Where 5 women decide to steal a spaceship and discover a new habitable planet before Earth is gone forever.
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When I requested this book, I had a feeling it would be out of my comfort zone. I don’t read many books that take place in space but I couldn’t resist the thriller/horror vibes it was giving me.
Published March 30, 2020 by Orbit Books
Data from Goodreads
Summary (Goodreads): 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 . . .
My Review: Emotionally-Charged, and Engaging as Hell
While this book initially gave me thriller vibes, it is definitely more of a character-driven story. I took my time reading it and it was just amazing!
The Pros: What worked for me
- THE SPACE SETUP WAS SO COOL! I am not a space buff, nor do I know anything about the thought process and planning that goes into a mission into outer space. This book does a great job of making that accessible to all readers without dumbing things down too much. I felt like I actually learned and understood so much more about this area!
- I like that this story was only told from the perspective of one character, even though there were 4 other females on board the space craft. It’s not the usual path for a book like this one, but it worked really well (in my opinion).
- I loved how the story went between past and present, giving eerie glimpses of a broken-down Earth and showing the events that led to these women making such a bold move.
- I love that this novel took the time to explore its dystopian themes; we see the gradual push of women out of their jobs, and watch the Earth reach a point where humanity’s survival is at stake. Most novels just give a brief overview of this and move right into the present moment, but the author really took the opportunity to set the scene.
- I really liked Valerie’s character – in fact, she was my favourite. She was so ambitious, so cryptic, and calculating … I loved not knowing what to expect from her. I wish I could have gotten to know even more about her in the story!
The Cons: What I didn’t like
- If there is one thing I’m going to be picky about, it’s that I didn’t care for the romance angle. It could have been fleshed out a bit more.
My concluding thoughts? This is a very cerebral, well-researched novel that explores various issues ranging from environmental to moral to political. The blurb describes this as a cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and The Martian, and elements of both are present. While this may not be a “thriller”, it has its twists and turns in the second half to keep the story going. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book so I’m giving it 5/5 stars.