Review by: Ivy

“Her life became a story, with meaning. Meaning that didn’t belong to her. She didn’t belong to herself. She belonged to humanity.”

9781984835925Andra was supposed to be a traveler on a massic spacecraft sending thousands of humans in cryogenic stasis to a new planet. But as with most massive scientific gambles, something went wrong, and she wakes up a millennium too late in an alien society. On top of her despair, culture shock, and general teenage angst Andra is worshipped as a goddess in this future. Expected to save a society she was never supposed to be a part of, Andra must navigate political scandal, twisted technology, and a partnership with a bastard prince to untangle how she woke up so late, and how she can get back to whatever’s left of home.

Goddess in the Machine is one of those YA novels where I assumed the book would never live up to the wild pitch. Per usual, I was actually really impressed. The plot of this novel soars above its already entertaining set-up, keeping up a well-paced, enjoyable sci-fi adventure. While some cliches were used, they ultimately served the story and made it feel even more accessible to someone who isn’t a giant sci-fi fan.

This book took its jumps into complexity with the well-thought-out pseudo-English spoken by the citizens of the future, recognizable enough to be understood but still provoking some critical thinking from the audience to comprehend it. One of my favorite parts of reading Goddess was slowly learning more about the language and beginning to assemble a dictionary of new words in my head. 

If you’re looking for a romance novel, Goddess is not your girl. No matter how much the book tries to market it, the story touches much deeper on Andra’s internal conflict than her relationship with Zhade (flirty prince/rebel). I appreciated the uniqueness in he and Andra’s feelings towards each other, but mostly because it didn’t take over the mainly adventure-forward plot.

I will rarely go the extra mile to translate something for a book, but I literally spent an hour Easter morning painstakingly looking up binary code to understand a couple of pages. In no way was this essential work, but finding out what the numbers meant made me feel like I was participating in a treasure hunt, and I always appreciate it when a book rewards readers for putting in work.

Overall, Goddess was fun, original, and truly interesting. The futuristic tech was cool and it was unique to have a futuristic language to go with it. Andra was the perfect main character: relatable, emotional, and just a little too trusting. With a bit of a slow start, the story soon pays off with plenty of mysteries, flashbacks, and betrayals to satisfy any YA fan.

Rating: Four Bronze Thirds/Five

For Fans Of: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo