Book Reviews

Review: The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

I’ve enjoyed Older’s previous books like Infomacracy, so when I heard SF I was even more excited! This novella is a delight. It has just the right amount of introspective and intriguing world building with detectives! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

My enjoyment of The Mimicking of Known Successes stems from both the delightful – and scary – world, and the characters. While this might skew towards more character work than a straight up high octane mystery, I enjoyed this. Can you have a cozy space mystery? There’s a sense of danger, which does build as the novella progresses, but the true intricate focus is the characters. How they open back up to each other and react to these loose screws and wrenches in their plans.

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We love an ex-partner situation which has some serious consequences and out of our comfort zone situations. The Mimicking of Known Successes has some intriguing questions asked, specifically at the end, at the culmination of the theme and world work. With the characters being number one, the build up of these themes has to be my second favorite. It made me want to re-read the novella from the beginning!

Find The Mimicking of Known Successes on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite SF detective?

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