The Earth is in environmental collapse. The future of humanity hangs in the balance. But a team of women are preparing to save it. Even if they’ll need to steal a spaceship to do it.
Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.
The team is humanity’s last hope for survival, and Valerie has gathered the best women for the mission: an ace pilot who is one of the only astronauts ever to have gone to Mars; a brilliant engineer tasked with keeping the ship fully operational; and an experienced doctor to keep the crew alive. And then there’s Naomi Lovelace, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, who has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity to step out of Valerie’s shadow and make a difference.
The problem is that they’re not the authorized crew, even if Valerie was the one to fully plan the voyage. When their mission is stolen from them, they steal the ship bound for the new planet.
But when things start going wrong on board, Naomi begins to suspect that someone is concealing a terrible secret — and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . . – Goodreads
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.
I liked this much more than I was expecting to. Lam writes a smoothly paced, easy to read novel that was enjoyable to binge. The near future world Lam writes is effortlessly believable and she uses enough science throughout the book to make everything seem plausible without making the reader feel as if they have started reading a textbook.
However, there were a few issues that kept me from giving this book four stars. First is that, while the main story idea is pretty original, the majority of the interpersonal problems Naomi deals with throughout the book are generic. On top of that, there are several overly convenient things that happen that you have to buy into for the story to work.
Second, there are two paths the ending could have taken and Lam unfortunately chooses the much easier of the two. To be clear, I did not think the ending was bad, just that it could have been better had Lam been willing to make some more difficult choices and not needed an ending that is perfectly tied up with a big red ribbon on top.
The last, and this is a bit more minor in comparison, is that the book can be a touch repetitive, especially for one that will be a fast read for most people. For most of the book the problem was occasionally noticeable, but not detrimental to the overall story. The only place I thought “yes, yes I already know this,” was in the last chapter which gave a bit of a summary of the whole book. It was not an issue that, by itself, would have made me remove a full star.
Overall, this is a book that I would recommend for a good summer SF read, but not one that I would likely re-read.