Cover Image: Antimatter Blues

Antimatter Blues

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In Niflheim, Mickey Barnes is contacted by Commander Marshall who has been led to believe that the creepers have  an antimatter bomb.  Mickey is no longer considered an expandable, so he is allowed to live as supposedly he keeps the creepers from using the antimatter bomb.  Winter is coming .  The antimatter that fuels the colony is running low so the Commander wants it for the colony.  Mickey doesn’t know what to do as he h knows if he doesn’t get it back, he may doom the colony.  The creepers won’t give up the antimatter without getting something back in return.  What do the creepers want?  Will Mickey be able to solve the problem and keep everyone alive?  

This novel is the thriller following “Mickey7.”  I recommend reading the first book before reading this one.  This story clears up the lies that Mickey told.   This science fiction thriller novel is a compelling read with world building and thrilling story twists.  I enjoy reading this novel due to author’s expert writing.
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Following immediately after "Mickey 7", the title character is back, but this time he needs to recover a deadly antimatter bomb from the weird creatures that everyone believes have it. Except Mickey 7, our hapless "expendable" clone, knows the truth, but when he goes to recover it so the colonization base can utilize its potential energy to offset an impending weather apocalypse, it's gone! This story is then the tale of him working with - and sometimes against - the natives to recover the bomb before it's too late. 

I enjoyed this as a sequel, it's a fast and entertaining read. My only criticism would be that at times the characterization of his partner Adjaya is a bit too rough-edged, making me wonder whether Mickey 7 is simply a masochist for sticking in a relationship with her. Overall, though, a likeable crew and a fun read.
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4.5 stars

This was a fun follow-up to the first book. While you could probably read this book without reading the first one, I really think you should go back and read the first one if you haven't yet, mainly so that you can avoid spoilers. And because the first book was a lot of fun. Basically, Mickey did something near the end of the first book that is now coming back to bite him in the butt. On paper, Mickey is an aggravating character because he has always skimmed through life and does the minimum possible to get by. It's no wonder his supervisors always want to throttle him. But he also tends to take out his own frustrations with the supervisor on others, making him not the most popular guy. In a colony in a hostile world where everyone needs to pull their own weight, Mickey is that guy that makes you want to slap him. And yet--I can't help but root for him. 

In this book, he somehow ends up as the leader of an expedition to negotiate with the local alien species. The same ones that killed at least two of the previous Mickeys. But he ended up surviving, and they haven't heard from them since the events of the first book. Naturally, Mickey is probably the last person you would want in sensitive negotiations with a hostile species. And naturally, he ends up being the best person for the job, because he looks at things differently. He's not a fighter, he's not the most intelligent, he jumps in often without thinking (which is how he ended up as an expendable in the first place), and he usually tries to talk his way out of everything. Which I think is perfect when you're dealing with a species whose culture and values are completely different from yours. 

I loved his girlfriend, Nasha, and best friend, Berto, who have larger roles in this book. I thought that Ashton did a great job of keeping this story fresh, especially because the unique element of Mickey being an Expendable in the first book was no longer the main issue. Instead, he focused on their interactions with the Creepers and the challenge of two very different cultures clashing. I loved Speaker and quite a few of their conversations had me laughing out loud. I really hope Ashton decides to write another book for this series because I'd love to have more!

If you're looking for a quick and fun sci-fi book, I highly recommend both books. 

I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley and the publishers, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Two years after the conclusion of Mickey7, we pick up on how life has been treating Mickey now that he is "retired". The colony is running short on energy, and there is fear that they will not be able to survive the winter to come without reclaiming the antimatter that Mickey hid away. Mickey and Nasha embark on a mission to reclaim the antimatter in order to save their people and new adventures, and some new species are discovered. 

This was another beautifully light and entertaining bit of Science Fiction. I may have liked this even more than Mickey7 simply because we got to go out into this new planet and get a better feel for the place the colony is trying to build a home. Niflheim is not only unknown, but kind of a terrifying place when you don't know the lay of the land. The continued communication with the creepers was very entertaining and interesting to see how Ashton created a race that has a very different mindset and beliefs than a typical human or group of humans would. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and the series as a whole has been a refreshing delight.
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This sequel to Mickey 7, which I really enjoyed, was somewhat disappointing. I found the "expendables" aspect of Mickey 7 to be quite interesting and it was pretty much the focal point of the story, while in Antimatter Blues it was more of a minor side-note to the story. Overall the story did not really hold my attention, particularly the first third of the book, and I found the chief protagonists endgame actions out of character.
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This was a very enjoyable story. This is the second story in this series that I have read and I can’t wait to read more by this author. This had me on the edge of my seat, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and there was so much suspense that you don’t know where it’s going to go next. I hope there is more to come in this series.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.
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Thank you so much, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, for the chance to read this book in exchange of an honest review.

Now it's summer on Niflheim, the lichens are growing, the six-winged-bat-creatures are chirping and, weirdly for him, Mickey Barnes is still alive. But only because Commander Marshall is convinced the colony's creeper neighbours are holding an antimatter bomb and Mickey is the only reason they are not using it. So Mickey is considered as another colonist and he's now living not a bad life, after all, cleaning rabbit hutches. But that's not going to last.
The antimatter is running low, the colony needs and Marshall wants his bomb back. If Mickey retrieves it, he will lose the only thing protecting him. But retrieving it, means damning the colony. Also, the creepers have their own worries and Mickey finds himself between two species and trying not to damn both or either of them. If something goes wrong, he could not coming back this time.

Antimatter Blues is the brilliant sequel od Mickey7 and it's fascinating, amazing and so good to read. It's an awesome sci-fi read and I felt involved since the beginning, I couldn't stop reading it, I needed to know what would have happened next!
Edward Ashton's novel is truly a masterpiece and I definitely recommend it to anyone fan to sci-fi or simply very good stories!
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This sequel to “Mickey 7” picks up two years later, with life in the human colony of Niflheim settling down to as normal as it can get after finding out there are actual intelligent alien life on their new world. It’s summer, but that’s a relative term, and a long winter is coming.

Mickey Barnes learns the reactor is running low on fuel, so he’s tasked with retrieving the bomb he used to bring the potential war with the creepers to a détente. Mickey has “retired” as the mission’s Expendable, but if he refuses the mission, the entire colony will die once winter takes hold. Only problem is it’s not where he left it. Oops.

We get to see more of Niflheim and the various creatures that already lived there this time around, and how they interact with each other, the humans, and the world around them. The creepers seem to be just as intelligent as the humans, but with a totally different concept of the universe.

There’s a dark sense of humor that was also present in the first book, but there is a bit more action and suspense this time around. The Ship of Theseus issue around cloning Expendables is mentioned, but it’s not as much of an existential crisis for Mickey since he’s no longer an Expendable. It’s more about just surviving on a harsh world with creatures humans can’t comprehend.

I’m assuming a third book is in the works, as the first one is slated to be a film by Bong Joon-ho in March 2024, and I’m looking forward to the film as well as another book.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan for the Arc of this fun one!

Really enjoyed this sequel to Mickey7! I'm always a fan of sci-fi, but combining it with the thriller genre really kept me on the edge of my seat! 
I really appreciated how well the author built up and explained the world and environments in a clear way that made envisioning the scenes so easy!
Great and fun read!
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Now THERE are the aliens I was promised.

I am a huge fan of the sentient native life in this series. Their attempts to understand humans are absolutely precious. Their consistent underestimation of just how fucked up humans can be is adorable. It's so hard to say anything about this book without spoiling the best parts of it! But long story short, if Mickey 7 entertained you at all, Antimatter Blues will delight. Also I cried twice. Don't judge.
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Holy moley, I loved this book. It ended tidily and I'm not sure if there will be a third, but I sure hope so! I just love how Edward Ashton writes, he's got heavy Andy Weir/Becky Chambers/John Scalzi vibes. Sometimes we need stories that will make us smile, and I know I will every time I pick up one of Edward Ashton's books. Well done. 6/5 stars
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This is a great book for those that love dystopian and scifi.  I do recommend reading this series in order as it’ll make the inside jokes more understandable.
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What a fun follow up Mickey7!  It was so great to be back in this world that Edward Ashton has created and seeing what kind of shenanigans Mickey is getting himself into now. We pick up two years after the first book and the progress the colony has made on the planet. Of course, something has happened and Mickey seems the one that has to help make it right. I really enjoyed having more interaction between the humans and the native lifeforms as they have to work together. While the stakes are high, the humor woven throughout the story really help to engage the reader and connect with the characters. While I didn’t quite love this as much as Mickey7, I still had a great time with it and if more Mickey stories are coming, I’ll definitely read them!
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I really enjoyed Mickey7 so I was eager to pick up this follow up novel. Set after the events of the first book, I recommend reading the books in publication order to avoid spoiling yourself. Like the first, this was so fun and engaging. I often struggle with humorous books but this one worked for me. I liked it, but I liked Mickey7 more because it was a fresh concept at the time.

Disclaimer I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
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Antimatter Blues was a fantastic follow up to Mickey 7! Going into it, I wasn’t sure where the plot would go, and through the whole book, I was on the edge of my seat and biting my nails trying to figure out how the characters were going to get out of each predicament. I enjoyed the character relationships and most of all, I was completely shocked (pleasantly) at the ending! Thank you St. Martin’s press for this arc!
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In this sequel to Mickey7 our titular character Mickey is still plugging along, kind of important, but not really 😉. 

He’s got a new mission to complete…or else!! 
Is he the best man for the job? Nope. 
Does it matter? Also nope.

Unlike a lot of other sequels, this book very much reads like a continuation of the first book. Like if Mickey7 had been 600 pages, and the editor just chopped it straight in half, then you kind of get these two books. This isn’t a bad thing, just an observation. Since I gave it four stars I still obviously very much enjoyed this book, and will automatically read whatever Ashton puts out next.

Thank you to NetGalley & St. Martin’s Press for this advance reader copy. All opinions are my own.
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This sequel was just as much fun as the first one!  Mickey Barnes is still adjusting to his new non-expendable  life two years after the events of Mickey7.   A chance encounter and a serious of mishaps leads him once again into a race to save the planet.  With a rag tag crew of old and new (Speaker!) friends, Mickey must track down a hidden antimatter bomb before time (and good weather) run out.  Funny, fast paced, and clever - I could not put it down. Really hope there is a third one in the works!  Thanks to NetGalley for a change to read and review this book.
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Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton is a scify sequel that stands fairly well on its own which I can confirm  mostly because I did not know that this is a sequel going in and still really enjoyed the story.
 The Author has provided an atmospheric writing style and strong character to support a gripping plot that leaves the reader longing for more.
  This will be a good reading experience for fans of the characters wanting to revisit them and for sci fy fans wanting an easy to jump into story.
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I loved Mickey7 and could not wait to get my hands on the sequel!  And it was worth it!  Antimatter Blues continues to be funny and entertaining.  All the characters we love from the first book are back and we get some new ones here and find out more about the world they're trying to live in.  I love the narrative of this book more than anything else.  It is so witty and I found myself laughing out loud.  I was cheering the characters on in this new adventure and was waiting to see what would happen next.  I hope this isn't the last we see of Mickey and his friends.  I will read as many of these as there will be!
Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy.  All opinions are my own.
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Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton

Pros: fast paced, good world-building, romance elements 


Due to a power decrease that means the colony won’t last through the next winter, Mickey7 is tasked with retrieving the anti-matter bomb he supposedly left with the creepers 2 years ago. But when he goes to get it, it’s not in the rock pile where he left it.

This is a fast paced continuation of Mickey7. I loved learning more about the new world and seeing a few more alien species. Mickey has to make a lot of difficult decisions and it’s fascinating seeing what he’ll do.

I loved Mickey’s relationship with Nasha. It was nice seeing a committed couple work together to save their colony. 

There’s a fair amount of action as well as some attempts at diplomacy. I thought the author did a good job of showing that different species think in different ways and that communication isn’t always straightforward.

If you like light-hearted science fiction these books are fantastic.
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