Book: Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine 1) by Lora Beth Johnson
Release Date: June 30th 2020
Tags: Young Adult | Science-Fiction | Cryogentics | Technology | Nanotechnology | Nanobots | Fat MC | POC MC
Trigger/Content Warnings: Ritualist Killings | Memories of Diet Culture | Death | Blood | Loss of Loved Ones
When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.
Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists—including her family and friends—are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.
Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne—if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.
With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?
Goddess in the Machine has been on my radar ever since I first saw that cover and heard the title. Adding that it is sci-fi was only a bonus. And I was not left dissapointed. Goddess in the Machine stands out by its nuanced humor, its characters and plotting.
We start with Andra waking up from a cryogenic sleep. She should be waking up on a ship on route to a new planet. Instead she wakes up in a cavern, 1000 years too late, with a young men looming over her and talking in a way that she can barely grasp, calling her goddess. Its with this mystery we follow Andra throughout the book. Finding pieces along the way to figure out what truly happened. It keeps you guessing along the way. You wonder who you can truly trust. Is it Zhade? Or is he up to something as well as his brother? And what has actually happened to Andra?
The world where she is, is different than her own. A 1000 years has not evolved her people (as she suspects they are decendants from the colonists she was suppose to be among) as she would expect. They call technology magic and those that can work it sorcer. And she can’t quite seem to work it. The worldbuilding we discover alongside Andra and it is done really well. Never too much, always just enough, where I felt that I had a good grasp on the world and the things that were happening. Including the politics. Nice and twisty. The language also changed. They speak a form of English that does take some getting used to.
Andra is just a joy to follow along all the twists and turns. She has no idea what is going on but she has to now surive in a place where they think she is a goddess. And she goes right along. There is no other way. But that doesn’t mean that she lets everyone blindside her. She has her own plans and goals. Her own emotions that come out. She feels so confident but on the inside she has her doubts about her abbilities and her body. She is curvy and her memories hint towards her mother not being appreciative of that.
The overall interactions with some nuanced and biting humor together with the world building, twists and turns made this a joy to read.