Mickey is an Expendable. He’s sent along with a colonizing crew to do the dirty jobs. Go check out that cave over there… Might be acid spitting monster. Oops! Reactor is busted… May be some radiation. Be careful! And if he doesn’t make it, eh… we’ll make another. As the title suggests, Mickey is on his 7th version. All the same as the first… personality, looks, and unfortunately, job.
Long range scanners determined the planet Niflheim was ready for terraforming, but on the surface it’s a ball of ice with some interesting inhabitants. Mickey7 goes out on a jaunt around the permafrost and slips down a hole. Assumed to be lost, Mickey8 is created back on the ship. Jack Tripper moments ensue as they (the two Mickeys) try to hide themselves from the rest of the crew and figure out what to do…
The hype is big for this one… so how does it meet expectations?
The premise is obviously key to this book. It all revolves around this equation… (btw. the story of how he became an Expendable is important, so I’m not going to give it away here). And on the whole, the book focuses to the core characters: Mickey 7, Mickey 8, a love interest, and the boss. Ashton pulls the camera back a bit to relay the experiences of other colonies and Expendables, their successes and mistakes. There is a bit of The Martian/ “character vs the void of space”… It’s a thing in scifi and if you’re a frequent reader of the genre, you will know what I am talking about.
The real conclusion that I’m headed toward is that I wanted to story to transition to the bigger picture a bit earlier… I knew it was going to happen, but felt the effect would have been more powerful if the audience could experience it for longer.
A solid new premise gives way to some worldly-contemplation. But some confusion about scope and tone (is it Three’s Company situational comedy or something a bit more serious?).
3.5 out of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for an advanced copy for review.