Six Wakes

Six Wakes

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the murdered crew are resurrected through cloning to discover who their killer was -- and the secret to their mission. It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood. At least, Marie Shea iv had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a n...

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Title:Six Wakes
Author:Mur Lafferty
Rating:
ISBN:0316389684
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:352 pages

Six Wakes Reviews

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    Feb 08, 2017

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    A crew of a compromised ship wake up to confusion and murder, with no memory of what came before. It’s not exactly a new premise, which is why when I first picked up Six Wakes, I thought I knew what I was in for—a mindless space adventure-thriller, with a bit of mystery thrown in perhaps. Turns out, I was wrong. Oh sure, the book had a little bit of this and a little dash of that, but it was also more than the sci-fi popco

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    A crew of a compromised ship wake up to confusion and murder, with no memory of what came before. It’s not exactly a new premise, which is why when I first picked up Six Wakes, I thought I knew what I was in for—a mindless space adventure-thriller, with a bit of mystery thrown in perhaps. Turns out, I was wrong. Oh sure, the book had a little bit of this and a little dash of that, but it was also more than the sci-fi popcorn fare I had expected. Far, far, far from it, in fact.

    The story begins on the Dormire, a generation starship carrying a cargo hold full of sleeping humans to the unspoiled paradise planet of Artemis. On the four-hundred-year journey it would take to travel to their destination, their lives would be safeguarded by IAN, the onboard AI. Six clones also make up the ship’s crew, all of them reformed criminals who are hoping to scrub their pasts clean and start their lives anew on Artimis: Katrina, the captain; Wolfgang, her second-in-command; Maria, the junior maintenance officer; Hiro, the programmer; Joanna, the medical officer; and Paul, the ship engineer. The opening scene is one of blood and terror when the six of them suddenly find themselves waking up in their cloning vats, with their minds downloaded into their new bodies—something that only happens if a clone’s previous incarnation has died.

    Indeed, when they have recovered enough to find their bearings, they discover their old bodies floating around the ship in zero-G, all showing signs of violence. IAN has been knocked offline, explaining the lack of artificial gravity as well as the fact their ship is now off-course. To make matters worse, the cloning bay has been sabotaged so that the clones’ most up-to-date mindmaps cannot be accessed, and the food printer has also been reprogrammed to churn out poison. Since all the passengers in the hold are still in stasis, the implications clear: one of the six crew members had killed the others including themselves. And because their latest memories were retrieved from back-ups made decades ago from around the time they left earth, no one can remember what happened right before their deaths, so the killer can be any of them.

    The more I think about it, the more I begin to think there are actually two sides to this novel. First, we have the obvious mystery aspect, which combines the suspense of a sci-fi thriller with the elements from a classic whodunit. Throw in the madness-inducing claustrophobia of knowing you are trapped on a spaceship with a group of criminals, any of whom are capable of murder—one of them has already killed you once, in fact—and the stage is set for a gripping psychological drama. To keep things interesting, the narrative also shifts between our six main characters, exploring not only who they are but also who they were in their past clone lives. Impressively, the tensions of the central mystery plot were kept up despite these frequent interludes and flashbacks.

    Which brings me to second aspect of the story. While the publisher’s description might have sold us the idea that Six Wakes is nothing more than a murder mystery in space, the true nature of it is much more complicated and layered than that. Lafferty imagines a future in which humans can choose to clone themselves and transfer their mindmaps from iteration to iteration, effectively achieving a sort of immortality. Not surprisingly, this process is regulated heavily by a body of laws and a number of attached codicils to ensure that it is not abused. In exploring the characters’ pasts, the author not only addresses the ethics surrounding the cloning controversy, she also raises astute questions about our humanity by looking at the political and social ramifications on an individual as well as a societal level.

    Personally, I love sci-fi stories like these, the ones that engage both the heart and the mind. I initially picked up Six Wakes expecting a straightforward mystery—some light entertainment, maybe a few twists and turns—but the book ended up being all that and more. Beneath the surface of its central premise, you’ll find a thought-provoking narrative that’s cleverly presented and well-crafted. Ultimately, Mur Lafferty has written novel that is more than it seems, engaging readers with a cast of unforgettable characters and a richly imagined plot. Six Wakes was a fun and rewarding experience all around and I cannot wait to read more by the author.

  • Justine
    Feb 03, 2017

    4.5 stars

    A really excellent mystery in space. The clone crew of a generational ship awake in freshly cloned bodies to find that they have been murdered...but none of them has any memory of the last 25 years they have crewed the ship together.

    A wonderful character driven story that delves deep into the question of personhood. I don't normally read mysteries, but I found this one to be a real page turner.

  • Lindsay
    Feb 12, 2017

    Six new clones wake from their cloning vats to a scene of mass murder. The victims being the clone's predecessors. There is no-one else on board the starship, so the murderer must have been one of them, but the clones have no memory of it. So with a potential murderer on board and ship a victim of sabotage, the race is on to find out what's going on.

    This book postulates a set of draconian rules around cloning of humans (the Codiciles) that has created two types of people, normal humans and nearl

    Six new clones wake from their cloning vats to a scene of mass murder. The victims being the clone's predecessors. There is no-one else on board the starship, so the murderer must have been one of them, but the clones have no memory of it. So with a potential murderer on board and ship a victim of sabotage, the race is on to find out what's going on.

    This book postulates a set of draconian rules around cloning of humans (the Codiciles) that has created two types of people, normal humans and nearly immortal clones, but criminalized a whole class of scientific and medical interventions that the technology enables. Thus we get a rich environment for all sorts of moral, societal and technological intrigue resulting in the drama playing out among the crew.

    It's also extremely entertaining with the piecing together that the reader does as we learn each of the character's back stories and they uncover the events that led up to the catastrophic start of the book. Definitely one of the better books on the topic, and right up until something in the last couple of chapters I would have had it at 5 stars, but the plot resorts to hand-waving over a critical issue that threw me out of the book and made the resolution implausible.

  • Philip
    Feb 28, 2017

    3.25ish stars.

    This is a fun thriller/mystery/generation ship/near future/philosophical debate... book. All of these elements are thrown in but there's too much going on for Lafferty to flesh any of them out sufficiently. Part of it wants to be fun and kooky and another part wants to be taken seriously. Regardless, it's a fast-paced escapist pleasure ride and sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered.

    The format of the book is great: six clones wake up at once to find their murdered (or near

    3.25ish stars.

    This is a fun thriller/mystery/generation ship/near future/philosophical debate... book. All of these elements are thrown in but there's too much going on for Lafferty to flesh any of them out sufficiently. Part of it wants to be fun and kooky and another part wants to be taken seriously. Regardless, it's a fast-paced escapist pleasure ride and sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered.

    The format of the book is great: six clones wake up at once to find their murdered (or near-murdered) previous bodies floating in a spaceship with no memory of what has happened since they boarded 25 years ago. The puzzle is gradually pieced together while interspersed chapters explain the backgrounds of each of the passengers aboard the ship.

    I didn't find the writing/dialogue to be particularly strong but this is the kind of book that it doesn't matter after a few chapters because the plot sucks you in enough to stop noticing. There are also a few too many convenient explanations and solutions for my tastes not quite living up to the promise of the mystery at the onset. When it's this fast and exciting, though, it's easy to zoom past the flaws and enjoy the ride.

  • Lata
    Feb 26, 2017

    Clones! In! Space!

    Thoughts coming....

  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    Jan 01, 2017

    This is a fantastic, suspenseful science fiction mystery novel that balances intrigue, excitement and the ethical challenges that emerge with technological advancements.

    The premise behind this novel is fantastic. Essentially, the author designs a futuristic version of the traditional closed-room mystery by placing the story on an isolated ship in deep-space with a very small crew. This is such a refreshing take on the traditional mystery set

    This is a fantastic, suspenseful science fiction mystery novel that balances intrigue, excitement and the ethical challenges that emerge with technological advancements.

    The premise behind this novel is fantastic. Essentially, the author designs a futuristic version of the traditional closed-room mystery by placing the story on an isolated ship in deep-space with a very small crew. This is such a refreshing take on the traditional mystery setup.

    The novel starts out strong, with a gripping first chapter that is guaranteed to pull the reader into the mystery. The characters wake up without recent memories, placing the reader in the same ambiguous situation.

    The story is told from multiple perspectives, shifting between the six crew members. These characters are all unique, diverse and fully developed people. It quickly becomes apparent that everyone has a murky past and plenty of secrets to hide. The chapters shift between the current timeline and flashbacks, slowly providing the reader with insight into the backstories of each character. All of the crew members are suffering from large gaps in their memories, which sets up a situation with six unreliable narrators. Essentially, the reader cannot trust any of the characters, because even the characters are uncertain of their own innocence. Along the course of the novel, the author slowly provides the pieces necessary to solve this intricately-plotted murder mystery.

    The writing is strong, with clean, simple prose. I found the world building was understandable and easy to follow. Likewise, the technology was relatively straight-forward, including well-established future technology like food replicators and artificial intelligence. Other research discussed in the novel involved advancements in technology that already exists today.

    I originally expected this to be only an entertaining science fiction thriller, so I was pleasantly surprised by the level of depth in this story. The author delves heavily into the ethical dilemmas surrounding technology such as cloning and DNA manipulation. Many of these moral issues are already applicable in our present day. It was fascinating to see how these technologies might be utilized and controlled in the future.

    This is my first time reading Lafferty, but it certainly won't be my last. In this novel, she demonstrated the ability to write an immersive and engaging story with strong characters and narrative drive. I look forward to reading more from this talented author.

    This is a cross-genre novel, which masterfully weaves together the best elements of science fiction, mystery and suspense. This would be an excellent novel to pick up for readers who normally read one of these genres and is interested in expanding their reading. I would recommend this novel to science fiction readers looking for an intelligent and suspenseful story. I would further recommend this book to fellow fans of mysteries and thrillers who are willing to venture out of their comfort zones and experience a futuristic version of a psychological suspense.

    I requested an ARC from Orbit Books in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emily
    Nov 17, 2016

    It's Clue in space...with clones...and it totally works. A nice intro to scifi for mystery lovers as well.

  • Brad
    Feb 12, 2017

    This is a SF closed-room murder mystery! Six characters, six viewpoints, and a truly cool SF twist of constant cloning and memory re-investment. Resurrection!

    But instead of losing us on the immediate lack of consequences because our murdered peeps keep coming back, we're dealt a hand where whole personalities can be hacked as easily as memories, and these poor saps all have richly criminal lives before they were "chosen" to be taking a long space-boat ride to another star. :) Hence, closed-room.

    This is a SF closed-room murder mystery! Six characters, six viewpoints, and a truly cool SF twist of constant cloning and memory re-investment. Resurrection!

    But instead of losing us on the immediate lack of consequences because our murdered peeps keep coming back, we're dealt a hand where whole personalities can be hacked as easily as memories, and these poor saps all have richly criminal lives before they were "chosen" to be taking a long space-boat ride to another star. :) Hence, closed-room. Claustrophobic, even, when we consider the kinds of crazy that these folks can come up with.

    I personally thought this was almost on the level of a comedy and might have been pulled off very successfully as one. I mean, the stakes when it came to the real clone wars, the jealousy, the hate, the religious nuttery, etc., was pretty horrible, especially when one side or the other can torture you to death over and over and bring you back with all your memories intact. The same is also true when you can fundamentally alter the emotional reactions of a person after they wake from a new cloning, and the societal ramifications are really dire, including the fact that your life is forfeit if someone clones you later because they will have precedence over YOUR rights, it feels vital and scary.

    However, there was just something about the novel, itself, that almost felt slapstick. The world-building was serious and seriously cool, mind you. But the actual character interactions would have fit fine in the movie, CLUE, if only they had been just a bit more over-the-top. Isn't this a weird reaction for me to have? Maybe. :) lol I still liked it very much. I just kept having these weird thoughts. :)

    Regardless, the mystery was nuts and the characters were nuts and as a SF it's pretty fantastic. :) I totally recommend it for anyone wanting light and fast fun.

  • Veronique
    Feb 14, 2017

    Crime mystery in space with clones - indeed, I couldn't resist either.

    Suspenseful and compelling, the story grabbed me early on. I particularly liked the way the narration was structured, giving voice to each of the 6 characters, following them in this claustrophobic situation while charting their past, piece by little piece, each shedding a different light on the whole picture.

    The world Lafferty offers us is a complex one too, where the very existence of clones, and the technology that has perm

    Crime mystery in space with clones - indeed, I couldn't resist either.

    Suspenseful and compelling, the story grabbed me early on. I particularly liked the way the narration was structured, giving voice to each of the 6 characters, following them in this claustrophobic situation while charting their past, piece by little piece, each shedding a different light on the whole picture.

    The world Lafferty offers us is a complex one too, where the very existence of clones, and the technology that has permitted this, has challenged the very nature of humanity on pretty much all levels. These are reflected throughout the plot in a fascinating way.

    On the other side of the coin, some might feel that a part of the resolution was a little far-fetched or too obvious (but then the ship is after all named from a word that means ‘Sleep’). Likewise, some strands of the plot could be said to being too neat. Nevertheless, I must admit I really didn’t mind these because I was having so much fun :O)

  • Emily (BellaGrace)
    Feb 26, 2017

    4.5 stars - I read about this book in an email newsletter. I have never heard of this author, but I'm glad I read it anyway. It was fantastic - I was hooked from the first page. The six (clone) crew of a generational space ship awake in new clone bodies and find their own previous bodies murdered and no memory of the last 25 years (That's basically the first page of the book). This is a action packed murder/mystery in space, and if you read sci-fi there's a good chance you'll like this one.

    I su

    4.5 stars - I read about this book in an email newsletter. I have never heard of this author, but I'm glad I read it anyway. It was fantastic - I was hooked from the first page. The six (clone) crew of a generational space ship awake in new clone bodies and find their own previous bodies murdered and no memory of the last 25 years (That's basically the first page of the book). This is a action packed murder/mystery in space, and if you read sci-fi there's a good chance you'll like this one.

    I suspect there will be a follow up book if this one is successful - the story gets completely wrapped up, but there is clearly room for more -which is great, except that I will not remember what happened in this book by the time the next one comes out. Regardless...read this.