Review : Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
About the Book :
It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.
At least, Maria 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, from illness once and from injury once…
Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Pituitary, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. Apparently Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently.
I was in the mood for a different type of thriller when I picked Six Wakes, and it turned out to be exactly what I needed.
If you’re looking for fanciful prose and to slowly immerse yourself into a new world, this isn’t it : Six Wakes is a fast paced sci-fi thriller with efficient writing. Its complexity lies in its characters and its constantly surprising plot, but also in its questioning of ethics regarding technology and human life. Mur Lafferty’s thriller is clever and gives you a lot to think about other than “Who did it?”
Because of its pace and down-to-earth (ha! love to use that particular expression here!) writing, the story unfolded itself in a very cinematic way. The plot was so pleasantly intricate. The clones each have their own motivation to be on this ship. Their secrets made for exciting revelations, but they also meant it was impossible to easily predict who was guilty or not. Through the story we get multiple flashbacks to decades (and centuries) earlier, glimpses to the clones’ previous lives, and each of them revealed important clues and details, some that would only come together later in the story. It was cleverly done and perfectly gripping.
I also appreciated how realistic the context felt. So much seemed possible in the futuristic wold of Six Wakes, but it wasn’t a complete utopia or dystopia. The way humanity had reacted to cloning and subsequent technologies felt true, which made the story all the more compelling.
The characters were well written and multi-dimensional, especially Maria and Hiro, but I can honestly say I loved discovering all of them – including secondary characters who were part of the past.
Six Wakes was such a positive experience for me. There was never a boring moment, each word felt necessary and the constant flow of revelations and twists was greatly supported by the meat of the story. It’s a thriller that had me glued to the page, but left a lasting impression because of its questioning on the worth of a human life (and related topics). Something that was missing from my most recent reading. Now I only need to find some friends to discuss it with!