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Our Discussion of Network Effect by Martha Wells

Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells 

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.

Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.

-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. Goodreads

Below are a sampling of our comments:

  • I enjoyed the snark
  • There was a blizzard of names and it was a little slow going at points
  • You didn’t have to read the previous books to follow the story, but you missed the character progression of Murderbot
  • Murderbot finds that anxiety and depression are side-effects of becoming more human - also, there was no swearing in the earlier books, but now the swearing begins as do the emotional breakdowns
  • I liked Murderbot’s self-talk or inner voice – it was delightful and awesome
  • I loved Murderbot
  • In the earlier books the humans are mostly interchangeable, but as Murderbot begins his journey of self-actualization, they become more distinct individuals
  • It was also reminiscent of ET where ET watched TV and tried to imitate humans the way Murderbot does through his entertainment media, the less realistic the better
  • Slowly Murderbot admitted he cared about ART and he could tell by ART’s hesitations of microseconds or the slightest flicker of the lights when ART was being sarcastic
  • Today’s corporate world was well-captured by the Corporate Rim
  • I visualized Murderbot as Buzz Lightyear, or the first Robocop with Terminator-level abilities, a “casual terminator” or K-2so from Rogue One….

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you have about Network Effect. We gave this title the codes FEM, AI, ETH, ROB, FEM, HOME, POL, QUE, and AGE and an average rating of 4.7.

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