I’ve been following Laffery’s works ever since I found the Heaven series (starting with Heaven: Season One) on podiobooks. I knew I’d eventually read this one as soon as I heard Lafferty was writing it. I was in the mood for some science fiction so it seemed like the time to read the book.
Genre: science fiction murder mystery
Length: 364 pages
Setting: 2200s-2493 Earth and the spaceship Dormire
Summary: Short version: Closed room murder mystery involving clones
Long version: The six people crewing the Dormire wake up in the cloning vats with their dead selves floating around them. They have no memories of the last 25 years spent on the ship since their mindmaps are from before the ship sailed and all the logs have been wiped. They have to piece together what happened from the physical evidence and any data caches they may have left themselves. The crew is made up of all criminals, which hampers their ability to work together during the crisis. No one knows who to trust and as secrets come out, trust declines even more. We get a bit of backstory for each of the crew members as they try to determine who killed who and prevent more deaths. It turns out ****SPOILERS AHEAD***** the mission was set up to fail by a wealthy patron.
Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I pushed it on Mr. Curiosity as soon as I finished and he loved it just as much. It essentially was a murder mystery, but the science fictional element of cloning was critical to the storyline. Sometimes the science fiction element of a story feels tacked on, as if the story could have taken place in a different time and place just as easily. That was not the case here. Cloning and mind hacking were critical to the plot.
There were a couple of parts of the book that impressed me. I’m not a big fan of mysteries in general, so the fact that I loved the book at all was surprising. Many people have done locked room mysteries. The fact that the people trying to figure out the murders were the same people who committed the murders, minus 25 years of working together. As the story progresses, we see snippets of everyone’s life before they got on the ship. If you pay attention, you may notice that Sally Mignon shows up in all of their lives. It seems she set up the entire mission just to get revenge on people who crossed her.
My favorite character was Maria. She was very practical minded and didn’t freak out in an emergency. There was also a lot more to her than met the eye. She was hired as the general cook and gopher on the ship so everyone thought she was unskilled. Turns out, there was a lot more to her than met the eye and she was critical to a potential solution to their problem. The book ends without a complete resolution, but at least there is hope that they can improve their situation.
Title comes from: There were six times in the book that individuals woke from an unconscious state. As a bonus title, the name of their spaceship, the Dormire, means “sleep” in Italian, going along with the waking up theme.
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #30 for 2018, and an L in my Author Reading the Alphabet Challenge
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