Goldilocks by Laura Lam
Publisher: Wildfire Books
Publication date: 30 April 2020
Genre: Science fiction
Page count: 352 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
Welcome to my stop on the Goldilocks blog tour! This book snagged my attention back when it was announced and was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020. I adored Lam’s book False Hearts, and was eager to pick up what sounded like a book that was written for me. A feminist science fiction novel about five women who steal a spaceship? Leaving Earth in order to seek out a better future? Comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale? Yes please! I’m so thrilled to say that this book absolutely lived up to my sky-high expectations and I loved it — it is easily one of my favourite books of the year so far.
The Earth is in environmental collapse. The future of humanity hangs in the balance. But a team of women are preparing to save it. Even if they’ll need to steal a spaceship to do it.
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 . . .
Like many of the best science fiction books, Goldilocks serves as a warning to show what could happen in our future if we don’t sit up and take action now. From climate change disaster to the edging out of women’s rights, the book sets up a frightening and realistic vision of the future, all wrapped in a thrilling story of survival, the complexities of family relationships, and how far you’ll go to do what you believe is right. The book is brilliantly paced and totally captivating — I sped through it and stayed up well past my bedtime because I had to know what happened next. I love fiercely feminist sci-fi and science fiction thrillers, so Goldilocks was exactly what I wanted and needed!
The book focuses heavily on Naomi, the onboard botanist and the adopted daughter of the self-made millionaire Valerie — a force of nature with a vision for a better future, especially for women, on the distant planet Cavendish. The crew is mostly unfamiliar to Naomi, and the five women are thrown into a fascinating and perilous situation together I really loved Naomi as a character because she felt so incredibly realistic — she is flawed and so wonderfully human, but still someone the reader can admire and relate to. Her slow-forming friendships with the other women going to Cavendish was wonderful to watch develop. Through the use of flashbacks, Naomi’s background is incredibly well fleshed out and you really get a strong sense of who she is, particularly in relation to her adopted mother Valerie. This relationship in particular was one of the most compelling aspects of the book for me — you know I love female relationships in my books. The wonderfully intricate complexities of new and old female relationships is the core of this book and I absolutely loved that.
Goldilocks is a fantastic science fiction thriller that features an alarmingly relevant and frightening look at the future, but also depicts fierce women who refuse to accept the status quo and will do what it takes to change their futures. Don’t miss out on this fantastic new book!
CW: Issues around pregnancy (abortion, miscarriage, etc.)
Want to pick up a copy of Goldilocks for yourself? You can find it at the following sites (affiliate links):