MY ⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5
Format: Kindle Whispersync
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.
This was such a fun experience from the moment it started. The narration by John Pirhalla, featuring Katherine Chin was a stellar performance! The characters voices and emotions were top notch, but what really immersed me into the world was that the production that went into it, the production went the extra mile to make the comms communication actually sound like it would on comms in a real life situation or in a movie and I was immediately in for the ride after that. Speaking of movie… It’s being turned into one called Mickey 17, which has a release date of 3/29/2024, that’s right, less than a year away! It’s being directed by Bong Joo Ho (Snowpiercer, Parasite) and starring Robert Pattinson (Batman) as Mickey, Mark Ruffalo (Marvel’s Hulk), Steven Yeun (Walking Dead), and Naomi Ackie (Whitney Houston), which made me even more excited about getting into this! You can see a teaser trailer on IMDB (HERE).
I saw that people said this was The Martian meets Dark Matter and The Martian meets Multiplicity… but what I got most of, was 2005’s The Island meets Stormship Troopers. I can 100% understand others comparisons, but I feel like the two I mentioned had a little more to do with it. I also loved that the places mentioned in the story are both named after Nordic mythos and if you know your mythology the way I do, it’ll give a bit of an idea as to what the places are like. I would also like to point out that there is some sci-fi terminology used and will be explained, I know some don’t like that, but I felt it helped me get a little more in tune with the story since I knew what it was.
“I’m not the most sensitive person, but I’ve been alive long enough to figure out that telling a miserable person about how much worse things could be is usually a bad idea.”
This does have a first person narrative and that may not be for everyone, but I thought Ashton did such a great job using that and making Mickey Barnes such a hilarious and empathetic character, and I can’t tell you how many times I laughed while reading this. Berto and Nasha, who are also major characters in the story, were also very well done and helped not only themselves and the story develop, but Mickey’s development as well. The molding and creating of these characters was done very well and they worked perfectly together.
So if you’re looking for a colonization sci-fi story that’s not only adventurous, but funny as well, with flawed but lovable characters with strong development, I would highly recommend this… even more so since it will be a movie in the near future! One more thing about the narration, there is a general in the story and the voice that Pirhalla chose to use sounds so much like the late, great, R. Lee Ermey! Every time a scene came up with the general in it, all I could picture was him!