Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a SF closed-room murder mystery! Six characters, six viewpoints, and a truly cool SF twist of constant cloning and memory re-investment. Resurrection!
But instead of losing us on the immediate lack of consequences because our murdered peeps keep coming back, we're dealt a hand where whole personalities can be hacked as easily as memories, and these poor saps all have richly criminal lives before they were "chosen" to be taking a long space-boat ride to another star. :) Hence, closed-room. Claustrophobic, even, when we consider the kinds of crazy that these folks can come up with.
I personally thought this was almost on the level of a comedy and might have been pulled off very successfully as one. I mean, the stakes when it came to the real clone wars, the jealousy, the hate, the religious nuttery, etc., was pretty horrible, especially when one side or the other can torture you to death over and over and bring you back with all your memories intact. The same is also true when you can fundamentally alter the emotional reactions of a person after they wake from a new cloning, and the societal ramifications are really dire, including the fact that your life is forfeit if someone clones you later because they will have precedence over YOUR rights, it feels vital and scary.
However, there was just something about the novel, itself, that almost felt slapstick. The world-building was serious and seriously cool, mind you. But the actual character interactions would have fit fine in the movie, CLUE, if only they had been just a bit more over-the-top. Isn't this a weird reaction for me to have? Maybe. :) lol I still liked it very much. I just kept having these weird thoughts. :)
Regardless, the mystery was nuts and the characters were nuts and as a SF it's pretty fantastic. :) I totally recommend it for anyone wanting light and fast fun.
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