Goldilocks by Laura Lam

Posted On 4 May 2020

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GoldilocksGoldilocks is my first book by Laura Lam and I have to say I enjoyed it although it was quite different than I expected and I did have a few issues.

This is s story set in the near future when the earth is on the brink of giving up.  Yes, humans have finally ruined the planet and in fact we’ve found another planet that is inhabitable.  Plans are in place, spaceships built and teams assembled but when the mission eventually launches it’s with a rogue crew on board.  Five women have stolen the spacecraft destined for adventure and are about to embark on a groundbreaking journey, albeit with the threat of imprisonment looming (although not looming too closely given where they’re heading to).  As the spacecraft heads into deepest space however things begin to fracture a little and the small team begin to realise that something much bigger is taking place.

I won’t go further into the plot as there are a couple of twists here that are best discovered during the read.

What I really enjoyed about Goldilocks was that it comes across as strangely prophetic. By taking certain things and exaggerating them only slightly elements of the story have a very real and quite ominous feel.  Climate change is the biggest threat with raging forest fires, unclean atmosphere that makes wearing face masks a permanent necessity and a strange denial by the masses to accept the situation and make changes even in the face of such overwhelming evidence.

Oddly enough although science has made leaps and bounds women’s equality has taken a step backwards with women finding themselves with greater restrictions on their freedom.  Valerie Black is a rich and ambitious woman who has long held onto a dream and is determined to succeed at any cost.  She has assembled an all female crew and masterminded a plan to steal a spaceship and travel to the distant planet of Cavendish situated in the Goldilocks zone.

The two main characters here are Valerie and Naomi Lovelace.  Valerie became Naomi’s guardian after her own mother died .  The two have not always seen eye to eye but their hopes for this mission have reunited them and helped them to put their past differences aside.  Naomi is the botanist aboard the ship.  It’s her job to grow plants that will sustain the women during their journey and also eventually become their source of food once they arrive.

I enjoyed the author’s style of writing and thought she managed to paint the two main characters very strongly, although the surrounding characters did suffer a little by comparison.  I also found myself really enjoying the parts of the story once the crew had set off into deepest space.

My main issue with the story is that it lacked tension somehow.  I can’t really put my finger on why or how because to be honest I had no problem reading this, there was never a point that I wanted to give up and I was keen to see how everything panned out.  But, I wouldn’t say I was on the edge of my seat whilst reading. Perhaps it boils down to certain elements of the story being too reflective of the current world crisis or my own lack of concentration but for some reason I never fully engaged with the characters.

That being said, this is a very easy book to read and I really enjoyed certain aspects of the world building like the politics and scheming and I would definitely be keen to read more by this author.

My rating 3.5 of 5 stars.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, or which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.



16 Responses to “Goldilocks by Laura Lam”

  1. sjhigbee

    A great review, Lynn. Yes… I read Pantomime way back when it was published by Strange Chemistry and while the story was interesting, I somehow didn’t ever really bond or care about the main character. So I haven’t read anything else by this author, and after reading your review, I’m not jumping up and down to read this one, either.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Oh dear, sorry about that – I have Pantomine, bought it ages ago, maybe I’ll give it a try at some point and see how the two compare although I’m not hopeful given that you didn’t love it.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        It may well tick more of your boxes than it did mine… She definitely isn’t a writer that does it for me – which doesn’t mean she isn’t good, it just means that I cannot see the world through her writing.

  2. Tammy

    I just finished this last night and I have very similar feelings, although I may give it 4 stars, but I haven’t decided yet. I mostly had issues with the last half, it felt really rushed for some reason. But I enjoyed it, it just had some issues.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Now you mention it the last half was a little bit rushed, maybe that’s why it didn’t deliver the tension I was expecting. I look forward to reading your thoughts.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I’m curious about this one! I’ve read reviews that love it, others like yours that are more measured, and I think my thoughts would align more with yours tbh. I was thinking of tackling this one next, thanks for the warming, I’ll try not to expect too much with regards to tension 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it’s a good read, interesting and definitely on point. I think I wanted a bit more tension but it could just be a mood thing.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I’ve been interested in this book since I saw the first synopses pop up on the blogosphere: there are many elements in the concept that appeal to me – and that, as you point out, are a reflection of current issues – but I’m a little worried about your comment on the distance you felt with the characters, since that would be a problem for me. I will certainly keep your “warning” in mind once I start reading…
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It could of course just be a mood thing for me. And, I really didn’t dislike this, it’s really topical but I didn’t quite feel the tension that I would expect. I hope you get a chance to pick it up.
      Lynn 😀

  5. scorpiobookdreams

    This was certainly a frightening read in regards to climate change and women’s position in society etc. I agree about the tension but, like you, that didn’t mean I ever wanted to put it down either.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, it’s odd because I had no problem reading this, it was interesting and well written but I didn’t quite feel the tension I expected.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Emer @alittlehazebookblog

    I felt similarly about this book. Valerie and Naomi were hugely compelling characters but all the others just blended into the background. But it was certainly thought provoking and like you I would definitely read more from this author in the future. Fab review Lynn 😊😊😊💚💛💖

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks. Yeah, shame the other characters weren’t more firmly drawn. I loved the topical nature of this and definitely a thought provoking and quite scary book in that respect.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Barb @ Booker T's Farm

    I loved this book and actually gave it a 5/5 this week when I reviewed it for a tour spot. But you know I don’t read a lot of science fiction so perhaps that’s why it worked better for me. I actually agreed with a lot of things you said and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about how Naomi was at the end.

  8. waytoofantasy

    Interesting…I have had this one on my radar but have been on the fence about picking it up. May just stay on the fence a little while longer until I decide lol. Great review, Lynn!

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