Network Effect by Martha Wells | Book Review
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Murderbot is on its first contracted job for itself. And while it might still be doing security, the key part is that it actually wants to do the job. But while providing security on a Preservation research trip, the team suddenly finds themselves under attack. Quick to action, Murderbot does all it can to rescue the crew. And ok, it might actually like these humans a little bit and be extremely angry if they came to harm. But nothing goes according to plan and Murderbot finds itself brought aboard a vessel that seems oddly familiar. As Murderbot and its team begin to dig deeper into the mystery of their capture they will uncover a host of problems. The least of which is being kidnapped.
Oh, Murderbot the trouble you find yourself in.
Network Effect brings back an old friend of Murderbot’s, Asshole Research Transport, A.K.A ART. Although Murderbot has a hard time admitting to having friends, we all know ART and Murderbot enjoy sharing quips and media. If you’ve never read about two highly intelligent A.I.s trading comebacks while working together towards a common goal, you’re missing out. ART and Murderbot working as a team ups the ante and brings a healthy dose of tension and action. They pair so well together, even if they don’t always agree with the other's approach. But between the two of them, anyone who stands in their way will have no idea what hit them.
Each of Murderbot’s stories gravitates around human experiences and learning how to process them. Anger is one of the first emotions Murderbot became familiar with, and it still remains its first response. But Murderbot will be forced to come to terms with a new emotion it never thought it would experience. While it may be made of both machine and organic parts, able to do amazing technological feats, its processing is about to be put to the test as it comes to terms with grief.
Murderbot also faces the stark reality of being trapped in one's own head. We’ve all been there, being surrounded by people yet still feeling alone. While the humans around Murderbot do all they can to comfort it, Murderbot knows they cannot fully understand what is going on as it processes emotions. But of course, that’s where ART comes in and I love the support and friendship Murderbot has from a fellow A.I.
When I first saw Murderbot had a full-length novel, my immediate thought was to wonder if the story would hold up. But you know what? I shouldn’t have worried. This snarky robot’s adventure is just as entertaining as the novellas. And I can’t wait for the next one!
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