Bingo Category (Round 2): Snubbed
Given how many of my reads lately are books I picked up due to other Cannonballers, I could probably find a book for each bingo category that would also be Cannonballer. Six Wakes is another one that can be added to that list. I enjoyed narfna’s review but it wasn’t an immediate buy for me until it showed up as Kindle Deal of the Day – who can resist $1.99?
This one was a slow burn for me. The concept and mystery were intriguing but I can’t say I was hooked until half way through. Before that, I was enjoying myself, curious to see how it would resolve but after the halfway mark it became a burning desire to see how it would all resolve and how everyone’s past might be connected without their knowledge.
Maria wakes up in the cloning bay, seemingly only days after joining the crew of a colonization ship. Something feels off, though – she is still in her cloning pod and as she gains more awareness, she notices that other clones are waking up beside her and there is blood floating in the air. Why is the gravity off? Why is no one helping her? Once she is able to use the escape hatch to get out of her pod, she and the other five crew members realize that they have all been regenerated at the same time, and their former bodies have been murdered. Not only that, but their former bodies are significantly older, meaning that not only did they all die at the same time, but someone erased their most recent mind maps which store memories for clones. They were all backed up from a much earlier map and have lost two and a half decades of time.
The AI has also been wiped off all memory of the last 25 years and is acting a bit wonky. It’s an interesting way to set up a murder mystery where six people and one AI system, IAN, are not only trying to figure out how and who murdered them but also whether they were the killer, not knowing what has transpired in their missing time. All of the clones have criminal pasts and were selected as crew as an early amnesty, but no one knows what the crimes of their fellow crew mates are.
Beyond the murder mystery, the book succeeds because the book clearly shows a lot of thought into the concept of cloning, and how it would affect society, politics and religion. Would people use cloning to contribute to society or for mostly selfish reasons, such as the ability to go into dangerous situations and then simply reboot with the most recent mind map?
While the murder mystery alone was definitely entertaining, it is all that extra detail and the surrounding world building that elevated this one beyond a simple suspense novel, and made it such a good read. Definitely worth checking out, and since it’s based around a mystery, I think this might be a good sci-fi novel for people that aren’t that into science fiction as well.
Bingo Square: Snubbed (Hugo and Nebula)