“Now we’re here, ready for the next major disaster. (Spoiler warning.)” – Murderbot, page 37, Network Effect
Murderbot is back! If you are not familiar with Murderbot and the four previous books that comprise the Murderbot Diaries, you can become acquainted with these delightful books clicking on the following links and checking out my reviews : All Systems Red; Artificial Condition; Rogue Protocol; and Exit Strategy.
The Murderbot Diaries were created by author Martha Wells. Martha is an excellent writer. I have enjoyed her creative writing skills in developing characters and the plot. I also enjoy Martha’s descriptions of the places and people that Murderbot interacts with. In some cases her descriptions are so well done, I feel like I could sketch the person or draw a diagram or schematic of the place.
The overarching theme of these novels, to me, is what really makes us human. This theme doesn’t just pertain to Murderbot and other AI that it meets but to the people as well.
I enjoy how all of these books tie in together but can also be read on their own. I am not the only human who enjoys these books immensely. Titles in the Murderbot Diaries series have won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and Alex Awards.
Murderbot is paranoid, anxious, doesn’t like to be touched and enjoys the human media program “Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon.” He has moments were he has feelings. What Murderbot calls having an emotion. He cares very much for the clients who have become his friends and recognizes why he considers them friends.
“Thiago had said he felt like he should apologize and talk to me more about it. Ratthi had said, ‘I think you should let it go for a while, at least until we get ourselves out of this situation. SecUnit is a very private person, it doesn’t like to discuss its feelings.’ This is why Ratthi is my friend.” -page 230-231, Network Effect
Things have a way of going sideways very quickly on strange planets and that’s why the humans need protection. Providing security for humans is a monumental task. Murderbot is quick to point the irony of its job with its quick wit and hint of sarcasm.
“I’ve had clients who thought they needed an absurd level of security. (And I’m talking absurd by my standards, and my code was developed by a bond company known for intense xenophobic paranoia, tempered only by desperate greed.) I’ve also had clients who thought they didn’t need any security at all, right up until something ate them. (That’s mostly a metaphor. My uneaten client stat is high.)” Murderbot – page 9, Network Effect
Network Effect will keep you guessing until the very end. And for those who have read the previous four novels, an old friend returns and desperately needs Murderbots help. The description on the book cover reads as follows:
“I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90-plus percent of my problems are.
The bestselling Murderbot series exploded onto the scene with ‘one of the most humane portraits of a non-human I’ve ever read’ (Annalee Newitz). Now one of the most relatable AIs in science fiction returns in its first stand alone novel.
It calls itself Murderbot, but only when no one can hear.
It worries about the fragile human crew who’ve grown to trust it, but only where no one can see.
It tells itself that they’re only a professional obligation, but when they’re captured and an old friend from the past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.
Drastic Action it is, then.” – Book cover, Network Effect
Network Effect by Martha Wells is a stellar read. But don’t take my word for it, go find a copy of your own to read.