It didn’t take long for me to be interested in this story; interested in the background, interested in where it was going & interested in how it would work. Laura has written a beautiful story about humanity, impossible choices & the magic of the universe we reside in. I absolutely recommend you pick it up immediately.
I received a e-copy of this book via NetGalley in return for a review, however I didn’t read it until I had my own hardback in my hands.
⚠️ Flashbacks to a house fire, deaths of parents, a very openly sexist Earth, discussions/references of off-page homophobia & racism, miscarriages, laws against abortion, violence, references to a global pandemic (eeek) & very real, hard hitting facts about global warming & human suffering ⚠️
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 authorised 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 realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared…
As I said in my intro, I felt interested in the book & it’s mission super quickly; I was interested in the state of the Earth, interested in whether the crew would reach their destination, interested in Naomi’s background, interested in the other women on the mission, & so, so much more that I can’t divulge without including spoilers! Laura’s writing instantly embraced me like a warm hug & I just knew I would love the book – Laura is one of my favourite authors & my huge circus obsession is all thanks to her & her Micah Grey books, so I was super excited to read this stunning story – & Laura did not let me down. She absolutely smashed it.
This is a book with a lot of surprises & plot twists but my body didn’t react to those events like it would in any other book because, no matter what the problem was, the characters weren’t ever able to do much to fix or postpone an issue. They had to be calm & logical about every problem, otherwise they would die. Simple. So, my heart didn’t bother to race because, no matter how big the problem, the crew had to remain clever & focused in order to get things back on track, which undeniably impacted how I reacted to the events as well. This was such an interesting thing to experience because whenever I’m enjoying a book as much as I enjoyed this one, my emotions get tied up in the story so, normally, my heart is racing in shock or sadness or happiness or anger… not feeling those emotions whilst reading Goldilocks just proves how engaging Laura’s writing it, & how much it takes hold of the reader. Laura grabbed me on page one & didn’t let go until I’d read all 333 pages.
Throughout the book it was impossible not to consider that this story is a very possible example of how our lives could progress; Laura obviously wrote this book long before Covid-19 spread across the planet & it must have blown her mind to see the state of the world following the path of a book she had written, but which had not yet been released. Laura previously Tweeted about how weird it felt to be experiencing a pandemic leading up to the book release, but until I read the book there was no way for me to understand just how eerie it is to read a book that reflects our current times, but which was written before a particular event. The only other series I’ve read that has the same foreboding vibe is the Earthseed books (my review for the duology is due August 18th) & they were released in the 1990s – together, Laura Lam & Octavia E. Butler have almost predicted the future & reading both within weeks of each other was a pretty strange experience.
When I finished Goldilocks I was definitely disappointed that this wasn’t the start of a new series from Laura; everything in the book took me by surprise & I really, really enjoyed it & never wanted it to end. I loved how Laura made this read tense despite there being limits on how fast paced the book could be due to the story mainly being set in a spaceship; I loved how Laura managed to tell an undeniably complete story within just one, confined setting; I loved how Laura showed that there is good & bad in all of us despite only having a small amount of characters to work with; & I loved how Laura demonstrated that there isn’t a simple, quick fix for the big, scary stuff in our vulnerable but incredibly valuable world. Goldilocks opened in a way that meant I couldn’t help but get hooked & ended in a way that leaves the reader deep in thought & full of emotion. It was truly amazing to finally read new words from Laura Lam.
Goldilocks is a stunning story about humanity, impossible choices & the wonders of our universe – grab yourself a copy using one of the links below:
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Hive | Waterstones
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