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Publisher's Summary

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....

©2017 Mur Lafferty (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent story and characters

This book is a very clever take on what it would mean for society if people could essentially live forever through cloning. it's not the first sci-fi to explore this concept but definitely holds it own. I liked the world and the mystery.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A locked room murder mystery in space

Maria Arena is one of the six crew members of the generation starship Dormire.

Like the other five crew members, she's a clone. Clones at this time have some specific rights, and some specific limitations on their rights, compared to non-clones, who are simply called "humans."

While waking up in a cloning vat isn't unusual, it is unusual to to wake up covered in blood, and to have no memory of how you died. It's even more unusual to discover you and four other members of the crew have been murdered, and the sixth crew member, the captain, is lying in the medical bay injured and in a coma. But her new clone has been awakened, too, making one of them an illegal copy.

They've been en route nearly twenty-five years, and the mind maps they presumably made in that interval have all been wiped. One of them is a murderer, and they have no idea which one or why, and they have no memories of the quarter century of time they've spent in space together and the events that may have led up to the crime.

After that, every additional piece of information they get makes things worse.

They have a cargo full of passengers in cryogenic storage, nearly two centuries to go in their journey to the world they're to colonize, and oh yes, it turns out they all have motives for murder, and criminal records that successful completion of this trip would have wiped out.

They aren't, as they were told, a crew carefully selected to be successful together.

And the ship's AI is turning them around, to head back to Earth, where they could all be executed.

Generation starship, clones, strong AI, and a murder mystery where everyone is a suspect.

Can they solve it before the return to Earth is irreversible? Or before whoever the killer is does it again?

It's a very character-driven story with the sf elements, cloning, AI, and centuries-long star travel, all essential to the plot. All the characters are flawed; they've all done bad things in their past. And they all have real strengths.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging, complex murder mystery in space

Mur Lafferty's Six Wakes is a fascinating murder mystery that takes place on a colony ship with only six crew and an AI. The story begins with 5 of the 6 "waking" up from a cloning process only to discover that they appear to be 25 years into a 400 year mission, but with no memory of the intervening time (their mind maps were reconstructed from the start of the mission). Most of the ship's logs have also been wiped. The captain is found in a coma with severe head trauma, while the remainder had been stabbed, poisoned, or hanged. The story involves a reconstruction of the events leading up to the gruesome events. Each crewman has a secret past with run-ins with the law as they are the only individuals who would sign on to crew a ship for 400 years being cloned every 30 to 40 years in exchange for complete pardons.

The sci-fi elements involve routine space travel, with the cloning process resulting in adult bodies into which a "mind map" of the individual is inserted with the potential for much abuse. Time is spent with many issues and concerns that have arisen throughout its history such that restrictive laws are in place that impact future action. At the same time, each crewman has a secret past that is gradually disclosed to reveal a truly diabolical plot of enormous proportions. This is a wonderful mashup of Richard K Morgan's "resleeving" and Dan Simmons' Hyperion in the setting of an intricate murder mystery.

The narration is a major deficiency. "Auto-narration" is infrequently handled well, except for comedic storylines where timing and delivery are crucial for the humor to come through. In this case, there is little to no character distinction. Pacing, tone, and mood are equally non-existent. The story is simply read, rather than spoken with feeling and intensity.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tm
  • 04-16-17

Mind mapping and clones

Mind mapping, clones, criminals, artificial intelligence, political manipulation and a murder mystery all tied into one. There isn't any "R" rated content which I know bothers some listeners.
This book does dip its toe into the ethically troubled waters of replacement clones and immortality. A few times while listening the author gave me pause as I considered the human laws in the world she created.
For all the sci-fi fans looking for a break from the Space Opera genre, consider this well done story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • c
  • US
  • 05-01-17

The story sounded interesting

It probably is interesting... but the narration kills it. She's not *horrible* but her voice gets monotonous. Nothing changes from one character to another. There's inflection - but it's like someone reading their child a bedtime story.

Most authors should invest in a professional to read their books, as very few can do it well themselves. Listen closely to the sample: that's continuous. I wish I'd paid attention to the reviews.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Would greatly benefit from a pro narrator.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

This imaginative story would greatly benefit from a professional narrator who would voice the characters in a distinctive manner and in general bring it to life.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I can't listen to this.

This is a review of the audiobook only.

I haven't finished the book. In fact, I'm only one hour in, but I'm going to have to return it. From what I've heard so far, the author is talented. She's set up a really interesting premise and I'm intrigued to learn more. But the narration is terrible. I really wish a professional narrator or voice actor had been hired to do this because Ms. Lafferty isn't doing her own story any justice. Everyone has been given the same voice and inflection so I can't tell who is speaking unless the book explicitly states it.

So I'm returning the Audible version of this book and will pick it up in print.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Neat premise, a little too bloody for me

I was excited to read Six Wakes this when I found out it is nominated for the 2018 Hugo and 2018 Nebula for best novel. Overall, I liked it but it not as much as I thought I would going in. Perhaps my expectations were too high.

Six Wakes is basically a murder mystery in space. On an interstellar generation ship, six clones are automatially woken because something has happened to their previous six versions, which were in charge of the ships' operations. Five of their previous versions were gruesomely murdered and the sixth is in a deep coma. They have no knowledge of what happened and over the course of the book have to try to figure out who the killer is and get the ship back on course. The six clones are the only humans alive during the trip and are ultimately responsible for getting the cargo humans in cryosleep to a new planet. The narrative is divided between the clones' attempt to find out what went wrong with their predecessors on the ship and the telling of each of their backstories which explains their lives leading up to them being selected for the interstellar mission.

I liked the premise and the mystery, and there were some neat twists thrown in here and there. I thought the dialogue on the ship (there was A LOT of it) was well written. The backstories were a nice break from the talky parts, had neat settings on the future earth and moon, and offered some interesting insights in to the rights of clones and the societal acceptance and treatment of them.

What I didn't like was the blood. Blood was everywhere. There was a lot of stabbing, maiming, and torture and this took away from my enjoyment of the book. I thought I was back in Minneapolis circa 1995 when the town was nicknamed "Murderapolis" due to the record number of murders that year.

The book was narrated by the author who read the book with the same voice throughout. I think I would've enjoyed the book much more with a professional narrator person. It was sometimes hard to keep track of who was talking. I wonder if I would've liked reading the paper book better?

I would recommend to science fiction fans as the story is intriguing and the science is cool. Wear your boots, though, because you'll be walking through some pools o' blood.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sara
  • British Columbia, Canada
  • 04-29-18

Couldn't stop listening

This book was great. It was full of a great cast and I would love to return to this future.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This is epic level awesome

Give them book of the year, or hold a 7th wake for integrity in publishing