From the publisher: Summer has come to Niflheim. The lichens are growing, the six-winged bat-things are chirping, and much to his own surprise, Mickey Barnes is still alive—that last part thanks almost entirely to the fact that Commander Marshall believes that the colony’s creeper neighbors are holding an antimatter bomb, and that Mickey is the only one who’s keeping them from using it. Mickey’s just another colonist now. Instead of cleaning out the reactor core, he spends his time these days cleaning out the rabbit hutches. It’s not a bad life. It’s not going to last.
Antimatter Blues is a sequel, and although you probably can read this book without reading the first, I wouldn’t recommend it. You’ll get a lot more out of Antimatter Blues if you’ve read Mickey7. In the first book, one man (Mickey) is an expendable. This means his consciousness is downloaded so that when he is killed doing something dangerous, a clone can be produced and his consciousness uploaded. This is not a popular job, and by the end of book 1 Mickey has managed to retire from being an expendable. But space is a harsh place. Various people trying to inhabit various planets in both books have learned that the hard way. In Antimatter Blues, new perils and an unsympathetic commander complicate and endanger Mickey’s life.
There is a sentient, intelligent species already living on the planet that Mickey and friends are trying to colonize, and we learn a lot more about them in Antimatter Blues. I personally love meeting intelligent alien species who don’t immediately want to vaporize humans. This book was a lot of fun, and while some things were predictable, it kept me guessing. At one point I surprised myself by putting the book down for a breather when things got a little tense. There’s some humor and some romance, Mickey is a likable narrator, and the dialog is realistic and the banter snappy. Maybe it’s not treading new ground, but I like going over old ground sometimes. (That’s why I enjoy watching all the Star Trek series!)
Is there going to be another book in the series? It seems like there is plenty of room for growth with this cast of characters and their struggle to survive on a hostile planet, but Antimatter Blues also wrapped up very neatly. If there is another book in the series, I will eagerly read it.
I read an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
If you are looking for something to read while waiting for the next book in the Murderbot Diaries, you might enjoy Mickey7 and Antimatter Blues. The Galesburg Public Library owns Mickey7 in print, digital, and audio and will own Antimatter Blues in the same formats when it is published in March.