The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older is a novella set on the planet of what we can only assume is Jupiter and aptly named Giant. If you’re looking for a quick sci-fi mystery read, this may be right up your alley. I found the world building to be quite captivating. The citizen’s constant battle with the gloomy and windswept weather lends an air of dread to the environment. The railcars add another element of futuristic appeal. However, it’s made clear that although mankind has achieved the feat of inhabiting another planet, there are many that yearns for the days of civilization being able to return to Earth and this is where the story begins.
We follow the journey of Pleiti and Mossa. I found it a bit odd that although Mossa is the investigator and therefore what I’d assume is usually the main protagonist, we instead get the story from her friend instead. With regard to the actual story and mystery itself, I found it just slightly above average. Did the mysterious person jump off the railcar platform or not? If not, where would he have gone, and how would he have done it without anyone seeing?
Pleiti and Mossa compliment each other quite well. I wasn’t too thrilled to find that an author yet again needed to add an element of romance, but it was at least none too overwhelming and very subtly done. I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more of Pleiti and Mossa in future novels. Maybe then the author would go into why Earth has been uninhabitable. Although there were very slight hints of what happened in this novella, it felt only an afterthought.