Ruthsic's Reviews > Network Effect

Network Effect by Martha Wells
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really liked it
bookshelves: arcs, adult, dystopian, diverse, science-fiction, favorites, futuristic, audiobook, reread
Read 4 times. Last read January 29, 2023 to January 30, 2023.

4.5 stars

Warnings: gun violence, extreme physical violence, extensive bodily injury, discussion of PTSD

Having a full-length Murderbot novel is a treat, and this one brings out an extensive tale with abduction, alien remnants, daring rescues and loads of snark. Murderbot's life in Preservation as a security-for-hire (contracts negotiated by Pin-Lee) are not exactly uneventful as Dr Mensah was a target for GrayCris, but months later, things have quieted down enough that Murderbot accepts a contract to be security aboard a research survey being headed by Dr Arada. A raider attack (which the book opens on spectacularly) has them making an early retreat back, but the moment they are through the wormhole, they are attacked by a transport and an attempt is made at abducting the whole crew; Murderbot and Amena (Mensah's oldest kid and a teenager) get grabbed, along with some others who get inadvertently pulled in as the transport takes them into another system.

Said transport has already been boarded by other hostiles and its original crew is missing. As Murderbot works to protect Amena, there are a lot of things that don't add up, such as who the hostiles are, how their system overwhelmed said transport's system, and what they want from them. Murderbot once again using all their creative skills in security to stage a takeover, but their problems don't end there. They are now in Corporation Rim owned space along with corporates, and it means Murderbot has to behave as a different kind of contracted SecUnit at times. The story takes some interesting turns, some expected, some unexpected, and overall delivers one hell of an adventure/mystery plot.

Murderbot is snarky as usual when it comes to protecting its humans, and I loved their dynamic with the people from the PreservationAux crew, as well as the new members of this survey crew. Also, watching them watch Murderbot bicker with a certain transport bot was hilarious! Still, on a serious note, it developed the relationship between them so much - considering how much Murderbot says bots can befriend each other because of the control humans have over them, it was nice to see examples of just the opposite in this book. We also get some additional perspectives from secondary characters - won't tell you who they are as it is a spoiler but suffice to say, all SecUnits are awkward around humans. There are also a few flashbacks about the intermittent time till the events at the start of the book. I do feel its length could've been shortened if we didn't have explanations for things we already knew from the novellas.

Overall, it is an exciting space adventure with plenty of engaging action scenes, and an emotional arc that we have been waiting for!

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from, via Edelweiss.
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Reading Progress

April 22, 2020 – Shelved
April 22, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
April 22, 2020 – Shelved as: arcs
April 23, 2020 – Started Reading
April 25, 2020 –
17.0% "Noooooooooooooooooooooo!"
April 25, 2020 –
63.0% "Amena is waving her shipper flag lol"
April 25, 2020 – Shelved as: adult
April 25, 2020 – Shelved as: dystopian
April 25, 2020 – Shelved as: diverse
April 25, 2020 – Shelved as: science-fiction
April 25, 2020 – Finished Reading
February 9, 2021 – Started Reading
February 12, 2021 – Finished Reading
March 14, 2021 – Shelved as: favorites
March 14, 2021 – Shelved as: futuristic
March 14, 2021 – Shelved as: audiobook
March 14, 2021 – Shelved as: reread
September 11, 2022 – Started Reading
September 11, 2022 – Finished Reading
January 29, 2023 – Started Reading
January 30, 2023 – Finished Reading

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