The best thing about finishing this book (of course I did not want it to end!) is that now I can read all of the CBR reviews. Hooray! I had to stop myself from peeking at your reviews before I even started listening to Network Effect– the temptation was strong! Now I can continue to bask in the Murderbot blow despite having no new adventures to read. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to, and thank you AGAIN for introducing me to Murderbot in the first place!
I can’t imagine that you are reading this review if you have not read any Murderbot before, what with this being the fifth entry and all, but if for some reason you are- STOP NOW! Go read the series and then come back! This won’t be a spoil-a-thon, but it also won’t make sense unless you’re familiar with Murderbot, ART and all of the other ‘soap stars’ shooting about this particular galaxy.
It’s difficult to say much more than, damn I love Murderbot! I love seeing it learn, grow, feel, and fight dummies on boats. I love hearing it fight with itself, I love hearing it spar with ART, and I love the humans around it who are also struggling with how to care for it AND themselves. I just…don’t know if I LOVED this entry.
As usual, I let Kevin R. Free narrate the adventures of Murderbot while I went about my daily routines. More so than ever, I am convinced that it is actually Kevin ARE Free narrating as a group- countless new humans, Version 2.0, 3, the return of ART- the Kevins had an entire collection of identities to voice…but unfortunately, the voicework didn’t always, well, work. Dr. Mensah and Amena have the exact same intonation, and it works well for the stately Dr. Mensah but is jarring and bizarre for the teenage Amena.
This is the first time that I found myself thinking “hmmm, maybe I should be reading this”. The flow of the story was also rough through audio; there was more time to account for, more action to describe, and more out-of-order interjections that often left me confused and/or spaced out. I definitely need to READ this one again, and I need to take my time. I was feeling discouraged around 60% of the way through, as I was struggling with keeping the action and characters straight. I was ready to be mad!
Luckily, despite the foggy narration and non-stop-clunking-action, I was pulled back to safety by Murderbot, ART, and their REDACTED. Ah! I know the next installment will be a prequel, but I am excited to see (read: READ) what happens next with my favorite murderous misanthrope.