Monday, March 6, 2023

Review: The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Ann Older


The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older
Publication Date: March 7th, 2023
Hardcover. 176 pages.

About The Mimicking of Known Successes:

"The Mimicking of Known Successes presents a cozy Holmesian murder mystery and sapphic romance, set on Jupiter, by Malka Older, author of the critically-acclaimed Centenal Cycle.

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."

    The Mimicking of Known Successes is a short novel that is, at it's core, a partner murder mystery set on Jupiter. In this world, Earth has been destroyed and everyone now lives on Jupiter, which may not be the most comfortable for human life, but it gets the job done. We follow Investigator Mossa as she travels to the area of Valdegeld where she is set to investigate the disappearance of a man at the Univeristy–and an area that is also home to Mossa's former girlfriend, Pleiti. 
        What I liked: I had a lot of fun with this setting! I liked learning about this non-Earth world and learning about the history of how and why humanity moved to Jupiter after Earth has been destroyed. I also really enjoyed the dynamic between Mossa and Pleiti; it was really interesting to see them interact after having such a close past together. There was plenty of awkwardness and also plenty of cute moments between them, and it was rather captivating to see how they managed to work together on this investigation. I think a lot of the strengths of this book centered around the characters and they are what really helped to keep the story moving. I'm not always the biggest fan of mysteries featuring some investigative team, but the characters in this were compelling and fun to follow and made it a fun read. 
            What I didn't like: There was a lot of info dumping at various points that just felt a little bit too long. Some of it was interesting, but at times it ended up feeling like too much and I'd lose my interest a bit, which thus interrupted the pacing as well as it didn't feel as though it was incorporated as well as it could have been. Despite the info dumping, I sometimes had a difficult time orienting myself in this world for some reason, and often felt a little unsure about where our characters were at different points. I think things just weren't quite as developed as I'd have hoped they would be, and the author just tried to do a bit too much for such a short novel. There's so much that has be developed and explored in a setting and world such as exists in this book, and unfortunately it didn't feel overly cohesive. I'm not really sure if I would continue this series because I think the overall storytelling didn't really work for me, and since I'm not the biggest investigative-team-mystery reader, there isn't too much keeping me hooked. 
                Overall, I've given The Mimicking of Known Successes three stars! Although this didn't click with me as much as I'd hoped for, I still really enjoyed following the characters of Mossa and Pleiti and found the general world and concept really fun. If you like a mystery set in a unique setting with some entertaining characters, then you should give this one a read!

                  *I received a copy of The Mimicking of Known Successes courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

                  Buy the book: Amazon |

                  1 comment:

                  1. I just finished this, and I liked it more than you, but I had trouble envisioning what the platforms looked like and how they related to each other. I wish there were drawings in the book, lol.