Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Book Review: Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

Pros: fantastic mystery, suspenseful, interesting technology, diverse characters

Cons: a few continuity errors

When the six member crew of the starship Dormire all wake up in new clones, they’re shocked to find several of them were murdered. Unsure of who to trust, knowing they’re all convicted felons but not what each others’ crimes were, they try to find answers for what happened in the 25 years of memories they’ve lost.

You’re introduced to all six characters, plus their AI, all at once, so it’s impressive how Lafferty keeps their voices unique and their personalities distinct. You jump around to everyone’s POV, so this is important.

The story unfolds mostly linearly, with important historical background flashbacks as needed to forward the plot, learn more about the characters, and keep you guessing about what happened. I was impressed by how intricate the various stories were and how they eventually pulled together. The pacing is great, propelling you towards the ending.

I was also impressed by the treatment of Joanna’s character. She was born with withered legs and uses a wheelchair and 2 prosthetic legs in the book. Her choice to retain this disability comes up in the book, and is handled well.  

The technology and world-building were a lot of fun. There’s a series of codicils governing the creation of clones, riots, anti-cloning sentiment, the generation ship, AI, mind hacking, and more. 

I did notice two minor continuity errors, one where a character got up twice to program food, and another where two characters suddenly shift from talking in the theatre to talking in one of their rooms. Hiro got a little annoying at times, but even the characters in the book complained about that.

It’s a fast paced book that kept me guessing and glued to the pages. Highly recommended.

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