By: Mur Lafferty
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer — before they kill again.
It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.
At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.
Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently…
I have been curious about this book ever since another book blogger mentioned it in passing earlier this year. A murder mystery set on a starship deep in space? Yes, count me in, I am intrigued 😛
Oh, man, you guys, this book was excellent. The deeper the crew investigated into the murders and what was going on around the ship, what they did in the last 25 years since their last set of memories, I just could not put the book down. It reminded me of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (review) only the outcome was quite different 😛 It’s an interesting mystery that I found myself quite engaged with; like the characters I was also trying to figure who the killer was, what happened to them, who was capable of what amongst the group, what’s the connection between them, etc. I grew to care for the crew despite of how dark their respective pasts were and the bad things they’ve done before. They’re flawed, they have their own failings and as I mentioned they did bad things but at the present they’re also trying to do the right thing and the best out of the situation they found themselves in.
The sci-fi elements in this book also provided plenty food for thought. The concept of clones and mindmaps of course are very sci-fi but the implications are very real and provides quite the ethical debate. I love that this book doesn’t shy away from these questions and through the respective character pasts shows both sides of the argument, both for the right and existence of the clones, how are they protected under the law, and the cruel abuses that can result from their existence and initial purpose. It could of course be fleshed out further but within the context of the present mystery and the characterisations of the crew, it was enough.
Overall I really enjoyed reading Six Wakes, it absolutely held my attention from start to finish, and made good use of the setting and the sci-fi elements to tell a murder mystery. I highly recommend this book!