A murder mystery aboard a spaceship! A stand-alone SF book.

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Publication year: 2017
Format: Audio
Running time: 9 hours 44 minutes
Narrator: Mur Lafferty

The Dormire is a generation starship which is traveling to Artemis, a planet very suitable for human habitation. Most of its cargo is sleeping humans who want to inhabit the planet. It also has a wake crew of six clones. The clones are all criminals who were promised a fresh start if they successfully get the Dormire to Artemis.

But something has gone terribly wrong. Maria, the ship’s junior maintenance officer, wakes up in a brand-new cloned body. Everyone else is waking up, too. Someone has killed them all. Their previous, dead, bodies float around them. The cloning equipment has been sabotaged so that no new cloned bodies can be made. The age of the previous clones, the dead bodies, suggests that they have been on the journey for several decades. But all the clones’ memories start at the beginning of the journey. Their memory downloads after it has been destroyed and the ship’s logs are also gone. The ship’s AI is offline, too.

The crew must find out what happened, who killed them, and why. But without any recent logs and memories, that’s tough. All the six members used to be criminals and they all have secrets. The crew is Katrina the captain, Wolfgang her second-in-command and security officer, Maria the junior maintenance officer, Hiro the programmer, Joanna the medical officer, and Paul the ship engineer.

This was a fascinating book. We get to slowly know the stories of the six people and why they decided to join the crew. But we also get to know about the future history of human cloning which was fascinating, as well. In this world, clones are essentially immortal because they can download their minds to the next clone indefinitely. This has, of course, huge implications not just societally but also for the individuals. Lafferty explores them. There are draconian laws to try to prevent any abuse of that system. For example, it’s not legal to have more than one clone of the same person at the same time. Even if someone has cloned you against your will or knowledge, you will be punished, as well.

This was a very enjoyable book. It has both an engaging mystery and wonderful world-building.