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.