Network Effect is the first full-length novel following Martha Wells four novella's in the 'Murderbot Diaries' series: All Systems Red; Artificial Condition; Rogue Protocol; and Exit Strategy.
Network Effect is set in a corporate-dominated spacefaring future where security androids accompany exploratory teams. A team of scientists are conducting surface tests in a hostile planetary environment. Their journey is told in the first person by their 'SecUnit' android, who ably defends them, despite its misgiving.
Network Effect can be read as a stand-alone, but many reviewers recommended readers take a slow burn through the four novellas to ramp up the appreciation index.
The character development of Murderbot made for inspiring reading, assuredly drawing out SecUnit's unique point of view. Network Effect is a deserved award-winning novel, despite its long and overly detailed plot.
Top marks for Network Effect's killer opening scenes, but the thrilling start fell a gear in the remaining two-thirds of the novel. 4 STARS.