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The post-human cloning world of Mur Lafferty's Six Wakes is extraordinary in its detail and plausibility. The politics, ethics and long-term incentives for misuse of human cloning make its successful integration a game changer for civilization.
The main narrative is an engrossing murder mystery whodunit, which takes place in the present day aboard an interstellar ship. But it's the worldbuilding and character backstories that makes the whole novel delightfully more than the sums of its parts. The history of the future is elongated because of how cloning can extend one's life, sometimes lasting for hundreds of years. You get the sense that there are now two human cultures, those who clone (indefinitely) and those who live normal, shorter lifespans. I also got the impression that clones are emotionally 'thinner' versions of their former selves even though this isn't directly addressed in the story. This theme of a short vs a long life is a fascinating one and isn't fully explored in Six Wakes. I would absolutely love to read this potential book if it were ever written.
** Mild Spoilers Ahead **
I won't reveal how it ends but I wanted to say I was hoping the final chapters climaxed to a thematically bigger punch than they did. The scope of Six Wakes transcends time and space, but the actual ending feels smaller by comparison.
A deep dive of cloning science fiction bottled up in a compelling mystery. If you're not afraid to engage in highly hypothetical ethics and some questionable scientific solutions, this space-shuttle puzzle manages to live up to its riveting hook.
This was an engaging novel that did a solid job of blending a murder mystery with an exploration of what makes us human and the ethics of clones. Though I was able to figure out murder part of the mystery well before the end of the story, learning about the backgrounds of the crew kept me fully engaged and craving more right up to the end.
A great book for those looking for diverse sci-fi that works with weighty topic, and explores the human element.
Agatha Christie in space – with clones. Too simplistic a summary; but that is the quick hook. This is a fascinating murder mystery on a space ship, with tricky characters and a complicated explanation.
Six crew members on a spaceship wake up from being newly cloned. The scene around them is horrific as they discover their own murdered bodies, floating in zero gravity. The ship, filled with cryo-preserved settlers on their way to another planet to start a colony, is off course and the Artificial Intelligence which should be running the ship is offline. Commonly used technology is available to store a mindmap of each person’s personality and memories and to download it to the new clone’s brain. However, it appears that the many years of memories of spaceflight that should have been there are gone. The newly cloned crew has only the memories they brought aboard with them decades before. They were told before they went on the trip that all six crew members had criminal backgrounds and were using this flight to clear their records. How can they discover what happened and if one of them has a fatal flaw that will make it happen again?
In true mystery fashion, the characters are full of contradictions. No one is exactly who they say they are and some may not be who they *think* they are. Great tension, fascinating back stories for each character.
I found it quite entertaining. The plot isn't incredibly new, but the characters were interesting and the writing was quite nice. The abrupt ending was a little frustrating, but I guess gives ample room for a second book.
Writing was mediocre, characters underdeveloped... concept had potential to be really interesting but poor execution made this a disappointing read.
I feel like I've seen the general plot of a bunch of people waking up in space with minimal memory before but this was entertaining. The crew wakes up in new cloned bodies to a murder scene. They have all been killed, their passengers are still in cryo sleep, they are off course and as far as they remember they only just boarded. That is far from true. What follows is the crew, with the help of the ship's AI, trying to piece together what happened and why. There is paranoia, a mystery, far future Earth norms re: cloning, and a whole lot of different secrets and motivations. A fun, quick read for those who like their thrillers in space.
I loved this book. It's a little difficult to get into at first, but very quickly grabs you. It made me this about cloning and how that whole issue will be treated in the future. Cloning as a way to extend human life, what can be edited out or put into your DNA, what rights humans would have over clones, etc, etc. The ending was a bit too neatly resolved but I would be interested if the author writes more stories set in this universe.
What a surprisingly good book!
I thought I was in for some Space Opera murder mystery, but the world created by the author is vastly intriguing and the concepts well defined.
Although in the end everything works out a little bit too well for everyone for my taste, the story has plenty of twists and turns, and it throws a lot of foreshadowing and little hints your way.
6 clones wake up on a spaceship with their bloody murdered former bodies floating around them and no memories of what happened. This book is more than a space mystery but also an exploration of how clones and non-clones could co-exist and long-distance space travel. If you are looking for an intelligent sci-fi novel that keeps you guessing right until the end, this is the book for you.
I loved this book so much that I constantly worried that it wouldn't end well and I'd be so crestfallen... but I needn't have worried at all. It was a fantastic ending.
I love the world building around how cloning could change society, how it could be used, what people would fight over... The mystery was all kinds of tricksy in all the right ways. What better than a mystery where no one actually knew if they'd done it themselves?
So tense and exciting, fun and clever -- I definitely recommend this one.
If "locked-room murder mystery on a generation starship" sounds like a winner to you, then definitely give this one a try. It's fast-paced but thoughtful, and full of great characters.