Goldilocks by L.R. Lam
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book had an intriguing concept: five women hijacking a spaceship built to travel through a "warp ring" to an inhabitable exoplanet which is meant to become a new home for humanity trying to escape a dying, poisoned Earth.
Unfortunately, the execution is less so, and that is mainly due, for me, to the not well thought out worldbuilding. For instance, the author references the overturning of Roe v. Wade (in a heartbreaking bit of prescience) but also pairs that with mandatory birth control and fines for women having more than one child. Sorry, but that simply isn't going to happen with the fanatical forced-birth crowd, as we've seen since Roe was actually overturned. They don't give a crap how many children women are forced to have, even in this future of floods, wildfires, rising sea levels (even more so than what's already happening) and Earth's habitability for humans possibly having only a few decades remaining.
There are other bits of worldbuilding and technology that simply don't mesh, and contribute to a vague, unsatisfying story as a result. The characterizations are marginally better, especially the dysfunctional relationship between the protagonist Naomi and her manipulating and (as we discover) murderous adoptive mother Valerie. It's good that Naomi finally sees Valerie for what she is and breaks free from her influence, but the characterizations don't seem to have much depth. Due to these problems, the story unfortunately ends up being pretty forgettable. I didn't actively dislike it; it didn't leave enough of an impression on me to dislike. I can write a great deal about books I hated, but this one wasn't worth the effort.
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