Friday, May 8, 2020

Review - Goldilocks by Laura Lam

Title: Goldilocks
Author: Laura Lam
Pages: 353
Publisher: Wildfire
Release Date: 30th April 2020

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance - and one woman can tip it over.
Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

It's humanity's last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie's surrogate daughter and the ship's botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this - to step out of Valerie's shadow and really make a difference.

But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi starts to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret - and realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . . 

This is The Martian by way of The Handmaid's Tale - a bold and thought-provoking new high-concept thriller.

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Headline and NetGalley*

Naomi's dream of going into space becomes reality when her adopted mother, the rich and passionate Valerie Black, organises an all-female mission to a planet that could be humanity's salvation.

Naomi jumps at Valerie's offer to be the ship's botanist, knowing that it is the only chance she will have to go space thanks to the restrictions being placed on women.

But things soon unravel as the crew face unforeseen problems and Naomi begins to think that one of her crew-mates may be hiding a dark secret.

Will the crew make it to their destination?

I love a good sci-fi and when I heard that Goldilocks had an all-female crew in it I knew I had to read it.

The themes and events in Goldilocks are very relevant at the moment - climate change had changed the Earth irreversibly, women's rights/lives were being restricted and controlled, and there were virus pandemics as well, which hit a bit too close to home given the current global situation.

Naomi was a mixed character for me. Did I feel sorry for her? Yes, I did, but she didn't have much of a personality. Bland seems like a strong and harsh word to use, but that's the word that comes to mind when I think of Naomi, unfortunately.

Of the characters, Valerie felt the most developed, and I did find Valerie and Naomi's dynamic and relationship interesting.

Half of the novel is set in the past and half in the present. I found the chapters set in the present more interesting and engaging because they were set in space, but the backstory was important to establish the relationship between Naomi and Valerie as well as Naomi's past.

The plot was enjoyable overall, but I did guess several twists and wasn't as gripped as I expected to be, which could be because there wasn't as much action or suspense as I thought there would be.

The science was interesting and made me want to learn more about the Alcubierre drive.

The writing style was easy to follow and understand.

I feel like Goldilocks didn't quite reach its potential for me, but I did enjoy it overall, and found it to be a well-rounded sci-fi with a feminist twist.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read.

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