Book Review: Goldilocks by Laura Lam

 Title: Goldilocks by Laura Lam
 Rating: 3 stars (🌟🌟🌟)
 Publisher: Headline Publishing Group


  I came for the climate change and got a whole of lot internal character angst. A lot. I liked this overall but I didn't love the way it was told. The timelines going back and forth really sapped the pace and suspense of both.

  Naomi was a member of the five-woman crew of the Atalanta and the story is mostly focused on her perspective of the events surrounding the commandeering of that ship and the journey to Cavendish (a habitable planet in another galaxy). She's the adopted daughter of Valerie, a billionaire aerospace engineer. Valerie also has a son, Evan, who is an immunologist. There are complicated family dynamics that I found interesting to a point and step-sibling starcrossed angst, which I found less so. It was over-wrought and drawn out too long in the narrative. The parts I liked most were the look at the destruction that climate change has had on the world and society. The political situation in the US is the only one we see and it isn't pretty but it's clear to see it's roots go back to our present. Women have been moved out of the workplace and have lost so many rights that I wondered if voting was also one of those things. There were some very highlight-worthy passages and insights and I wished there had been more delving into those themes. The bow on the hellscape that is Earth here is a pandemic level virus burning its way across the planet. The characters Hixon, Hart & Lebedeva were just about my favourite along with Evan. Naomi was very bland and Valerie was very interesting until she was turned into all the horrors. And even that, didn't make Naomi any less bland so it was just irritating.

It was a fairly quick read and the back 40% really moved at a brisk pace, which I enjoyed. The epilogue was a decent enough nod but if it hadn't been tacked on, I don't think the story would have suffered for it. In book-likes, the space and technical spec parts reminded me of Seveneves by Neal Stephenson.

Summary: 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.
The team is humanity's last hope for survival, and Valerie has gathered the best women for the mission: an ace pilot who is one of the only astronauts ever to have gone to Mars; a brilliant engineer tasked with keeping the ship fully operational; and an experienced doctor to keep the crew alive. And then there's Naomi Lovelace, Valerie's surrogate daughter and the ship's botanist, who has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity to step out of Valerie's shadow and make a difference.

The problem is that they’re not the authorized crew, even if Valerie was the one to fully plan the voyage. When their mission is stolen from them, they steal the ship bound for the new planet.

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

Goldilocks by Laura Lam

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