Thursday, March 2, 2017

Six Wakes

Six Wakes

Six Wakes is one of those books. Smart writing, a killer premise, and even a little black humor. This one has it all. Six clones wake up on a generation ship but have no idea what happened to them- except that they were killed. And one of them did it. And the cloning backups were wiped, as were all relevant ship logs. So they're totally in the dark- and one of them is a killer. 

And in addition to the murder mystery and the perils of surviving this also asks a lot of questions about cloning and technology and where to draw the line. In this story there have been uprisings and strife between clones and humans and society passed The Codicils, a set of laws to regulate cloning (think Asimov's Laws of Robotics). Of course not everyone plays by the rules and as time passes we learn that every crew member has secrets- in fact all six clones have a criminal past and their records were sealed so no one would know about the others. But why were criminals selected to run a ship that would be in flight for four hundred years?  

The beginning of this book is killer. Maria wakes up to find the cloning bay spattered with blood and dead bodies floating around. Not only were they killed but the gravity is off and the ship is off course. The other crew member clones wake up as she does but again none of them have any idea what happened. In this world clones keep a mindmap that allows them to just be cloned again when they die, so essentially they are immortal. The ramifications of this have of course played a big role in how society has developed. And the bad news (it's all bad) is that their mindmaps have also been wiped. This new body they just woke up in- that's it. 

The characters here are so interesting. The story flashes back to show what their lives were like over the last few hundred years- as clones they've had several lifetimes- and against the backdrop of the clone struggles in society we start to see pieces fall into place. Add to that a mysterious AI named IAN who is programmed to run the ship if things break down- except someone has messed with IAN too. As you can imagine the chaos is pretty widespread. 

IAN has a surprisingly human personality complete with colloquialisms and sarcasm. He manages to be creepy and scary in spite of, or maybe because of, that. But it's an inverted trope, like so much here- rather than the menacing AI he's frequently funny, helpful, and... human. I liked him more than the AI in Illuminae. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the end- how it all came together. Even though it was well done I had some issues with it, but for spoilery reasons I won't delve into that. Suffice to say this is a fantastic SF read and it asks a lot of questions about cloning, the meaning of life, the intersection of faith and technology- you can ponder some very weighty questions if you're inclined.   

35 comments:

  1. Sounds a weird premise for a book - but interesting.
    Great review

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  2. Sounds like a really interesting book :) Great review!

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  3. I'm not really into this kind of sci-fi as technical things like cloning tend to blow my skull off! Good review though!

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    1. It actually wasn't too technical but I know what you mean. Thanks!

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  4. I wonder if the library has it

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    1. They might! And it's a good read. :)

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  5. Love that cover! And love the space suspense/thriller. Adding this one to my pile!

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  6. okay, this might be just me but the basic premise of the story sounds quite a bit like Dark Matter? the show on sci fi. I might be wrong, but it's def got that feel heh. Nevertheless. Glad you enjoyed it, still sounds action packed and exciting

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    1. Yes, it's EXACTLY like Dark Matter in that sense (and I love that show). Dark Matter is more of a space opera though and this is a generation ship story- plus the cloning angle.

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  7. I've never heard of this book before seeing this post, but it sounds super interesting! Thanks for sharing :D

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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  8. I love the sound of the mystery in this one! I don't read much science fiction but this appeals to me. It's a good mix of out of my comfort zone and right smack in the middle of it!

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    1. Oh it's a great mystery. I mean EVERYTHING is screwed up when they awaken! and it's not too heavy on the science- more like a thriller in space.

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  9. wow this sounds very different. I don;t think I have read a book even close to this story. Clones living several lives over hundred years spans and I like that is creepy and humorous too. Sounds like a winner!

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    1. It's a very unique story, I don't think I've read anything quite like it.

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  10. This does sound like such a cool premise. And books about clones are interesting, or at least have potential, so there's the question of what it means to be a clone and whether a clone is the same person as their predecessor. So just because one of the predecessors was a murderer, does that really mean one of them is? (Don't answer that, I'm just philosophizing lol.) I do want to read this one, so I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. I hope you read this one. It's very cool. And I love clones. This one is thought provoking in the sens e that they're essentially immortal- so it raises all sort of questions.

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  11. It's almost like one of those murder mystery parties, no one knows who was the killer, but it was one of them! What a fun story, and I love the clone part of it. Great review!

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    1. The cloning definitely adds a new wrinkle to the murder mystery in space!

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  12. I was going to say - IAN reminds me of Illuminae. That's cool you liked him better though. This one sounds really good though. Love a fun mystery.

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    1. IAN was awesome. and a little scary?

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  13. This really does sound like it would be fun. Thanks so much for putting it on my radar!

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    1. You're welcome, and I hope you get a chanced to read it.

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  14. Been waiting for this review! I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed it. I loved the mystery behind it, and of course, the ethical discussions about cloning was the icing on the cake.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  15. Well, guess I need to add this one to my list of books I must buy. This sounds SO good. I love that there are so many thought-provoking questions, one of my favorite things in books. And I really am fascinated by the idea of clones in general, and with them murdering each other and being in space with Boy-ALIE? Yes please. Need very much. Great review!

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  16. This actually sounds quite fascinating, I might need to add it to my TBR! I'm always up for good writing and black humour with an interesting concept hahaha

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  17. This sounds like such a cool book and I can't believe I'd never heard of it before. The idea of being able to live indefinitely through the use of cloning is very cool, just imagine the population control issues! And the fact that it's a murder mystery as well as a sci-fi book is making me want to read. I will have to keep my eyes peeled for it at my library.

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  18. I really like the aspect about cloning technology and all of its ramifications. This looks pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

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  19. This sounds like Dark Matter - which I love. Thank you Greg - I'll need to get hold of it.

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  20. Oh my god, waking up surrounded by floating dead bodies...nightmarish! I love books that have strong writing and a great plot, so add in some dark humour and I'm totally sold. IAN sounds really cool, and as someone who liked the AI in Illuminae I'm excited to potentially read about another AI that's even more well done!

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  21. This one sounds very creepy and mysterious with that set up, knowing that one of the is a killer, but not knowing who. It sounds very well written!

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  22. Ooh, this sounds like a really great story. I'm going to have to check it out!

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