TITLE: Network Effects
AUTHOR: Martha Wells
SERIES: Murderbot Diaries #5
"Murderbot returns in its highly-anticipated, first, full-length standalone novel.
You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you're a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you're Murderbot.
Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.
I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.
When Murderbot's 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."
A brilliant, full-length, action packed addition to the Murderbot diaries. ART (aka Asshole Research Transport) makes an appearance, Murderbot blackmails Dr Mensah (!!), there is a Murderbot 2.0 (this part was delightful), there is also a "Murderbot" 3 (sort of) and the hazards of fiddling around with alien technology. Network Effects was something enjoyable and absorbing to read when the world is quite cheerfully going to hell.
NOTE: It helps (and would probably be more enjoyable) if you have read the previous 4 novellas, but isn't entirely necessary.
TITLE: The Travelling Cat Chronicles
AUTHOR: Hiro Arikawa
TRANSLATOR: Philip Gabriel
"It's not the journey that counts, but who's at your side.
Nana, a cat, is devoted to Satoru, his owner. So when Satoru decides to go on a roadtrip one day to find him a new home, Nana is perplexed. They visit Satoru's old friends from his school days and early youth. His friends may have untidy emotional lives but they are all animal lovers, and they also wonder why Satoru is trying to give his beloved cat away. Until the day Nana suddenly understands a long-held secret about his much-loved owner, and his heart begins to break.
Narrated in turns by Nana and by his owner, this funny, uplifting, heartrending story of a cat is nothing if not profoundly human."
I cannot write a review that does this book justice without providing spoilers or sounding soppy or silly. It's a lovely, poignant book about relationships between people and animals (especially the cat) written from a cat's perspective and set in Japan.
A more detailed review can be found here: Portable Magic's Review
I believe this ended up a movie also.