“It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.”
A whodunnit…..in space!
The story takes place in the 25th century a few hundred years after cloning has been perfected. A person can choose to extend their life by taking a “mind map”, which basically amounts to a save point in a person’s memories and personality, and be reborn into a clone after their death. The six main characters are all clones that awake in new bodies aboard a spaceship that they have been on for 25 years but have no memory past boarding the ship. Their bodies, that obviously died violently, are floating around in zero gravity and the characters must figure out who did this to them.
As the story takes place on a space ship and all other passengers are in stasis for the 400 year journey, it must be one of their own.
There are really two side to this book. One is the above story and the other is the exploration of the cultural ramifications of cloning being available to the public. It actually seems like the author was more passionate about this side of it than the other. It is obvious that a lot of deep thought went into this. There are tons of details from how the religious community reacts to laws that are created to regulate it. The whole thing is really thought-provoking.
The murder mystery that is being told is, frankly, underwhelming. It was difficult to engage with the characters aboard the spaceship. They didn’t have any relationships to speak of as their last memories were of boarding the ship so they didn’t have time to form any bonds so their relationships with each other were a little all over the place. It was essentially 6 strangers being ultra-suspicious of each other.
I have trouble really appreciating books in which I call the ending too early. In the middle of this book, I remember thinking “Oh this person really fits as the bad guy, but it can’t be them, that’s too obvious.” Whelp…that’s who it turned out to be.
I would love to explore more of the social effects of cloning. It was pretty much the only thing that I really found interesting about this book. The rest of it was just kind of snooze-worthy for me.
Again! Authors, when you have a really cool storyline for a book… don’t make the book boring!