Review | Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells

Title: Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells

Published: May 5, 2020

Genre(s): adult, sci-fi, adventure, humor

Read as: ebook, kindle unlimited

Rating: 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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.

I love Murderbot. Each book I read in the series I just enjoy it more and more. In case you are unaware, Murderbot is a SecUnit, or a sentient murder machine designed for the sole purpose of protecting clients. The clients, often silly little humans with an accidental death wish, get themselves into all kinds of trouble and Murderbot begrudgingly helps them out of whatever situation they have found themselves in but it would really rather be watching its media shows.

Murderbot is the best.

I think what draws me most to this series is the fact that Murderbot, despite being a machine, is the most human character I have even seen on page. It has loves and hates, grapples with emotions it denies that it has, absolutely hates to be touched, and has a certain brand of apathy that speaks to my soul. Despite all of that, it does its absolute best to protect the people it claims to not care about.

These books are filled with a humorous examination of human emotions and choices through the lens of a robot that desperately denies its more human aspects. Each story has perilous peril and a choice Murderbot has to make to help or not help the humans it finds itself in the company of.

I don’t want to give too much away as this is the 5th book of the series, however, watching Murderbot grow and learn through each story is nothing short of amazing. Accidentally finding friends (that it denies that it has) and going to great lengths to protect them (despite complaining a great deal in the meantime) is a delightful journey to go on.

This is the best book so far in the series and the first full length novel where Murderbot finds itself on a planet infested with a hostile entity that has captured some of the people it hates to care for. The story also sees the return of a beloved character from a previous novella in the form of a snarky (and slightly violent) space ship.

If you haven’t started reading this series, what are you waiting for? This is escapism at its finest and you will end every story with a smile on your face.

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