*Soon to be adapted into a major motion picture from Oscar-winner Bong Joon Ho (Parasite) starring Robert Pattinson*
The Martian meets Dark Matter in Edward Ashton's high concept science fiction thriller, in which Mickey7, an "expendable," refuses to let his replacement clone Mickey8 take his place.
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. After six deaths, Mickey7 understands the terms of his deal…and why it was the only colonial position unfilled when he took it.
On a fairly routine scouting mission, Mickey7 goes missing and is presumed dead. By the time he returns to the colony base, surprisingly helped back by native life, Mickey7’s fate has been sealed. There’s a new clone, Mickey8, reporting for Expendable duties. The idea of duplicate Expendables is universally loathed, and if caught, they will likely be thrown into the recycler for protein.
Mickey7 must keep his double a secret from the rest of the colony. Meanwhile, life on Niflheim is getting worse. The atmosphere is unsuitable for humans, food is in short supply, and terraforming is going poorly. The native species are growing curious about their new neighbors, and that curiosity has Commander Marshall very afraid. Ultimately, the survival of both lifeforms will come down to Mickey7.
That is, if he can just keep from dying for good.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 190 members
Oh Mickey Barnes, what a character you are! Your verbalized thoughts are amusing but, usually, spot on the situation you’re in. The dilemmas you find yourself in are when your humanity comes into play and is not totally understood by others….and your intentions are good.
The whole concept of an Expendable is one brought on by necessity for a dying planet yet is a perfect solution to the problems of space travel. Visualize an Expendable as a human version of Star Trek Next Generation Commander Data, a resource to be used in unusual, meaning lethal, circumstances but able to be re-used over and over.
I really enjoyed this book as I found the plot entertaining, progress of the tale moved along promptly and didn’t ask a reader to stretch the imagination too much
I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoyed Mickey 7, which I read in one sitting. Good pacing, good dialogue, a well defined main character(s), good love story, and classic SF problem story. It certainly uses traditional SF tropes - recorded consciousness, cloning, colonization - but inventively. I liked the world building, for example, the explanation for the prejudice against “multiples”. The narrative is initially tricky as you sort out Mickeys but proceeds smoothly and compellingly. The flaws for me were a two-dimensional villain and too pat an ending, but not enough to detract from my strong positive reaction.
Mickey7 is that interesting cross between “hard science” fiction and space opera that has become popular with books like “The Martian”. The titular character is an “expendable” on a new colony of humans seeking to build a city on a planet they can Nelflheim. As an “Expendable” Mickey’s consciousness, experiences, and memories are uploaded to a central system, ready for download into a newly printed body when he is terminated. In practice, this simply means that Mickey is assigned to tasks which can easily be turned into a situation where he dies easily.
What is really interesting about the story, is how the author managed to blend the dangers of space exploration and colonization of other planets with underlying social commentary about religion, colonization in general, and what we define as sentience and intelligence. There is also some subtle commentary aimed at those in the military who often try to turn grey area situations into black and white solutions. Highly recommended to fans of Andy Weir’s books.
What a wonderfully original sci-fi novel!
A thousand years from now, mankind will possess the technology to take years-long journeys to the farthest reaches of the universe to colonize planets deemed habitable by long-range reconnaissance. Colonization begins with a “beachhead mission” comprised of several hundred colonists, the embryos needed to build a society, and an “expendable” person to undertake any mission posing a significant risk of death. Of course, it’s no big deal if the expendable dies. Mankind has developed the technology to fully replicate human beings.
In trouble on his own homeworld, Mickey Barnes volunteers to be the expendable for the mission to colonize Niflheim, a planet that long-range scans find habitable, but which turns out to be a snow-and-ice-bound hell with a barely breathable atmosphere and gigantic, hostile, metal-eating creatures living below the surface. Over the course of the mission, Mickey has died and been recreated six times, which is why he’s now called Mickey7. When Mickey7 falls into a tunnel inhabited by the creatures, he is presumed to have been killed and Mickey8 is created. But Mickey7 is not dead and there’s a strict prohibition against two duplicates living at the same time. Both being fully human, neither Mickey7 nor Mickey8 is willing to die. But in a cramped outpost where food is strictly rationed, how, and for how long, will they keep their secret?
Author Edward Ashton has done a wonderful job imagining and building the world of Niflheim and its fledgling human colony. He’s populated that colony with terrific characters, especially Mickey7, who narrates the tail with a charmingly cynical kind of gallows humor. Ashton’s descriptions are clear and evocative. His dialogue is realistic and engaging. And while he’s telling his very good story filled with risk and adventure, not to mention romantic entanglements, Ashton also manages to impart several messages about humanity’s foibles without being preachy or hitting readers over the head.
I absolutely loved this book! I received an advanced reader’s copy and was hoping that, as a debut novel, it wasn’t going to be a real stinker! I was very pleasantly surprised! This is probably the best sci-fi I have read since Hugh Howey’s Wool.
Mickey is a down and out man who joins an interstellar colonizing expedition as an Expendable meaning just that. He will do all the potentially major life threatening or clearly lethal work on board the interstellar ship and the new planet, meaning he will surely die… multiple times. There is a reason he chooses to do this crazy thing which you find out about early on. The upside is that should he and when he dies he can be replaced by an identical iteration of himself as they have all his genetic information saved, memories included, as long as he can upload them before he dies. (He has an implanted ocular that records all he does.) As the book opens he has died 6 times and is currently Mickey7. Things go a bit awry at this point. The planet doesn’t seem as habitable as they thought and contains native lifeforms that appear extremely dangerous. What happens after that is well…crazy!
This is a very well written debut novel with engaging characters and plot, sharp dialogue and witty moments that make you laugh out loud. There is also a lot of scientific information dispersed throughout the novel as well as historical background on the Diaspora as Mickey is somewhat of a lay expert in history. Ethical and moral questions are raised throughout the book as well as the usual questions surrounding immortality and individuality.
I loved the nod to Norse mythology and also Alice in Wonderland. Is it all a dream? Lol! I can’t wait for Ashton’s next book!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher St. Martin’s Publishing Group for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. There are few typographical errors in the text and the need for further editing is minimal in my opinion.
Throughout my read of Mickey7, a multi-layered and thought-provoking sci-fi novel, I was struck by how effortless author Edward Ashton made it seem. He tosses up weighty topics like the meaning of life and what humanity advancing into the stars will likely look like without bogging down or derailing an entertaining and fast-paced story.
This review is based on an advance copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley for that purpose. The book will be available on February 15, 2022.
Set in a ‘beachhead colony’ of humans who’ve carved out a tenuous toe-hold on a new planet after a nine-year journey from an established colony, the titular Mickey serves as the group’s sole “expendable.” His skill set is limited (his job interview for the position is hilarious), but Mickey’s the guy if you have a job that will likely lead to death or dismemberment. That’s because Mickey’s consciousness and memories can be backed up and downloaded into a new replica of his body, something that’s happened six times already — hence the 7 attached to his name.
While it may seem like a great idea having this sort of immortality, there’s only one expendable for good reason. Besides the obvious moral/ethical questions raised by the concept of recreating a human, the process is resource-intensive and beachhead colonies tend to exist on a razor thin margin. As Mickey points out early on, you won’t find any chubby colonists. A realistic look at the costs and tradeoffs associated with colonizing another planet is a subtle through-line to the story that I appreciated.
My only quibble, and it’s a minor one, is the ending resolved everything but seemed a bit abrupt. Perhaps there will be more stories about Mickey and his iterations. If so, great, but either way Mr. Ashton’s next book is already on my To Read List.
Great writing, great pacing and awesome world building - what's not to love?
Mickey (#7) is an Expendable - a type of person who can be regenerated with a new body and all memories that have been downloaded (if this is a reference to the cloud and my books/photos - I would have 0 memory!). This Expendable has been taken on a mission to explore a previously uninhabited planet needed for a new colony.
6 Mickeys have already existed when Mickey 7 is out exploring a world for his crew when he falls down a crevasse so deep he is presumed dead. Big surprise when he arrived back at the home base to find Mickey(#8) in his berth.
As many on his ship are religious and find expendables sacrilege, Mickey 7 and 8 need to keep a secret. This proves difficult when interacting with his best friend and girlfriend. The big question, however, is how did Mickey 7 survive the fall? And who, honestly, is the real Mickey?
Loved the premise and the entire romp through the ship and planet. I do think the author missed some opportunities to more than touch on topics of religion and self but I loved every bit that he wrote. If. you like Science Fiction, you cannot go wrong with this book! #NetGalley #Mickey7
I DEVOURED this book in about 2-3 days. I couldn't get enough of it. In fact, after I finished, the first thing I did was go and buy Ashton's other two novels. This is a fast and frantic science fiction read that's full of both space opera and hard sci-fi elements. It's got plenty of action, plenty of deaths, and even some fascinating ruminations on the nature of human consciousness and life itself. So yeah, pretty much the perfect book. Buy it. Read it. And then join me in begging this guy to write twenty more novels, stat, so you have something as good as this on your to-be-read shelf. Wholeheartedly recommended.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martins Press for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book! It was so different and really made me think. This was a fast paced novel with fascinating technology, space colonization and exploration.
Mickey7 is an expendable--his job on the mission to colonize the planet Niflheim is to do all the dangerous jobs. When he dies, his clone is given his memories. On a mission, Mickey7 is presumed dead and so Mickey8 is created. The two Mickey's try to hid that there are two of them and to figure out how they can survive.
Mickey7 is a great character. He's funny and irreverent. Mickey7 reminds me of Nelson DeMille characters.
While I don't agree with the description that this book is a mix between Dark Matter and The Martian, it does contain some similar elements to both books, but is mostly a fun, smart space colony story, that was very easy to read.
Mickey's job is to die. As an expendable, he is sent on dangerous missions by the colonist, where his chance of survival is nil. Once he dies, his body is reprinted and his memories uploaded to the new iteration. When sent on a routine mission, he falls into an underground tunnel system and is presumed dead. Before he can rejoin the colony, a new Mikey is printed. Duplicates are both feared and loathed, causing Mickey7 and Mickey8 to hide for fear of being recycled. Terraforming is going poorly, calories are limited, and the local lifeforms seem to be attacking the colony. Just when things can't get worse....they do.
This was an extremely dynamic story. The world was well formed and developed and both the society and technology seemed believable. I would love to read more from this author. 5 out of 5 stars.
I don't read a lot of science fiction. So much of the genre is space-operish. Mickey7 is different. Yes, there are alien life forms and interstellar travel, but the book doesn't make these aspects the main theme. Mickey7 is an Expendable, a person whose main function is to perform the most dangerous and deadly jobs in the colony. When, not if, he dies, he is regenerated with all the memories and quirks of his just dead predecessor. Mickey7 is the 7th such iteration. The fun begins when he is dropped into a chasm and presumed dead. When he works his way back, he has already been replaced.
I liked the pace and writing of this book. The author provided a nice mix of science and alternate history as Mickey7 struggles with his role. I think even readers who don't like Sci-Fi would enjoy this one.
As about the closest thing to a real life Expendable, I felt a true connection with Mickey7. He kept on keepin' on in spite of the disdain felt toward him by most of the other colonists.
This was a great read. Perfect for those fans of Andy Weir and Becky Chambers. A nice plot and enjoyable writing. Felt new and exciting versus so many other copycat plots in books lately. I hate saying this but would really love to see this adapted for tv. I kept thinking Josh Brolin would be perfect for Marshall.
All in all a great space romp.
I had the worst book hangover after reading this. It's one of those books I wish I could forget, just so I can read it again for the first time. In fact, I may go read it again now, just because. Excellent.
When I read the description of Mickey7, which is describes as The Martian meets Dark Matter (two books that I thoroughly enjoyed), I instantly knew this was a book and I wanted to read. And I was not disappointed. What a fun book. What Edward Ashton has done with Mickey7 is to create one heck of an adventure. Mickey7 is an Expendable, aka a disposable human who is part of a mission sent to colonize a new world. Expendables do the jobs that are too dangerous for other because … well as the name implies, they are expendable, meaning if they die a new body is grown and their memories are downloaded into, basically making them immortal. But immortality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As you might have guessed from the name Mickey7, Mickey has already suffered six deaths. After going missing while on another mission, Mickey7 is presumed dead and when he returns he discovers a new Mickey (Mickey8) has already been created to replace him, but there being multiples of any Expendable is frowned upon, thus they must keep it a secret because of course neither Mickey is too thrilled with the idea of having to die. This was a wildly imaginative story and I loved Mickey7’s sarcastic personality. This is definitely a book I will read again in the future. And speaking of the future, I look forward to seeing what Edward Ashton comes out with next.
I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the chance to read and review the eARC of Mickey7.
Mickey7 by Edward Ashton
Pros: great premise, interesting characters
Mickey Barnes is the expendable for the Niflheim beachhead colony, which means if there’s a dangerous job, he’s the one doing it. So it’s not surprising that when his seventh iteration falls into a deep hole he’s left for dead. Unfortunately when he makes it back to base a new copy of himself is sleeping in his bed. Multiples are the biggest taboo, so the Mickeys must hide what they are even as trouble is brewing with the planet’s indigenous lifeforms.
This book was a lot of fun to read. It’s quick paced and engaging, with Mickey7 including important incidents from his past while narrating the events of the present.
I went from thinking of Mickey7 as a decent guy, then kind of a jerk, then back to being a decent guy. Some of his history paints him in a bad light though it seems dying multiple times has improved his character somewhat. I really liked Nasha and thought their relationship was great.
The book poses some interesting ethical questions without delving too deeply into them or dwelling on them for long. It’s mostly a lighthearted read.
The world-building was great. There was a lot more explanation about the larger universe than I expected, with Mickey explaining things about life on his homeworld, Midgard, and some of the other colonies (successful & failed).
The ending ties together all the various narratives Mickey throws at you. I especially loved how his study of history gave him insight into how to think of the native species.
If you like easygoing, sometimes humorous, sometimes serious SF, give this a go.
In MICKEY7, by Edward Ashton, Mickey7 is presumed dead and Mickey8 has been created in his place on the colony base on the ice planet Niflheim. Mickey is an Expendable, who is used is situations where human life is too risky. If he perishes, a copy of Mickey can be created and his memories, if they have been properly uploaded, can by installed in the new copy. So when Mickey7 shows up back at the base to find out that Mickey8 has already been created, Mickey7 has to figure out how to live when he is supposed to be dead. Mickey7 leans on what he knows to help him live and uses his accidental survival to help the dying colony from wasting away.
What a wonderful mind scramble this book is. Having two people with the same body and artificially replicated soul live and breathe together is incredibly fascinating. It's a treat whenever they converse with one another and the reader is confronted with the interpreting what is the same and what is different about them. The people closest to the them are interesting too, with each one having their own agenda and the own take on Mickey7/8's life as an Expendable.
Ashton does a nice job weaving in the story around Mickey7's constant struggle to survive and not get caught. There is some really interesting back stories on Expendables and mixed successes in past colonizations that all feed into what happens at the end of the book. Ashton, by reviewing previous failures, also delves into social commentary on what is right and wrong with human rights and how humans should treat other living beings.
Fast-moving and exciting, MICKEY7 is a sci-fi adventure with a lot of heart and I look forward to reading more books by Edward Ashton in the future.
I enjoyed this work of science fiction and will recommend it to patrons. It was a quick, fairly humerous read. But there were also parts that made you think about moral issues. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
A Humorous Tale of Planetary Conquest
Mickey7 is an Expendable. He has died 6 times in the past 8 years and been reborn as an adult clone each time. He volunteered for this.
The planet Niflheim needs to be colonized, but the team can’t afford to lose any of their mission scientists. The solution? An expendable team member. It’s Mickey’s job to handle all of the high risk tasks—and to die if necessary.
Mickey is the only team member who has his pattern stored and is able to be cloned. Resources are tight, so when Mickey8 is created accidentally before Mickey7 has died, he must hide the fact before they are both thrown down the bio-cycler corpse hole.
The book is a fast-paced and very humorous look at planetary conquest that I can’t recommend enough. You owe it to yourself to read this.
Interstellar colonization is an endeavor fraught with danger. First off, the colony ship uses antimatter to provide the power needed to drive it through the cosmos. Unfortunately, that stuff is so radioactive that weapons-grade plutonium is tame by comparison. And if any of it breaks containment, someone will have to put the antimatter genie back in the bottle. That someone is Mickey Barnes because he is expendable. In fact, he is "The Expendable." Any dangerous job, particularly a lethal one, is his by default. Gwen Johansen, the recruiter who hired Mickey, explained in great detail all the myriad ways he might be required to die while carrying out his duties. But, he volunteered for the job anyway because something far scarier awaited him if he stayed on his homeworld.
"Mickey7" is the story of a man caught in a dilemma that is strictly of his own making. Darkly humorous, the author pulls you along by recounting the many misadventures of Mickey and the history of other colonization efforts that either fell to ruin or succeeded despite the odds. I think you will come to like Mickey7, Nasha, and even Cat as the novel zips along. This thought-provoking novel is a sure winner, and I highly recommend it to all fans of hard science fiction.
My thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to review this stellar novel.
MICKEY7 gave me AT THE MOUTAIN OF MADNESS by HP Lovecraft vibes. But, where Mountain is creepy MICKEY7 is funny and far more enjoyable to read.
Written in past tense, first person POV, MICKEY7 presents not only an enjoyable story, but a lot to ponder philosophically: is Mickey a totally new person because he gets replaced all at once? Is he an abomination? Are seven and eight completely different people since they were created at different times, albeit from the same personality? If you knew you could be remade, would you still want to die over and over again? There are also a number of very humorous musings about death and the best way to die.
Overall, the premise is thought provoking. The story is fast paced, even with the blurbs about failed colonies and Mickey’s past deaths. The characters are well developed, and the two versions of Mickey are just different enough to make the reader wonder—are these men clones or twins?
If you like space operas, clones, first contact stories, unsuspecting heroes, and laughing out loud while reading, you will love this book!
5 / 5 ✪
When I started Mickey7, I figured it’d be a nice diversion from all the fantasy that came in January, a quick read to start of the hectic month of releases February promises to be. But while I certainly got through it quick, Mickey7 left a lasting impression. In fact, it’s not only the best book I’ve read thus far in 2022, and one of the best science fiction novels I’ve read in some time, it’s also probably the best clone-themed book I’ve read, well, ever.
We follow Mickey’s POV throughout; he’s the one and only lead (told in third person). But which Mickey? That’s the trouble when dealing with clones. Which is the real one? Or are any “real” at all? Well, the book actually addresses this (and more) all while following one (or more!) Mickeys through their adventures within.
When talking about a science fiction thriller that specializes in cloning, the characters are really where you want to start. How are the clones as characters? Do they feel real, do they feel human? Now there’s almost always a sect in any given story that is against the idea of cloning. Usually religious or moral or philosophical. This is no different. The “Natalists” in this view clones as abominations, empty shells pretending to be human, and a mockery of all that God intended. For his part, while Mickey Barnes was never a natalist, by the point he reaches Mickey7, he’s not sure what to believe. And while most of the characters in this are quite strong, it’s Mickey7’s examination of his past and future states that make him so compelling.
Is he real? Well, certainly he can feel and die, so probably. But is HE Mickey Barnes? He can remember Mickey Barnes, along with all of his experiences as Mickeys 2 through 6, but only the parts that he uploaded to the cloning device. Otherwise, watching through his supposed memories from that time might as well be viewing the visions of a madman. An Expendable’s main duty is to die, and by the point that the text starts, Mickey7 has come to fear death. Over the course of the text, Mickey7 will share his current situation with memories of “his” past (via typically alternating chapters). While some of these did feel a bit like info dumps, the only time I was really bothered by this was toward the end, where I felt them sapping from the pace of the story. Otherwise they’re short or relevant enough that I didn’t think they detracted from the plot. In fact most often they added to it, and I actually came to look forward to them—be it either discovering what had happened as Mickey4 or 5 and how they died, or understanding just a little bit more of the lore surrounding the universe. One of my personal favorites is further on, when we discover just what makes duplicates so universally despised.
The supporting cast is also quite good. In a colony of 200ish, Mickey knows pretty much everyone’s names. But he’s not on great terms with them all. Especially given his job as an Expendable and all. Which makes total sense. If some dude dies all the time, you’re probably not going to be thrilled to spend a lot of time around him. But he’s got a girlfriend, a best friend, some acquaintances, and a whole lot of people who hate him. While not all the named faces get fulfilling roles, the named characters that Mickey does get on with (or very much doesn’t) have backstories, motivations, and ambitions all their own. Everyone has a different motive; which works well together in a story all about survival.
The story itself is fairly straightforward. Okay, so… there are two of us. Step 1) Don’t tell anyone. Check. No one knows—probably. 2) Keep anyone from finding out. Also check. One of us will probably die soon; Expendable and all. But with a crew of only a couple hundred and a small colony, there are only so many places to hide. 3) Don’t make it worse. No problem. In these science fiction thriller nobody ever makes any bad decisions. It’ll be fine.
So the story is all about mitigating and dealing with what follows, when things don’t go exactly to plan. Because when has anything ever worked out 100% like you thought it would—in real life, or a fictional dystopian world inhabited by ice monsters? As expected, Mickey7 blends excitement with humor. Very well, actually. It’s often dark humor, which I found paired quite well with the somewhat ominous tone of the story. Niflheim—as you might guess from the name (especially if you’re at least somewhat familiar with Norse mythos)—ain’t exactly a cheery place. So what follows is a tale of disaster mitigation that’s part comedy, mystery, thriller, adventure set on a scifi hellscape with hostile aliens and the constant threat of death—that’s also being deconstructed as part of a clone’s philosophical crisis. With… himself.
If nothing else I’ve said convinces you to try this book, I guess let it be the age-old question: will we get to see a Mickey9?
My average reading rate for a 300-odd book is about a week. It usually takes me time to warm up to the lead, the characters, the story, and really get into the swing of things. I finished Mickey7 in just over a day. That alone should tell you something. If not, maybe the clone questioning his humanity while trying to avoid actually, physically strangling himself trope will do it. Or that it has really very good ratings thus far. Or that it’s a story of damage mitigation set on an frozen world with hostile aliens where the entire environment is out to kill the colonists, but a multiple is the one thing that they can’t stand. Or that—in spite of how all of that sounds—it actually comes off as damn well realistic …should hopefully be enough to get you to give this a try. I loved it. I hope you do, too.
I think that I liked Mickey7 just fine as an SF novel. The characters were complex, the scenario was more so and some questions were asked that went beyond the "what will happen" stage, like why, do exist, and if there are several versions of the self do they experience and see things the same way? What is our destiny if we die and another version of ourselves takes our place? Is there a final place for us, as we continue to live our lives and then cease to exist, and if so where? These are the questions that we are consistently asking ourselves when reading SF literature and have been since Utopia, and Ashton continues the trend. A fairly fascinating novel with a lot going for it.
The book was absolutely incredible. I saw a creator on TikTok talking about this book and immediately knew I had to request it. It was every bit as good as she said it was. It was fast-paced, fun, interesting and also full of heart. I also thought the world building was fascinating. The author did such a good job giving us enough back story so that we could fully understand this world. I cannot wait for this to be released so I can buy a hard copy.
Mickey7 is a special story. It’s not entirely sci-fi, it’s not entirely thriller, but it’s rather a fascinating fusion of philosophical conundrums in a science-fiction setting with a machine-gun pace of a solid thriller.
Mickey Barnes is an expendable; he has signed up to be the cannon fodder in scientific planetary explorations where the human touch is needed. He has died 6 times so far but wakes up in a new clone each time engineered from his body tissue. When an incursion with an alien species goes bad, he is rumored to be dead. He makes it out alive only to realize he has already been cloned. Mickey7, meet Mickey8. Only one can actually survive. Edward Ashton takes readers on an enriching journey with fantastic characters and exciting dilemmas with one big question; what makes you YOU?
Edward Ashton’s prose is beautifully elegant. The narrative digs deep into the feelings of Mickey Barnes and his unshakable circumstances that made him sign up to be an expendable. Even with interstellar travel and far too futuristic elements, Ashton explains every single detail in layman’s terms with vivid and familiar descriptions for every reader to visualize in the highest mental resolution possible. The first-person POV is fun and regal, establishing a strong connection between Mickey Barnes and readers where it naturally feels as if Mickey is talking to us.
I went in without knowing the nitty gritty of what to expect and perhaps this is the best way to dive into this book to be completely surprised by the sheer scale of the poignant storytelling with nuanced messages and parallels that hit you late at night and keep you in a perpetual state of marveling at the brilliance and ingenuity of this exquisite world that Edward Ashton has created and filled with life. No wonder Hollywood has already started the process of bringing this book to the big screen.
Full review posted with blurb image on: https://www.bestthrillerbooks.com/kashif-hussain/mickey7-by-edward-ashton
This was so much fun! Mickey signs up to be an Expendable for a new mission to colonize a new planet. Being an Expendable means he’s most likely going to die a few times. In fact, our story opens up with the seventh iteration of Mickey. However, after having an accident and assumed dead, a new Mickey is made- but 7 isn’t dead, so now 7 and 8 are trying to make it work so they can both be alive but things get a bit difficult and tricky. Especially when it comes to food rations.
I really enjoyed this! Mickey is a great character and quite funny. There’s a lot of witty banter between the characters which made this so enjoyable. It’s a very accessible science fiction story. The science discussed is interesting but isn’t necessarily the main focus of the story. The characters that are trying to make a go on the icy planet are at the center. I particularly appreciated the discussion about what it means to be a human. If someone keeps getting created over and over again but has the same memories, are they the same person? Do our memories make us who are? It’s definitely good for thought.
I highly recommend this book. It’s a fun ride and was such an enjoyable read. If you like a story with of a rag tag group of people forced to live in close quarters as they are adjusting to life on a new planet, then you’ll like this. It’s fast paced and filled with great characters.
A great escapist fantasy that was originally a novella but turned into a very solid full-sized book. Mickey Barnes is a professional Expendable in a space colony. You need someone to patch up your spaceship, absorbing a lethal amount of radiation that will kill him? Mickey is your guy. Once he dies, a new Mickey will come hot off the vat with his same memories and personality, ready to do it all over again. He’s died and been reborn 6 times, which makes our main character Mickey7. When he’s left to die, Mickey8 is activated but then, Seven survives and they’re in a pickle. In a world with severely limited food and resources, there can’t be two Mickeys. There are also religious zealots who think he’s an abomination. The supporting characters are very well rounded. The situation is pure science fiction but it’s handled in a relatable way. I was surprised at how much less I liked Eight than Seven and, well, that’s the whole point of the book. Is Seven Mickey Barnes at all anymore? The book poses interesting philosophical questions in such a way that you don’t even notice. Lastly, the plot is simply fantastic! So well written and intelligently put together that I’d give Mickey 7 stars if I could. Excellent!
Thank you, NetGalley/#St. Martin's Press!
This is a seriously good adventure! You had me at "hello", (or thoughts of The Martian), with that first line - go read it ;) Excellent plotting, I like Mickey a lot, Berto, not so much. Funny without being outrageous, and not until I finished it did I think, oh, that's a totally doable movie! Good explanations for how and why they got there, very enjoyable read!
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
Mickey7 by Edward Ashton is a sci-fi thriller about survival and the lengths one man will go to prolong his own life.
What I Enjoyed:
I enjoyed the immersive world-building that whisked me away to the planet Niflheim, where people from Earth have gone to survive after a defining war on Earth. Also, through technological advances, Earth has come up with a controversial role for people to play – an Expendable. An Expendable is the one sent into the most dangerous of situations and, upon their death, regenerated once more. So, it is a sort of immortality or as close to it as humans have ever been able to get.
I loved the narration, which is first-person and very conversational. Mickey 7 talks to the reader and explains what is going on in the present and what things in the past led to that point. He is a witty and reflective narrator, exuding a humbleness and wisdom reflective of someone who would make a great leader. I enjoyed his unique voice and everything it added to the tale.
Mickey7’s ability to survive in this hostile world gave the story all the thrills I needed to flip those pages faster and faster. For reasons no one can explain, this particular iteration of Mickey has developed into the pinnacle of survival through everything from a food shortage to contact with an alien species; he manages to not only survive it all but to thrive.
Lastly, I enjoyed the ending, and it took me by complete surprise. I did not have any idea how this story would end until I got there. The conclusion gave me all the feelings I had to suppress until then because I was too busy holding my breath, wondering what was coming next.
The characters are all very well-developed, with complexities and layers that are foreign and relatable to the reader. Mickey7 is a hero, and he is very different from Mickey8. I love that I could quickly tell the difference between the two iterations of Mickey – that is, how well the characters are developed in this largely character-driven story.
The support characters are all fascinating and unique. They are developed just as well as Mickey because we see them through his eyes, and I loved that about them.
What I Wish:
The only thing I had trouble with from time to time was when the story became very detailed with technical information. It added authenticity to the story and made it easy to suspend disbelief, but I can’t say that I genuinely followed and understood what I was reading. So if I had to wish something, it would be that the technical aspects had either been shorter or been at least partially explained in a way that a non-science/technology person could understand.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you are looking for a sci-fi thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and have you reflecting on what survival means to you, Micky 7 is just what you are looking for.