS BLURB DESERVES A RAISEP.S. COVER REVEAL TOMORROW EEEEE-----------------------A MURDERBOT NOVEL, HELL YES. I'M SO READY ALSKDJFHL
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  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 My life needs more Cyborgs in it StarsNetwork Effect had just about everything I ever wanted in a full-length story about Murderbot. 1 – More character development - ✔ 2 – More AI-mance time between Murderbot and ART -✔ 3 – More pesky humans almost getting themselves killed - ✔4 – More Murderbotisms - ✔✔✔5 – More fake media shows to get involved with peripherally - ✔ Murderbot has spent a lot of time since we last saw it trying to figure out what they want to be now that there are more 4.5 My life needs more Cyborgs in it StarsNetwork Effect had just about everything I ever wanted in a full-length story about Murderbot. 1 – More character development - ✔ 2 – More AI-mance time between Murderbot and ART -✔ 3 – More pesky humans almost getting themselves killed - ✔4 – More Murderbotisms - ✔✔✔5 – More fake media shows to get involved with peripherally - ✔ Murderbot has spent a lot of time since we last saw it trying to figure out what they want to be now that there are more opportunities for it. Mensah’s marriage partners and family are trying to be cool with the non-mass murdering former Sec Unit she has brought home and have some questions about their ‘relationship’. I think Murderbot’s performance just dropped 5% there. But, while Murderbot is trying to figure out what it now wants to be when it grows up they might as well make some credits and be security on for some of the Preservation scientists on an expedition. They’ve even worked out contract negotiation a little better this time. “No hugging,” I warned her. It was in our contract. Seriously though, I’m not sure how the people from preservation ever survived before Murderbot came into their lives as things go terribly wrong and they hop out of the frying pan an into the fire so to speak. Murderbot needs to help ART, that means that first he needs to figure out what happened to ART and the crew that ART cares for so much.Murderbot is in rare form in this new installment to the series and they are learning a lot about social interactions and helping people. It seems like no matter what they end up with some humans that need to be saved and they are the only one that can do it. They might not think they have emotions happening but I’m pretty sure there is more going in their than Murderbot knows what to do with. “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 With a new bad guy to focus on Network effect leaves behind the troubles with GrayCris and finds other things in the universe to be afraid of. It appears that other companies have done or are doing some very questionable things and Murderbot will again need to pull out a few miracles to save some of his favorite ‘clients’ and ARTs crew.I had a fantastic time in this book and really liked the direction the story took and how many more possibilities it opens up for Murderbot long term. My favorite thing in the book was ART and murderbot making a baby. Not really, but sort of, you’ll see when you get there.If you were a fan of the short stories in this series I hope that you enjoy this full length story that was able to dig a little deeper into the mind of my favorite Cyborg Unit.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars Advance copy from NetGalley. Action-packed and full of humor, the first novel in the series (all other installments being novellas) was a winner! I smiled and laughed a lot as I read this. Wells mixed in so many of the things that made me love the earlier stories—humans who aren’t so bad, really; fun AI characters, and Murderbot’s dry, sarcastic commentary. There was much to love, but the killware file names toward the end are priceless. Reading this made me want to go back and reread 4.5 stars Advance copy from NetGalley. Action-packed and full of humor, the first novel in the series (all other installments being novellas) was a winner! I smiled and laughed a lot as I read this. Wells mixed in so many of the things that made me love the earlier stories—humans who aren’t so bad, really; fun AI characters, and Murderbot’s dry, sarcastic commentary. There was much to love, but the killware file names toward the end are priceless. Reading this made me want to go back and reread from the beginning. Martha Wells is a real treasure, and I’m glad she has books I haven’t read yet. She’s going on my guaranteed win list for authors.
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  • Siobhan
    January 1, 1970
    "Murderous rampages are overrated and interfere with one's ability to keep watching media." ☺️☺️
  • Austra
    January 1, 1970
    Murderbot: Bigger, Longer & UncutAnd you will love it to bits. Mostly. Probably. Not? Who are you and what have you done to my human?“Murderous rampages are overrated and interfere with one's ability to keep watching media.” Murderbot: Bigger, Longer & UncutAnd you will love it to bits. Mostly. Probably. Not? Who are you and what have you done to my human?“Murderous rampages are overrated and interfere with one's ability to keep watching media.”
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  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    I first decided to read Network Effect because of the hype.I know, I know, that kind of thing usually doesn't end well, but while I love Murderbot, I don't think one character is ever enough to carry a whole novel - not when I hadn't felt anything about the side characters in the last two novellas. However, since I know this will probably be a Hugo nominee next year, and since I had just read Exit Strategy (of which I won't post a full review just because I found it that uninteresting), this see I first decided to read Network Effect because of the hype.I know, I know, that kind of thing usually doesn't end well, but while I love Murderbot, I don't think one character is ever enough to carry a whole novel - not when I hadn't felt anything about the side characters in the last two novellas. However, since I know this will probably be a Hugo nominee next year, and since I had just read Exit Strategy (of which I won't post a full review just because I found it that uninteresting), this seemed like a good idea.And at first, it didn't go well. I was kind of bored for the first 30% and I considered DNFing the book, because none of the human characters were that interesting (as usual for this series, and to a degree I think this is a deliberate choice) and there was that weird alien contamination plotline I wasn't a fan of. However, I like the narration and I do care about Murderbot (also, these books are funny), so I continued.And, once ART/Perihelion was in action, I couldn't stop screaming internally. I'm understanding just how much it wasn't a case that Artificial Condition was my favorite of the novellas. ART and Murderbot have Feelings about each other! Which they'd never want to admit! And it's so funny to see two characters be dragged by all the humans around them because they won't admit they're friends - and the effect is strengthened by Murderbot's organic and inorganic parts running almost completely on denial.Also, the way Amena (Mensah's teenage daughter) ends up being the middleman of the situation? Perfect, best character dynamic of the year, award-deservingI still didn't strongly care about the plot, or the world; while I like the commentary around the existence of corporations and their profit-driven way of life being inherently tied to AIs' an certain people's lack of rights, I just don't find this universe to be that interesting! It's very straightforward, which I guess makes it accessible, but it doesn't do much more than throw acronyms at you without much context. Why write sci-fi if you won't even try to use the Cool Factor!I might read the recently-announced Fugitive Telemetry next year, because Network Effect finally gave me the feeling that the plot is going to branch out from the repetitive outline of the novellas, which all kind of felt like remixes of each other - we'll see. This was overall a fun time, and I wouldn't mind rereading it someday (...though I'd probably be skimming the first 30%)
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating: 4.5 starsAs usual Murderbot is hilariously snarky and incredibly charming, this time in a full-length novel! If you have enjoyed earlier installments of Murderbot, you will definitely enjoy this one as well. In these further space adventures, Murderbot's human associates find themselves in trouble and Murderbot must take action. This installment features infectious alien remnants, a human teenager, and Murderbot further discovering their humanity, this time in a sort of hate-to-lo Actual Rating: 4.5 starsAs usual Murderbot is hilariously snarky and incredibly charming, this time in a full-length novel! If you have enjoyed earlier installments of Murderbot, you will definitely enjoy this one as well. In these further space adventures, Murderbot's human associates find themselves in trouble and Murderbot must take action. This installment features infectious alien remnants, a human teenager, and Murderbot further discovering their humanity, this time in a sort of hate-to-love, asexual, quasi-romance? It's very entertaining and was exactly the sort of thing I needed. That said, you might wonder if this really feels like a novel. And the answer is, sort of? It kind of reads like the novellas, but longer and with more supporting plot threads. Elements of the narrative structure are sometimes a little weird and occasionally confusing. If you are new to the Murderbot Diaries, I definitely would not start with this! It very much builds on the preceding novellas and would probably be confusing and frustrating as a starting point. Not perfect, but still thoroughly enjoyable and leaving the door open for more of our favorite biological AI! I for one would love to continue getting installments in the series. They're a wonderful blend of action, mystery, humor, and heart. I received an advance copy of this book for review from the publisher all opinions are my own.
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