24 July 2017

Review #628: Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”


Mur Lafferty, an American author, has penned an intriguing science fiction thriller called, Six Wakes that centers around a spaceship carrying six crew members, where each one wakes up as a clone with no memory or record of what happened or who killed them, but only with the memory of dying. And as their bloody bodies floated around the space ship under zero gravity and with the ship's controlling AI being offline, the six crew members are pretty sure that someone amongst them must have killed them, but why? Set in the 25th century, this story is going to thrill the readers in a subtle manner.


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.

Maria Arena is the first to wake up inside her cloning vat, only to be greeted by the sight of dead bodies, blood and everything floating around in zero gravity in the generation starship called, Dormire, carrying a cargo of six individuals to the planet of Artemis, with no memory of how she died or what happened since she and the others boarded the spaceship, only with the memories of her long time ago past. Eventually, one-by-one and after a long wait of their previous bodies' permanent death, Captain Katrina de la Cruz, pilot Akihiro Sato, security chief Wolfgang, engineer Paul Seurat, and Dr. Joanna Glass woke up to find themselves surrounded by the death and zero gravity and also with their ship's controlling artificial intelligence, IAN, being offline. Hence they have no idea how they all died or why or who killed, even though it is very obvious that the killer is in that ship and someone from the six passengers. And with no memory backup, the lives of the six individuals are doomed, so they must hurry and figure out the gory mystery behind their murders.

Although, I'm not much big of a fan of science fiction books, yet this book allured me, for being a thriller, (I'm a die hard thriller fan, be it of whatever or any kind) and also for the concept of cloning, which is my favorite sci-fi topic to explore. And Lafferty’s book not only covers both the things aptly but also intrigues all through out. (PS: For a seasoned crime fiction reader, it will be easy enough to predict the whodunit!) The author has explored and has introduced her readers with a world that allows multiple cloning until immortality but with lots of terms and conditions and strict laws, so that no one abuses the option of cloning.

The world building with the prospect of cloning and future advanced technology to preserve mankind is strikingly explained and depicted by the author into the story line. Although not believable, but somehow, the author has managed to make her readers find the honesty and logic behind such a superficial universe. A world where mankind can be exploited both with cloning and with corruption. Yes it was thrilling for me to experience such a make-believe future world.

The writing is strong and articulate and is laced with enough tension that will grip its readers and will keep them engaged till the very end. The narrative is not that engaging enough to peak the readers' interests, but with a fast pace and with zero technical jargon filled with lots of unforeseeable twists and turns, the plot will only become more and more intense. The mystery is tightly wrapped under layers and dimensions of backstories and twists and the edgy suspense is bound to make the readers anticipate till the very last page.

The characters are not only well developed but are also multi dimensional, which only makes them real and relatable in the eyes of the readers. There is a huge twist about the characters' real identity, and although some of the reviewers have shamelessly mentioned that, yet I would refrain myself from repeating it. And its the key thing that will compel the minds' of the readers with fear and tension. All the characters will intrigue in their own way and with their fatal psychological flaws, they will coil around the minds of the readers like a snake. The characters are the "cherry-on-the-top" of this book, they steal the complete show.

In a nutshell, this book is thoroughly engrossing and extremely captivating enough to keep the readers turning the pages of this book frantically.

Verdict: Interesting sci-fi space and futuristic thriller that is perfect also for the mystery fans.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Mur Lafferty, for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.

Author Info:
Mur Lafferty is the author of Six Wakes and The Shambling Guides series from Orbit books, as well as several self pubbed novels and novellas, including the award winning Afterlife series. She is the host of podcasts I Should Be Writing and Ditch Diggers. She is the recipient of the John Campbell Award for best new writer, the Manly Wade Wellman Award, and joined the Podcast Hall of Fame in its inaugural year.
Visit her here

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