by Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #5
Narrator: Kevin R. Free
Length: 12 hours and 48 minutes
Genres: Science Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x
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.
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
June is Audiobook Month, and Network Effect is the perfect audiobook to kick off the celebration. It’s the first full-length audio in the award-winning Murderbot series and one of my most anticipated audiobook for 2020. Gear up because Wells delivered a complex, fascinating and brilliant story that made me laugh even as it kept me on edge.
This is the fifth audio in the Murderbot series, but the previous four were all novellas and approx. 4 hours. All are brilliant, often hilarious and each endeared me to Murderbot our protagonist. My only complaint was that I wanted a full-length story. And here we are….
In case you’ve been off-planet and haven’t listen to the previous books, I recommend you listen in order as Murderbot develops and makes friends, (kind of) throughout the series.
Murderbot is a rogue SecUnit who disabled a part of his unit that took away his free will. He struggles with keeping his “emotions” in check and befriends ART, the artificial intelligence in a transport craft, and a human; Dr. Mensah.
The story is a mix of humor, mystery and suspense as it ponders life questions about AI, the powers that be, human vs machine and more.
In Network Effect, Murderbot and some of its humans (the ones he feels responsible to protect) are kidnapped by weird humanoids. We soon learn ART did the kidnapping. He needs help to save HIS humans and needs Murderbot’s help. The tale that unfolds completely pulled me in.
Wells mixed humor and sociology into the mix as Murderbot, the humans and ART work together to save ART’s humans. The back-and-forth banter, mistrust, and forgiveness between ART and Murderbot was exceptional. It was like watching an old married couple work through their problems.
The perspective is direct from Murderbot and Wells is a master at delivering a believable AI, who struggles with the complexity of humans, right and wrong and relationships.
I had an absolute blast listening to Kevin R. Free narrate the story. He has become the voice of Murderbot and key characters. The series lends itself to audio and Wells’ writing style makes the story flow wonderfully.
I love this quirky, addictive series. I cannot wait for more adventures with our SecUnit and his companions.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: