Six Wakes Review (Sci-Fi Mystery)

Book cover for Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the murdered crew are resurrected through cloning to discover who their killer was — and the secret to their mission.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Marie Shea iv 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. – Goodreads


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Six Wakes Review

Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes is one of the best mystery/thrillers I’ve read in the several years. Who would have thought a murder mystery that involved no hard-nosed cops, spunky PIs, or determined feisty young heroines could be so bloody good? I’m also in awe of this lady’s talent to keep me interested in a book while giving me a cast of characters almost impossible to like.

As I mentioned, none of the characters is the type you can really feel for. The personalities on board go between psychotic to just generally abrasive to cowardly. I think the only reason you don’t hate them is that they’re all sort of blank slates at the beginning. By the time you start learning enough about them to dislike them, you’re already completely invested in Six Wakes.

By the time all the threads are starting to tie together, you’ve got to know how it ends. And it’s not a smooth ride. There’s the wicked web of intrigue, as well as various bouts of blood-letting, arguments, and insanity. There’s the ship and it’s journey, the fight for survival, and decisions to be made. Even if one of the plot threads doesn’t interest you much, the other will surely grab your attention.

I also liked Lafferty’s thoughts on how cloning would affect society in the future in Six Wakes. In her world, it rolls out much like it would in reality. Cloning is only available to the rich, there’s pushback for rights and religion, etc. The most interesting part, I thought, was the thought she put into inheritance rights and the natural separation of clones from family.

Normally by halfway through one of these types of novels, I know enough to spoil the end for myself. At seventy percent through Six Wakes, I was still completely clueless. Clueless and loving it. Six Wakes was 400 pages of confusion and mayhem that I utterly enjoyed. I didn’t even mind that there were several ‘origin’ chapters for the various characters involved.  Then, on top of everything else, Mur Lafferty also made me perfectly satisfied with the ending, too! (A bit grossed out, but satisfied.)

This is definitely a must-read, and Mur Lafferty should go on your list of authors to pay attention to in the future. Well done all around.

Six Wakes


Title: Six Wakes | Author: Mur Lafferty (site) | Publisher: Orbit | Pub. Date: 2017-1-31 | Pages: 400 | Genre: Science Fiction & Mystery/Thriller | Language: English | Triggers: Suicide | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Self-purchased | Purchase on Amazon