Six Wakes – Mur Lafferty

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“Once you were gone, the body meant nothing, had no sentimental value. The future body was all that mattered. The past shouldn’t be here, staring you in the face with dead eyes.”
— Mur Lafferty, Six Wakes

So this is pretty interesting mash-up of styles here: sci-fi, horror, and ultimately, locked-room mystery. This wound up being a “liked it, didn’t love it” book for me, but I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to folks, especially if you’re a mystery fan.

The book opens strong. There’s just….bodies. Bodies everywhere! And blood and gore and all of it is….everywhere! Floating. Getting jammed in exhaust fans. You’re on a massive spaceship. And you learn these aren’t ordinary bodies floating around. They’re clones. This massive generation ship is crewed by clones who all share a bit of darkness in their past, and must work together to solve their own murders. If it sounds fucked up, it is! There’s a lot of really cool sci-fi concepts here. Not just human cloning, but the idea that cloning could almost become a form of invincibility. The cloning technology allows for mindmapping, effectively downloading memories so that they can be restored into your next new body: so some of these folks are carrying around a hundred years or more of memories. It’s…bananas.

Ultimately, I struggled a bit toward the end, and I think that shows my relative inexperience with proper mystery novels. The twists & turns & whodunnits were hard for me to keep up with. I also didn’t latch on to any one character in particular, although they are all certainly interesting and colorful in their own right.

Some of the concepts presented here are really intense and thoughtful. Issues of faith, morality, free will…the book will make you stop and think, that’s for sure.

Overall, a solid read, just one that I wasn’t wildly in love with.

 

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