Dying isn’t any fun… but at least it’s a living.
Mickey7 is an Expendable: a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonize the ice world Niflheim. Whenever there’s a mission that’s too dangerous—even suicidal— the crew turns to Mickey. After one iteration dies, a new body is regenerated with most of his memories intact. Mickey signed on to escape from both bad debts and boredom on Midgard.
After six deaths, Mickey7 understands the terms of his deal…and why it was the only colonial position unfilled when he took it.
When he goes missing and is presumed dead at the hands of deadly indigenous creatures, Mickey8 reports for duty, and their troubles really begin.
It’s difficult to write a standalone sci-fi novel. There’s so much world building to make a story successful and then to also be able to have an introduction to a plot and conclude it in a satisfying way is a big ask. I’m happy to say that Mickey7 is a masterclass on how to do this properly.
Mickey is an interesting and layered character; he’s made a series of bad choices in life and has volunteered himself to be an Expendable on a colony mission. Doomed to perform tasks no-one else can (or wants to!), he dies in many unpleasant ways and is then re-uploaded as a clone of himself to start again. Mickey is a great narrator and we feel sympathy for him, it’s also interesting when another version of himself comes along (not really a spoiler as it’s in the blurb). It makes an intriguing dilemma about how much of our recent experiences shape who we are and also whether re-assembling yourself all in one go actually brings back the same person or not.
The world-building is done really well; from explaining life onboard the dome itself and the frozen world outside, to the history of earth and some of the other failed colony projects. The exposition is drip-fed to us in a way that is interesting and captures attention but is also relevant to the main plot at hand. The book is quite short, but it kept me hooked and I finished it in pretty much one sitting! The pace is kept high throughout and the tone is light with some humour woven in which made it a delight to read.
Overall, Mickey7 is a great standalone sci-fi story with a great premise which kept me hooked. Thank you to NetGalley & Rebellion – Solaris for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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