The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka OlderThe Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older
Narrator: Lindsey Dorcus
Series: Mossa & Pleiti #1
Published by Blackstone Publishing on March 7, 2023
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery, Science Fiction
Length: 4 hrs 27 mins
Pages: 176
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at or Audible
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On a remote, gas-wreathed outpost of a human colony on Jupiter, a man goes missing. The enigmatic Investigator Mossa follows his trail to Valdegeld, home to the colony’s erudite university—and Mossa’s former girlfriend, a scholar of Earth’s pre-collapse ecosystems.

Pleiti has dedicated her research and her career to aiding the larger effort towards a possible return to Earth. When Mossa unexpectedly arrives and requests Pleiti’s assistance in her latest investigation, the two of them embark on a twisting path in which the future of life on Earth is at stake—and, perhaps, their futures, together.

Mossa is an investigator who is in charge of a missing persons case. Or maybe it’s a suicide. Or murder. Any which way, a man disappeared from a sparsely populated platform at the edge of the colonized portion of Giant (Jupiter). Turns out the man was on faculty at the University at Valdegeld, as is Mossa’s former girlfriend from her college years, Pleiti. So of course, Mossa reconnects with Pleiti and asks for her help.

The world was interesting. Humans ruined Earth, so they colonized Jupiter. I liked that it had almost a gaslamp feel. Yes, they’re living on platforms above a surfaceless planet, but our characters bundle up against the cold, walk through the swirling storm, have tea and scones on a regular basis.

I liked Mossa and Pleiti and their slowly rebuilding relationship. Mossa is our Holmes, brilliant, but a bit emotionally distant and not one to share her theories. Pleite, our narrator and Watson, is loyal and resourceful. I liked them as a team and as a couple.

The mystery was put together well. The conflicts are clear throughout the story, but I guess I didn’t realize how important they were to the outcome of the plot. The clues were there, but I missed them. Of course, that’s what gives a mystery its twists, the reader not grasping the significance of (fill in the blank).

I thoroughly enjoyed The Mimicking of Known Successes and I don’t think you need to like sci-fi to appreciate it.

About Malka Older

Malka Older is a writer, aid worker, and sociologist. Her science-fiction political thriller Infomocracy was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus ReviewsBook Riot, and The Washington Post. She is the creator of the serial Ninth Step Station, currently running on Realm, and her short story collection And Other Disasters came out in November 2019. She is a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and teaches in the genre fiction MFA at Western Colorado University. Her opinions can be found in The New York TimesThe Nation, and Foreign Policy, among others.

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