Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5), by Martha Wells (author),Kevin R. Free (narrator)

Recorded Books, May 2020

SecUnit, a.k.a. Murderbot, makes a deal with Dr. Mensah that he'll accompany an expedition with members of the survey team, and a couple of family members, if she goes for trauma recovery treatment.

They get attacked on the planet they're surveying, and successfully fight them off, but of course that's not the end of the matter. They wind up being kidnapped in space, by the ship that is, or was, piloted by Murderbot's old friend, the bot pilot who is really a pretty sophisticated AI, ART. (Asshole Research Transport.)

ART doesn't seem to be there. There are, though, some very strange-looking and quite hostile people--Murderbot immediately dubs them "Targets."

What's happened to ART? Who are these strange, gray people, who except for their skin looking far too human to be actual aliens? What are they after?

Also on the ship that was ART are two people from a Corporation Rim corporation. They were apparently supposed to be surveying and recovering an abandoned colony. Murderbot has to figure them out, defeat the Targets, and protect Armina, and meanwhile they don't really know where the rest of their team.

And really, what happened to ART? Was he deleted? Is he in hiding?

Then there's the whole question of the abandoned colony world that the corporate group was supposed to be surveying and reclaiming.

There's a lot going on here, and for all the fast-paced action, a lot of it is also inside Murderbot's head, as he starts to grudgingly recognize that he has friends, and even feelings.

Some of those friends might even be AIs and other bots.

It's a lot of fun, and very satisfying.

I bought this audiobook.

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