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Goldilocks

de Laura Lam

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15112138,035 (3.98)2
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    Planetfall de Emma Newman (Aquila)
    Aquila: There are similarities of plot and theme, but I liked Planetfall a lot more.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 11 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This is an exciting story, and I didn't know where it was going to end up until the very end. The framing device works well, I think. The gender politics could have been overly simplistic, but it manages to feel like one of the characters rather than the book itself is into a "women vs. men" mindset, and we get a very slight acknowledgement that sex assigned at birth might not be the same as gender. I liked the gradual development of the characters as they got to know each other better, and the worldbuilding was well done. ( )
  lavaturtle | Aug 22, 2020 |
There's plenty to enjoy here - a far too believable dystopian near-future, a cast dominated by women full of ambition and determination, the shining promise of a new world - but I wasn't sold on the split timeline narration, which undercut tension and reduced my engagement.

However, it's a competent space thriller and - more interesting to me - a gripping personal drama. For all it has to say about the patriarchy and climate change, I think it's at its strongest in examining the relationships between children and parents, and in asking what it takes to step out of their shadow - both as individuals, as as a species.

Full review

I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  imyril | Jul 18, 2020 |
In a not-too-distant future when climate change has made Earth almost uninhabitable, humans have figured out faster-than-light travel and they've found a distant planet that has good conditions for human habitation. Women's rights have eroded, and even though there are many women who are highly qualified to fly in space, a group of men is going to be the first to go to the new planet. However, a crew of women steal the spaceship and plan to go to the planet first. The mastermind behind this plot is a rich entrepreneur (imagine a female Elon Musk). The book is narrated by her adopted daughter, Naomi, who has dreamed of space flight her whole life and has worked hard to achieve that goal.

The book is the story of their spaceflight, interspersed with flashbacks to the deaths of Naomi's parents, being raised by her adoptive mother, and her difficult space career.

Naturally the crew of the spaceship start to encounter difficulties - they're in big trouble on Earth for stealing a spaceship, they discover that there's a cryogenically-frozen crew of men on board, the ship's life-support systems have problems - and these create some moral dilemmas for the crew.

This is an engaging thriller, with just enough foreshadowing to keep you guessing. The two main characters are very well developed. The other characters are a bit flat, but the book is really about the psychological tension between Naomi and Valerie. ( )
  Gwendydd | Jul 11, 2020 |
An intriguing premise, an okay middle, then the story devolved into infighting and irrationality. I skimmed the final quarter of the book, so maybe it made more sense than I'm giving it credit for, but it lost me. Very frustrating. ( )
  RandyRasa | Jun 27, 2020 |
Goldilocks is a sci-fi/cli-fi novel that follows Naomi, an astronaut who quits NASA and then her job in the private sector to join her adopted mother's scheme to steal a spaceship headed for the exosolar Earth-like planet Cavendish, as Earth itself descends into climate change chaos and a sinister, misogynist agenda in the US to strip women of their hard-won rights.

The story skips back and forth between the present day and various points in Naomi's past to depict her relationships with Valerie (her adopted mother and a billionaire space tech bigwig) and her step-brother Evan, and how they have fluctuated through the years, giving us the context for events happening in the present day. We also catch glimpses of how badly governments on Earth have failed to deal with climate change, and the deadly consequences of this, which have given impetus for a mission to a 'new Earth'.

I absolutely loved this novel. The characters of Naomi and Valerie are well fleshed-out and their relationship twists and turns throughout the story. The rest of the crew are, admittedly, not quite as well-developed, but Goldilocks is clearly Naomi's story so I don't think this matters too much. The story is a sort of 'quiet thriller' - it's not exactly action-packed, but the twists that are there are cleverly placed and have clear consequences, rather than being gratuitous just to keep the reader turning the page.

The novel has such a good balance of human story and fascinating science that I was amazed to read in the acknowledgements that Laura Lam has no science background at all - instead, she did some very thorough research thanks to actual scientists who helped her.

I really enjoyed Goldlilocks and am now determined to read Lam's other works! ( )
  mooingzelda | Jun 25, 2020 |
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'Men could not part us with their worldly jars,
Nor the seas change us, nor the temptress bend;
Our hands would touch for all the mountain-bars:
And, heaven being rolled between us at the end,
We should but vow the faster for the stars.'

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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To the Mercury 13
and all the female astronauts since,
and those still to come.
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In thirty years, Dr Naomi Lovelace has never given an interview.
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