Book Review: Network Effect by Martha Wells (Four Stars)


Book Review: Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5) by Martha Wells

(Four Stars)

(Second read in progress: Provisionally lowering the rating to four stars. I’ll explain why when I finish the read and revise the review.)

“I’m back online.” She smiled. “I’ll warn everybody.”

Fear not, those who thought Murderbot might survive the transition to novel-length. Our favorite … uhm, construct strides through three hundred pages with his self-doubt and existential crisis—not to mention his armature and drones—intact.

“What are you? You’re a bot?” Thiago said, “It’s a security unit. A bot/human construct.” Target Leader didn’t seem to believe him. “Why does it look like a person?” I said, “I ask myself that sometimes.”

Hasn’t quite the immediacy and edge of the shorter stories, but equally entertaining.

(If I got angry at myself for being angry I would be angry constantly and I wouldn’t have time to think about anything else.) (Wait, I think I am angry constantly. That might explain a lot.)

It’s the parentheticals. Not everyone can sustain so many snarky asides without dissolving into silliness. It’s a knack, and Wells has it. (Don’t look for it in her other stories; it’s not there.)

(Confession time: that moment, when the humans or augmented humans realize you’re really here to help them. I don’t hate that moment.)