More teenagers from the 80s

Paper Girls, Vol. 1
by Brian K. Vaughan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Saga flashback (forward flash?) on page 4!


Confusing start. Wacky plot. Love the artwork. Funky colours. Time travel, dinosaurs, various monsters, visiting teenagers that look as if they escaped from Star Trek Insurrection and use a contraption that looks as if a Dalek had a love child with a Tardis… Fun!


I will probably continue this series at some point…

Murderbot strikes again…

I apologize for my lack of updates, but this book catapulted me into a reading slump…

Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)
by Martha Wells

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

The first, novel-length Murderbot, with the return of a beloved character from the second novella.

“Surely they won’t suspect anything,” Ratthi was saying to the others at the bulk dock. “Who runs around with a friendly rogue SecUnit? Besides us, I mean.”

I liked (parts of) this book, but I definitely did not love it. It took me 11 days to get through this, because I kept putting it down and had no interest in picking it up again.

I enjoyed the beginning and the last third of this, but the middle part dragged a lot. There was plenty of „she did this, he did that and then she did that and he discussed this…“, which made for some very boring reading. Too much telling and showing, too little doing. Add to that a convoluted plot with many details that just did not get explored sufficiently. 

Perhaps this would have worked better as a novella, same as the other stories. Did Wells take her usual story and blow it up with chaff to reach novel length, is that what this was? It felt long and slow, with a lot of hot air.

The beginning was good, I was practically giddy about finally picking up a longer version of Murderbot and getting a deeper look at its development as a sentient being with free will and burgeoning relationships with Dr. Mensah and its other humans. That did not happen.

The initial giddiness turned into pronounced disinterest very quickly and I kept putting this down to read fanfiction instead. The middle part just dragged immensely and was so full of filler, I actually skimmed many paragraphs of introspective musings and too little value to the story (for me, at least).

The plot progression was entirely too slow for me and too contrived. The exploration of Murderbot‘s personal relationships was too superficial.

I was bored and did not care (yes, I get bored easily at the moment, blame it on Quarantine Brain™️). On top of that I thought the Targets were silly and not explored enough. All the superfluos detail elsewhere should maybe have been invested here.

However, in the last third of the book interesting things happened and I was immediately intrigued and hooked. I enjoyed that part and it elevated the book to three stars for me.

The ending was a very obvious set-up for the next book, which I already ordered, despite this not so stellar review. 

Whilst this probably works as a standalone, I would recommend reading these novellas/books in publishing order for maximum enjoyment.

Further reading:

Martha Wells on Reading Recommendations and Murderbot’s Favorite Media