Goldilocks by Laura Lam

An interesting premise but a little superficial in places.

Set in the near future, our planet is on the brink of collapse due to climate change. Women are being forced out of the work place due to male backlash and conservative governments. In this environment, our only POV Naomi, her adoptive mother Valerie and three other women basically steal a rocket that is due to launch to a new world and help get it ready for the rest of humanity. They were originally earmarked to lead the mission but were forced out at the last minute for an all male crew due to political interference.

Now this is a book with a message. You’re pretty much thumped in the face with it. Basically humanity is destroying our planet and new conservative governments around the world are starting to take back the hard won rights of women. Now I agree with these messages whole heartedly but I was even a little thrown off by how in your face it was. It took me out of the story, most of the time I was reading it I just kept thinking that the author had this message and the story was almost incidental. With that I was unsure who the book was aimed at. For people who agree with it there’s nothing new here. And for people who are undecided or refuse to believe how bad things are getting, well they will probably be turned off by the bluntness of it. Which is a pity because the story itself is pretty good.

There’s the present day narrative of the mission to Cavendish, the world discovered and accessible via an artificial worm hole. There is also flashback chapters to the years leading up to it and focus on the world and Naomi and Valerie’s relationship. Naomi herself is fine to read about, a little bit bland but somewhat relatable. Valerie is the more interesting to read about and I would have liked a few POV’s from her, though I can kind of understand why it wasn’t done. The other astronauts don’t get developed much to be honest.

There are some sciencey parts but don’t take away from the story much if you are not up to date on your science knowledge. The artificial wormhole thing is not really explained at all, you just take it with a pinch of salt. I kind of wish it had gone into the gradual collapse of the world more, it’s touched upon but the author seems to assume you know how it got there. The climate part I got, but the eroding of women’s rights doesn’t make as much sense, unless you have a US centric viewpoint which I think the author does. Other countries are vaguely mentioned but that is about it.

I obviously had a few issues with it but I did enjoy it, it kept me interested throughout. And a significant development happened later in the book which completely caught me by surprise and I love when that happens. All in all a good book though I could see some people being turned off by the concept behind it.

3 stars

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