I had assumed that Goldilocks was going to be my kind of story. Space shenanigans often are, and desperation even more so. I am happy to report that this didn't only meet, but exceeded my expectations. And I shall now tell you why.
- ►Badass female crew trying to save the human race. Okay this speaks for itself, yeah? Well, kind of. Naomi is the main character, but I think we learn quite a bit about all the women on the crew before the end of the story. Which was delightful. Sometimes the crew is more background, but I loved how interwoven the women became. In this book's world, a
horrible racist, sexist, orange trollman eerily reminiscent of our current monstrosity of an administration has taken control of the country and basically deemed women useless. They no longer have a place in the workforce, and certainly not in space. Also, the world is a mess because humans have destroyed it, so again, pretty much the near future of our current climate. So Valerie takes it upon herself and the others to make sure the world will be saved, via an illegal trip on a stolen spaceship to Cavendish, a planet in a Goldilocks zone.
- ►Gray morality out the wazoo. I do not envy any of the decisions that had to be made in this book. I can't really go into any detail, but pretty much every character in the story, at one point or another, is forced to make an impossible choice. And I love reading about those. This of course leads to a ton of thought-provoking self reflection, in the "what would I do?" sense. Love it.
- ►A "mother"-daughter dynamic that is full of complication is at its center. Oh boy is this one messy! Valerie isn't Naomi's biological mother, but Naomi has been living with her since the death of her parents, and sees Valerie as both a mother and a mentor. But Valerie is one hell of a force to be reckoned with, and life as Valerie's protege has never been easy for Naomi. With the two women in close quarters with secrets between them, will they manage to work out their past?
- ►The science stuff made sense to my brain. I love when the science parts are explained in a way that the common, non-scientist can understand. When the author explained how certain aspects of the travel were possible, I didn't have to suspend any disbelief, nor did I have to be confused by overly technical explanations. Also, there was a lot of algae talk that would have made Monty Green very proud.
- ►Tons of twists and turns. Goodness, there were so many things I did not see coming here! Some of them were brutal. Some just genius. But I was never, ever bored.
- ►But also, tons of character growth and development. When we meet Naomi, she's a very different woman than she will be by the end of the story. So is everyone else. We also get a lot of insight into Naomi's past, and it explains a lot about her dynamic with Valerie, and also how extra hard a lot of her choices will be to make. While Naomi seems cold and aloof at first meet, by the end she's anything but.
Bottom Line: I fell in love with this tale of incredibly strong women on a race to save humanity. The twists and turns sucked me in, the characters were complex, and I fully enjoyed the whole ride.