Orbit. May 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780316462860. $27. SF
Earth is dying. Restrictions on births and what women can do are increasing, but Valerie Black is determined to launch the first all-female space mission to Cavendish, a planet that could sustain human life— a planet in the Goldilocks zone. While making the trip means defying authority, botanist Naomi Lovelace knows this is her chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to move beyond her surrogate mother, Valerie, is extra incentive to move forward. Immediately things begin to go wrong on the Atalanta: hostile and hushed missives from Earth are arriving, and dark secrets are being kept. But to reveal the truths will pit Naomi against all that she has been raised to believe, and the cost could be the entire world’s existence.
VERDICT Smooth prose weaves a tale to support humanity’s survival, along with the shades of gray of scientific decisions. Lam’s (Seven Devils) exciting sf thriller proves intellectual and entertaining for all.

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