I genuinely regret accepting an ARC of this book because reading it made me so miserable. I honestly do not recommend reading this book during quarantine if you're already feeling sad, as it's like being slapped in the face with the Worst of Twitter: women being oppressed by an authoritarian government, plagues with a high death toll, a planet dying from global warming run rampant-- oh yes, it's all my worst fears, packed into a 300+ book.
I'm especially disappointed because the summary made it sound so girl power-ish. I loved the idea of a bunch of rogue women astronauts hightailing it into space to flip the bird to the actual man as they voyage to the final frontier: a new exoplanet called Cavendish that could be humanity's best hope. The problem is that none of the women are particularly likable, there's no real sense of unity, and even though the ending isn't quite as miserable as I feared it would be, it comes off as a pretty dismal hybrid of Silent Running, The Martian, and the beginning of Handmaid's Tale.
Maybe if I had been in a better mood going into this, I would have liked it more. I wanted to like it. I wanted so badly to like it. But the pacing was so slow and, like I said, I didn't find any of the characters to be particularly sympathetic or likable. It was just so doomy and gloomy, that by the time I got to the end, I was too emotionally exhausted to care anymore. I know some of my friends really enjoyed this one but I'm sorry to say that I disliked vast swaths of it.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
2 out of 5 stars