Hardcover, 304 pages

Published Feb. 15, 2022 by St. Martin's Press.

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4 stars (2 reviews)

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 …

5 editions

Good Enough I Preordered the Sequel

4 stars

I figured going in I'd either love or hate this. The notion of being a disposable person with cloned versions of yourself waiting in tanks is familiar enough to me (such as the "troubleshooters", the player characters in the RPG Paranoia) that I've seen the possibilities for how surprisingly dull it can get.

Mickey7 did not fall into those traps. Through cleverly timed breaks for exposition and world building, mixed with just the right amount of gallows humor, I was never caught wishing the story would just move on already or felt the need to take breaks to escape the darkness.

In an interesting science fiction setting of humans trying to establish a beachhead colony on an inhospitable world, Mickey7 shows us how we can process trauma, how our past selves shape but do not define who we presently are. I see a movie is being made from it, and …