Audio: Network Effect by Martha Wells @marthawells1 @kevinrfree ‏@recordedbooks @tordotcom #LoveAudiobooks

Posted May 12, 2020 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 21 Comments

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio:  Network Effect by Martha Wells @marthawells1 @kevinrfree ‏@recordedbooks @tordotcom #LoveAudiobooksNetwork Effect by Martha Wells
Narrator: Kevin Free
Series: Murderbot Diaries #5
Published by Recorded Books on May 5, 2020
Genres: Science Fiction
Length: 12 hours, 48 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonAudibleLibro.fmBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.

It calls itself Murderbot, but only when no-one can hear. It’s a private joke. Funny.

It doesn’t care, it tells itself, and its attachment to the humans around it is merely professional obligation.

It tries to never drop the F-bomb.



So, when its 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.

Another F-bomb.



New in the Murderbot Diaries series, we get a full novel!!  In Network Effect, Murderbot is still trying to figure out what he should be doing, and what are these …feelings?  He also spends too much time in the impossible task of understanding humans. There is hardly any time to binge Sanctuary Moon.  All of it is hilarious. My love for Murderbot can not be overstated.

“I’m not your social secretary, Ameena. If you want a better lie, make up one yourself.”

I could play it back to listen in on the whole conversation but I could also punch myself in the head with a sampling drill and I was not going to do that either.


The world-building and character development is stellar.  Some way this happens even with the abductions, and battles, and space flights. Even the action can’t stop the excellent development or the humor. The humor is such a refreshing combination of sarcasm and blunt truth.

Somehow, Murderbot’s humans are always getting captured or into trouble.  Murderbot finds problems and battles in space, and on a planet. Those corporations are always up to no-good.  But he does run into an old not-friend and helps him.  Murderbot makes many new not-friend connections and has some new plans for his future.  Take me along, please.


I have loved the audio version of this series.  Kevin Free is perfect in his comedic timing and emotional timbre for Murderbot and all the other characters.  The blank voice for systems or regular SecUnits is perfect, too.  I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.  I’m sure I will be listening again to this brilliant performance.

Listen to a clip:

About Kevin Free

Kevin R. Free has appeared on national television in commercials and on NBC’s Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU. New York audiences have seen Mr. Free Off-Broadway, creating the role of Memphis in From My Hometown both for Amas Musical Theatre and at the Gramercy Theatre, for which he was nominated for an Audelco Award. He was also seen Off-Broadway at the York Theatre in Taking A Chance On Love, and as Bubber Brown in The New Federal Theatre’s acclaimed The Conjure Man Dies. He has been featured in concerts with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and with the education department of Symphony Space.

Mr. Free has performed regionally in many places, including his home state of North Carolina at Charlotte Repertory Theatre (Belize in Angels in America, Paul in Six Degrees of Separation) and at the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival (Francis Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ariel in The Tempest). Other favorite roles in the musical theatre include Dromio of Ephesus in The Boys From Syracuse at CENTERSTAGE, Nemur in Chasing Nicolette at Prince Music Theatre in Philadelphia,Milton in Avenue X at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Gift Guy in Adventures In Love at the Ordway in St. Paul, MN, and Flick in Violet at Stage One in Wichita, KS and at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, for which he was nominated for a Barrymore Award.

About Martha Wells

Martha Wells has written many fantasy novels, including The Books of the Raksura series (beginning with The Cloud Roads), the Ile-Rien series (including The Death of the Necromancer) as well as YA fantasy novels, short stories, media tie-ins (for Star Wars and Stargate: Atlantis), and non-fiction. Her most recent fantasy novel is The Harbors of the Sun in 2017, the final novel in The Books of the Raksura series. She has a new series of SF novellas, The Murderbot Diaries, published by in 2017 and 2018. She was also the lead writer for the story team of Magic: the Gathering’s Dominaria expansion in 2018. She has won a Nebula Award, an ALA/YALSA Alex Award, a Locus Award, and her work has appeared on the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Award ballots, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been published in eleven languages.

She has had short stories in the magazines Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Lone Star Stories, Lightspeed Magazine, and Stargate Magazine, and in the Tsunami Relief anthology Elemental, The Other Half of the Sky, Tales of the Emerald Serpent, Mech: Age of Steel, and The Gods of Lovecraft.

She has essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape Forever, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, Chicks Unravel Time, and The Kobold Guide to Magic.

Rating Breakdown
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Posted May 12, 2020 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 21 Comments

21 responses to “Audio: Network Effect by Martha Wells

  1. I listened to the first of this series and enjoyed it, but I bought it on an Audible deal and the cost of the other books were a bit high for what basically amounted to novella length stories. I’ll check and see if my library carries the series again, because I would like to continue. Glad you’re still enjoying the series so much. Is there ever a romance? Just curious.

    Rachel recently posted: A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber
  2. I am turning an unbecoming shade of green – jealousy is such a nasty, negative emotion! But also really glad you have loved this one so much:)).

  3. Yep, I am definitely going to have to get my hands on this one. I read the novellas by checking them out at my library which happens to be closed right now. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I can get my hands on a copy.

  4. I am still reading it and went in with very high expectations. So far, sadly, I am underwhelmed. Still thinking about it and will summarize it in my review.
    Anyhow, just wanted to mention that I found it interesting that you address murderbot as a „he“. Although Murderbot itself uses „it“ as a personal pronoun, I picture its biological parts to look female. Not sure where I got that from, I probably need to re-read the first novella at some point.

      • Good point about the audio. When I listened to Ann Leckie‘s series, I always pictured the AI as female, because the narrator was a woman.

        Anyhow, I finished and liked the latter part of the book very much. The middle part dragged awfully though, so I only rated the book with three sśtars.

        Cathy recently posted: Murderbot strikes again…
  5. Jen

    I added this series to my audible wish list after reading Kimba’s reviews. Glad it is still good! Thanks for the review.