Book Review: Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells

5 out of 5 Stars!!!

The Blurb

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.

My Thoughts?

This was easily my favorite book of 2020. Between the believable yet fantastic science fiction, a realistic and diverse cast, and the sarcastically murderous AI you can’t help but relate to, there’s just so much to love about Murderbot.

Honestly, I had to read this book twice to figure out everything that was going on. The plot is super twisty with enough fast-paced action to keep any fan of intense space battles happy. But the real reason I loved this book was the relatable–and often awkward–interactions between the characters. Whether dealing with eye-rolling teens, psychotic aliens, messy shipmates, or traumatized clients, Murderbot takes it all in stride (though that doesn’t mean it won’t complain about it later).

The writing style is painfully honest and hilarious, though there are plenty of tearjerker moments as well. Martha Wells really knows how to pull on ALL the heartstrings, right before Murderbot goes and literally tears the heart out of some alien target (but only because the target had threatened Murderbot’s humans first). If you hadn’t guessed yet, trigger warnings for extreme violence, gore, hostage situations, and death.

Overall I give Network Effect 5 out of 5 stars. This book is a phenomenal addition to any science fiction or humor lover’s collection.

Happy Reading!

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