I am delighted to share my review for Goldilocks by Laura Lam. This is not the Goldilocks that you will know from childhood stories, this Goldilocks refers to a Zone deep in space…
Let me show you more about the book…
A bold, thought provoking and high-concept feminist dystopian thriller.
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
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 book was more than just a story about space travel and sci-fi. For me it was about the relationships between 5 women who basically steal a space ship, as you do, to start a new base on a far distant planet, it is their relationships with each other that made the story work so well for me.
It is set in the future, Earth is dying, climate control has left harsh conditions, diseases are rife and ever-evolving strains are becoming harder to treat… this sounds terrifyingly real at this point in our lives.
The story is set out in a before and now style and is set out in shortish chapters as it flits between the times. They are very easy to follow as they have been marked with dates and days.
Women are gradually being side-lined as men take the first steps into space travel to potentially find a new world where the human race can begin again, and hopefully not make the mistakes of the past. The five women are scientists and experts in their field, they are the ones that know the ins and outs of Atlanta, a space hub that will take them to a new planet called Cavendish.
The story starts well and I gradually got to know the two main characters of Valerie and Naomi. Valerie is the expert and leader of the group, Naomi is the biologist who is tasked with growing the food in her lab and then on their new home.
With any group, no matter how small in size, there is going to be some questions asked. There will be one who wants to take the lead and make decisions, there will one who blindly follows, one that sits on the fence and one that asks questions and these roles are soon realised as the story unfolds. This brings mistrust and threatens plans and adds a thriller style to the story. The dynamics between the women is really interesting and I liked how the author wove it well into the story.
With the current climate in the world, this is going to be a book that many may shy away from. There are mentions of disease and climate change and these are so relevant at the moment as we look at unprecedented changes. But I have to say I really enjoyed this book, it does have a little politics, there is some science but as I mentioned earlier this for me was a story about how the roles of five women change over a period of time. There were also some shocks along the way that added tension to the story.
It was a story that I could have easily read in one sitting. I found it to be quite addictive as I became more aware of little things creeping in to cause uncertainty. I really enjoyed this and it is a story that is quite easy to read and therefore would suit a wider audience that may not necessarily look at this type of book or genre as being part of there usual reading. I enjoyed it a lot and I would definitely recommend it.
Laura Lam is the author of several science fiction books, including Radio 2 Book Club selection False Hearts. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty Women, Solaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of History, Scotland in Space, and more.
Originally from California, she now lives in Scotland with her husband, and
teaches Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University.
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