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The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles

By Malka Older
The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles by Malka Older digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

Named a Best Sci-Fi Book of 2024 by Esquire

Investigator Mossa and Scholar Pleiti reunite to solve a new mystery in the follow-up to the cozy space-opera detective mystery The Mimicking of Known Successes, which Hugo Award-winning author Charlie Jane Anders called “an utter triumph.”

Mossa has returned to Valdegeld on a missing person’s case, for which she’ll once again need Pleiti’s insight. Seventeen students and staff members have disappeared from Valdegeld University—yet no one has noticed. The answers to this case may lie on the moon of Io—Mossa’s home—and the history of Jupiter’s original settlements during humanity's exodus from Earth.

But Pleiti’s faith in her life’s work as a scholar of the past has grown precarious, and this new case threatens to further destabilize her dreams for humanity’s future, as well as her own.

The Investigations of Mossa and Pleiti
The Mimicking of Known Successes
The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles

The Centenal Cycle
Null States
State Tectonics

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

9 Reviews

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Believable charactersLikable charactersFast-paced
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Likable charactersOriginal writingFast-pacedBeautiful setting
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“Having thoroughly enjoyed the first novel in the Mossa and Pleiti series, I was very much looking forward to returning to our sapphic Holmesian duo. Unfortunately, this was off to a slower start and failed to capture my interest in the same way.  On the trail of a missing student from Io, Investigator Mossa returns to Valdegeld – the colony's pre-eminent university – where her paramour Scholar Pleiti works. Upon some preliminary inquiries, she discovers that seventeen members of the Valdegeld community have disappeared over the past months. Their case takes them to the far reaches of the Jupiterian system, to the families who descended from the original colonists on Io.  I adore the world that Malka Ann Older has created. It's such a thrill to conceive of a sci-fi setting with humans living in floating platforms above the roiling gases and storms of Jupiter, connected by rails. The history of human settlement on Io and Jupiter ("Giant"), and the ensuing conflict between the original settlers and the newer arrivals, added to the rich context of this world. Paralleled with Pleiti's work to re-populate and re-seed a devastated Earth with life, we see the tension between traditional approaches and those who want to innovate.  That being said, I did not care for the heavy focus on Mossa and Pleiti's relationship, particularly when framed through Pleiti's "will she, won't she" perspective. Their love is beautifully tender, an understated affection, and the way they show that they care for each other is far more poignant than Pleiti's constant insecurity. Overall, this was still a solid read, but lacked the shine of the first novel.  This ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

About Malka Older

Malka Older is an author, a humanitarian, a sociopunk, and a practitioner of speculative resistance and evidence-based creativity. Her political science fiction thriller Infomocracy was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews, Book Riot, and The Washington Post, and with its sequels, Null States and State Tectonics, was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Series. Her new series of mysteries set on a gas giant planet, begins with the acclaimed The Mimicking of Known Successes and continues with The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles. She has also written numerous serials, short stories, poetry, and essays, and published the collection …And Other Disasters. She is a faculty associate at Arizona State University, where she teaches on predictive fictions and hosts the Science Fiction Sparkle Salon. Her opinions can be found in The New York Times, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and NBC THINK, among other places.

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