This week, I finally had the opportunity to read Network Effect, by Martha Wells. This is the fifth book (and first full-length novel) of The Murderbot Diaries series. If you’ve been following The Unapologetic Bookworm for a while, you already know that I have completely fallen in love with this series, so it won’t surprise you to learn that Network Effect is now officially my favorite new book release of 2020.

Like the previous books in the series, Network Effect follows the adventures of Murderbot, a SecUnit who would much rather be watching television than dealing with actual people.

“I didn’t want to answer any reasonable questions. If I was wrong, I’d probably be dead, and that was bad enough. Being stupid and dead would just be that much worse.”

Network Effect, by Martha Wells (page 124)

Network Effect finds Murderbot once again providing security for a group of Preservation researchers while they complete a survey mission. When the survey team is attacked by raiders, they make the decision to return to their baseship ahead of schedule…only to be attacked by a group of unknown hostiles. When Murderbot and one of the researchers (a young intern named Amena) are captured and taken aboard the hostile vessel, the SecUnit finds itself not only protecting its adolescent client, but also helping an old friend.

I absolutely loved this book! Like the other books in the series, Network Effect is a fast-paced story with a lot of action and some very humorous moments. I had a very difficult time putting the book down, and actually ended up reading the majority of the novel in one sitting. I know I’ve said this in previous reviews of books from The Murderbot Diaries series, but I am incredibly impressed with the Murderbot character. It has rapidly become one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.

While this book is technically a standalone novel, you will definitely want to read books one through four prior to picking up Network Effect. Many characters from the earlier books make an appearance in this one, and there are also occasional references to events that happened earlier in the series.

If you’re a fan of science fiction and you haven’t had the opportunity to read the books of The Murderbot Diaries series, I highly recommend giving them a try. I’m sure you will love the entire series!

The next book in the series, Fugitive Telemetry, is due to be released on April 27, 2021. I’m already looking forward to it!

Happy reading!

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