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 will be released May 5, 2020. Preorder now!
“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.
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.