Book Review: Network Effect, by Martha Wells
By Geoffrey Baum
Murderbot just wants to be left alone to watch its shows – and protect its humans. Murderbot might have been a human once, but now it is a heavily augmented and armored security appliance or SecUnit; rented out by The Company to anyone that needs the protection and can pay the fee. Think RoboCop without all the 80s baggage.
The Murderbot Diaries began with four fast-paced novellas by Martha Wells (All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy). The highly anticipated novel, Network Effect, has Murderbot reunite with old friends and new humans in an out of system adventure of corporate espionage, lost colonies, and ancient alien artifacts.
Murderbot’s journey toward self-understanding is just as fraught, but the diverse found-family around this self-liberated SecUnit helps it shoulder the load of feelings it just wasn’t programmed for. Network Effect builds to a frenetic finale of sacrifice, snark, and suspense that made me laugh and cry. Any fans of space opera or military fiction with a smirk will enjoy, as will fans of Philip K. Dick, Becky Chambers, or Neal Asher.
All four novellas and Network Effect are available in Libby/Overdrive and book form (when we begin curbside service), so place your Holds now, they are already very popular.