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Goddess in the Machine #1

Goddess in the Machine

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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?

400 pages, Hardcover

First published June 30, 2020

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About the author

Lora Beth Johnson

2 books295 followers
As an only child, Lora Beth Johnson grew up telling herself stories and reading past her bedtime. She spent her adulthood collecting degrees, careers, and stamps in her passport before realizing her passion for creating fictional worlds. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching college English and learning new languages. She lives in Davidson, NC with her little roommate, Colocatire the Yorkipoo.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 991 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
September 14, 2020
after sorting through my feelings, ive realised that, while i liked this book, its just because i was enjoying the sci-fi aspects.

the story itself is interesting enough. even though not a lot happens, its mainly a girl trying to adapt to a new world with some twist and turns along the way, i still enjoyed reading about the technology and how an entire civilisation has adapted to what they think is magic.

but the way this is written is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. the authors attempt to world-build via language is exhausting. the made-up lingo is not difficult to understand - its basically english spelled in the most annoying way possible, so it feels really gimmicky. in my opinion, it doesnt flow well with the rest of the narrative, especially because zhades POV uses the slang terms.

not sure if i liked this enough to read the sequel when it comes out, but i appreciate that this gave me a little sci-fi adventure.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Elle.
587 reviews1,399 followers
August 26, 2020
Yes—it is time, Chrissy, for me to read your book.

Okay this isn’t actually a book about Chrissy Teigen; the girl on the cover just kind of looks like her. (I believe the main character is at least part Asian, so that makes sense.) The actual writer is a debut author named Lora Beth Johnson, and I have been SO excited to read this one since I first saw it appear on BookishFirst.

A thousand years after being cryogenically frozen along with her family, friends and everyone she knew, Andra wakes up. Or is woken up, more accurately. She’s on a strange planet and recognizes nothing—not the landscape, not the people, not even the name they’re calling her. Nobody can seem to explain what’s happened to the ship she was supposed to be traveling on, or why she had been “asleep” for so long. Andra finds herself in a precarious position, trying to navigate political regimes without leaving herself vulnerable to the sharks that keep circling her.

(For my part, being woken up only to be worshipped as a goddess sounds like an actual dream of mine. Maybe in slightly better circumstances than what Andra ended up with, but you’ve got to work with what you got, girl!)

I also appreciated reading about a heroine with a different body type than we usually see in this genre. I’m really sooooo over the ‘young, female assassin’ archetype, being waif-ish or slender with ‘cUrVeS iN aLl ThE rIgHt PlAcES’. What does that even mean???? Andra isn’t special, she’s a truly average teenager who found herself in an insane situation. And that’s what I like most about her, that I can see parts of myself in her reactions to things.

One of the biggest plotholes for me was how Andra seemed unable to find even *one* picture of the previous two goddesses. I mean, they’re on the MONEY, for Christ’s sake. The whole ‘Oooooh who were the other two?!?’ charade was not believable to the point where it took me out every time someone trotted out a lame excuse as to why she didn’t know. Additionally, I understand why the language deviation was introduced, and to an extent I agree that it’s probably a likely outcome for this world, but it was also kind of distracting. By the end it was easier to discern, but yeah, early in the book it was rough going for a bit.

The romantic element came off pretty ham-fisted too, if I’m being honest. It was just really unnecessary. In the midst of all this chaos and upheaval, they have the mental capacity to wonder if, idk, that cute guy maybe likes me? It felt tacked on, like someone told the author, “Hey this is a YA novel, make sure to have some PG-13 kissing or you’ll lose your audience!” It almost undermined their friendship in the end, because I was left wondering if they’d have worked so hard to help one another if they weren’t each nurturing a crush.

This might be a good Science-Fiction book for someone who doesn’t normally read much sci-fi. You don’t have to understand the technology behind what’s happening and a lot of the character interactions (a monarchy, rebel insurgency, etc.) have a very fantasy feel to them. It’s firmly sci-fi cause, duh, it’s set in space, but the YA aspect makes the subject more approachable to the average reader. If you read the blurb and it sounded interesting, I would give Goddess in the Machine a go.

*Thanks to Penguin Teen & BookishFirst for a finished copy!
Profile Image for Emily Suvada.
Author 6 books832 followers
December 23, 2019
This book is glorious. And Lora Beth is a genius. I don't say that lightly - the language of this future world has been stunningly, carefully, painstakingly crafted and is a feast for pretty much anyone who's into words. Which I'm guessing is you, since you're on Goodreads 😂

But there's so much more than linguistics. There's banter. So much delicious banter. And intrigue and dresses and knives and nanotech and a cocky prince who's most certainly up to no good. There's cryotech, and the heat of a rocky desert city, and secrets and lies and action. I love it. It's brilliant. And I hope you love it, too.
Profile Image for Angela Staudt.
398 reviews108 followers
June 15, 2020
Thank you Penguin Teen for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Are you looking for a new sci-fi fantasy book? Do you want incredible world building? Do you want well developed characters? Do you want to have some amazing plot twists? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should definitely read Goddess in the Machine.

When I first started reading this, I didn’t know what to think I’m not that big into sci-fi and the author creates a whole new dialect and it’s quite confusing what is happening. After a few chapters I was starting to understand what was going on, and after that I could not put it down. Once you start to understand this fantastic world, you don’t even realize that they speak a different dialect. This isn’t your typical YA fantasy book, there were so many twists that had me completely shocked. I loved our two main characters and the entire plot. You can tell the author spent so much time developing this world, which when I’m reading any sort of fantasy, I want the world building to be secure. Not to mention instead of magic, it’s technology that is so far advanced that in this new world the people think it is a “magic” of some sort.

When Andromeda wakes up from her “sleep”, because she and a whole ship of people were traveling through space to start a new life on a new planet, she is astounded at what she sees. She doesn’t recognize anyone and everyone is calling her Goddess. She has to figure out what went wrong and where she really is, because 1000 years have passed not just 100. Our other main character, Zhade, was annoying, quirky, and full of sarcasm but you can’t help loving him. He has a lot of secrets that we slowly find out about that are jaw dropping. Zhade and Andra are superb main characters that you can’t help but root for throughout this spectacular book.

I can’t stress how much I loved this book. While the beginning was a little slow the second half makes up for it. I mean it is plot twist after plot twist and full of action. I really appreciated how well developed the characters were, but in general just how much thought was put into this storyline. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, especially with that jaw dropping ending.
Profile Image for Sophie.
467 reviews189 followers
February 21, 2023
What a disappointment! I went into this a bit tentatively since I knew there was a chance it could suck, but somehow still ended up feeling bummed out.

We're already in the future when the story starts, when Andra is put to sleep to be awoken with her family and other people from Earth on a new planet to make their home. Instead, Andra is woken up a thousand years in the future and is told that she’s a goddess, the third that has awoken. She has to accept this role to survive, but accepting it comes with danger. If people think she’s lying, she can be executed, and if people believe her then she might be chosen to be sacrificed. The planet she’s on is a wasteland, and the dome that is used to protect the main city is fading, and her duty as the goddess is to save everyone. An exiled and illegitimate prince is the one who found her and also the one to help her navigate this new world, while she secretly tries to find who the other goddesses are and make her way back to Earth.

This is an interesting concept, and the bits and pieces of worldbuilding that we got intrigued me, but this book was a mess. I'm not typically someone who looks specifically for plotholes but I didn't even have to look for these, they became so apparent.

First, everyone in the book speaks High Goddess, aka English, aka what the main character speaks, but it’s a jumbled up mess, made even worse with the fact that that’s what Zhade speaks and half of the book is in his perspective so we get full chapters of that. It’s not hard to figure out what people are saying for the most part, but it is irritating and felt like a poor imitation of what the Belters achieved in the series The Expanse. Mostly because no other language is ever mentioned minus one vague sentence by Zhade at the beginning of the book, where he mentions that he speaks High Goddess better than any of his other exiled companions. Even when Andra isn’t present and Zhade is speaking to other people, they still speak that language, so I’m not sure what that purpose was. Excerpts of this language include, “Neg, certz not.” “I’m full brill, don’t you reck?” You can imagine how quickly this grew tiresome, especially since the formation of this language on a linguistic level makes little sense, and even less sense with a reveal near the end of the book. Even the ruler speaks the same way, even though they formed the language to speak with the other goddesses and so presumably the elite would have more opportunity to learn to speak it fluently, especially as children. This doesn’t feel like a fully blended language with a political backstory like The Expanse, this feels like the author just jumbled together random words and decided to go with it, much the vibe of when someone tries to imitate a dual language speaker when they don’t speak one of the languages. Or, someone who's trying to imitate AAVE but doesn't understand it and thus is appropriating it. The whole thing served to both make me uncomfortable and to annoy me deeply.

Secondly, I just never felt connected to the characters. I appreciate that Andra’s loss of her family wasn’t just brushed aside and was deeply a part of her motivations, but I felt so distant from all of the characters the entire book. There were a few twists, with a blend of some that surprised me and some that seemed obvious by choppily placed clues. Most of the plot seemed to be centered around the relationship between the two main characters, but somehow this book managed to not only center it around them, but still make them underdeveloped and have very little happen! Normally with this kind of complaint it means that there's some instalove type relationship, but nope. The end did manage to be a bit more interesting, but nothing enough to redeem this book enough to give it a higher rating, though it was enough to make me curious about the next book.
Profile Image for Lia Carstairs.
417 reviews2,318 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
June 14, 2021
DNF @ pg.25

ehhh I know only reading 25 pages is not enough for me to just DNF, but I don't feel like reading this anymore.😅

It's not that this book was bad—I'm only not in the mood to read this. Especially with all these other new releases👀

I'll try again another time...
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,204 reviews3,684 followers
June 23, 2020
Seriously one of the best YA sci-fi books I have ever read, Goddess in the Machine takes an intriguing premise and executes it incredibly well with epic twists throughout the book. Andra is a teen girl who has been put into cryogenic stasis for 100 years as she travels with her family to colonize a new planet. Except when she wakes up, it has been 1,000 years and everyone thinks she is a goddess. I mean, how can you not want to read that?!

Andra is trying to cope with the death of her family and friends, heavy expectations from people around her in a vastly different and much more brutal society, and navigating the court intrigue that goes along with it. She is woken up Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Erensed- a handsome charmer with his own plans for the new goddess. Everyone has secrets and their own agenda, and there is a lot to learn.

The world-building here is top notch. The author imagines what society might look like far in the future when English vernacular has shifted and technology is no longer well-understood and is instead viewed as magic with religious mythologies built up around it. And then you drop a teen girl from our not-so-distant future into that world. The people Andra encounters speak a slightly different dialect of English, but it's not hard to follow and get used to.

When I say there are a lot of twists, I'm not kidding! There were a couple things that I was able to guess before they were revealed, but there were others that were completely unexpected. And I would say the first major revelation happens about halfway through the book. This will keep you guessing and leave you wishing book 2 was already available.

Do be aware that this book gets quite violent with people being killed, depictions of blood, and discussions of ritualistic killing. Andra is apparently supposed to be somewhat curvy and is uncomfortable with her body, although it's unclear how much of that is just her internal dialogue. I had mixed feelings about how that was handled. But overall, I would definitely recommend this one. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Katherine.
265 reviews158 followers
January 26, 2021
I really enjoyed this. That's not surprising, since I really love anything Sci-fi. This book is similar to Aurora Rising by, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, because it follows the whole 'girl lost in time' trope; Which I personally really like to read.

Goddess in the Machine, by Lora Beth Johnson follows the story of Andra, who wakes up from cryogenic sleep 1,000 years later than she was supposed to. When shes does wake up, Andra realizes her family is nowhere to be found and everyone around her is calling her Goddess. From there, shenanigans ensue.

I listened to this on Audiobook, and trying to grasp the Eerensedians *English was an experience. 😅 However, after awhile I started to pick up on the broken-clipped english and actually enjoyed the slang- filled speech.

This book is very go, go, go which I can always appreciate. I loved that the setting was constantly changing..it never got dull. Was it cheesy at parts?..sure. But I kinda like that sometimes. This is YA, afterall.

Also, if you like a books with constant plot twists, well look no further. I was actually quite surprised with the plot twist at the end. I did not see that coming. Very entertaining. I'm looking forward to book two, which comes out in July.

(4) 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Profile Image for abthebooknerd.
294 reviews144 followers
July 23, 2020
A girl who’s been asleep for a thousand years. A cocky prince who’s up to no good. The classic Sleeping Beauty tale gets a Sci-fi upgrade—fraught with epic twists & turns.

“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. 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.”

I love the Sleeping Beauty trope, and whether or not it was intentional, this thrilling Sci-fi adventure definitely played on those classic themes, and turned them on their heads! In the original fairytale we all know and love, it’s the charming prince who wakes the sleeping beauty up and saves the day. But it’s very apparent from the start that this prince definitely has his own agenda. And while he may be charming, he’s not the hero of this story.

Andra is.

”She was angry at the cryo’tech who froze her...Angry that she had never been enough. Angry that she felt like she had to be a goddess to be important.”

The Characters

I really loved getting to see Andra’s reaction to every new challenge that was thrown at her, because BOY, did this world throw them. And throw them. And throw them. Her banter with Zhade was also so enjoyable to watch 😂

Andra left her room, and ran straight into a dark figure in the hallway. They grabbed her wrist, and she jerked back, flailing, arm swinging out, and by some miraculous accident, it made some contact.

There was a crunch, a spray of blood, and the person - whom Andra now saw had broad shoulders and tousled blond hair - rolled to the floor moaning.

Both hands covered his face, but it was unmistakably Zhade curled into a ball. “I think you broke my nose!”

She let out a sigh of relief and rolled her eyes. “You’re fine, you big baby.”

Anastasia, anyone? Any book that references that movie in some way, knowingly or unknowingly, has my vote.

The complicated dynamic between them was so interesting! It’s not necessarily enemies-to-lovers, but more like rescuer-to-friends-to-enemies-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers-to-whatever-the-heck-they-are. It’s complicated, and fraught with tension, and I’m here for it.

I also loved sweet sweet Lew. And Dzeni 🤧DON’T GET ME STARTED. They needed more screen time! ALSO, Lilibet and Kiv - oh sweet Moses, I want a brooding palace soldier.

The World

The world-building was definitely on another level. You can tell by reading the various vast descriptions of each change of setting and explanation of culture, that the author did her homework. She knows this world backward and forwards. Also, the language, while a little difficult to get used to at first, was such a unique insight into the dynamics of the world.

There’s something so alluring about a story that must rely on the remnants of the past, to discover the mysteries of the future. I love stories that play on that dynamic, mostly because it’s so filled with tension for the reader: when the answers are technically right in front of you but have long faded away, and it’s left to the character and the reader to pick up the pieces. This story has that! As the reader, you’ll constantly be trying to puzzle together the past. What happened to Andra, who was the First Goddess, what are Zhade’s intentions, etc.,

There were times where I felt the story dragged a little, but let me tell you - that finale. Totally made up for it. Mind.Blown.

However you think it might end, you’re wrong. Just take my word for it 😂

A big thank you to Penguin Teen for sending me an ARC of this book!

Goddess in the Machine is out now! You can order your copy here: http://www.penguinteen.com/book/60269...

To check out my Goddess in the Machine inspired Bookstagram post, click here:
Profile Image for Nicole (FearYourEx).
398 reviews63 followers
May 22, 2020
DNF at 20%

The story is a fun idea, but I just cannot get past the dialog. It's making it nearly impossible to connect with the story. And I honestly am just so annoyed every time Andra talks to someone that I just cannot finish this book.
Profile Image for Jessi (Novel Heartbeat).
1,046 reviews612 followers
May 22, 2020

In the beginning, I was totally hooked. It felt a lot like Aurora Rising: girl wakes up hundreds of years - or in this case, a thousand years - late from cryosleep and everyone she knew is dead and the future is cray. Girl out of time! The girl's name is even similar - Andromeda (Aurora), or Andra (Auri) for short - maybe not the best decision? But that's where the similarities to Aurora Rising - as well as my enjoyment - ended. It got off to a strong start, it really did. When I read the first chapter I was sure this would be a 5 star book for me.

Then Andra met Zhade. And it all went downhill from there. To be honest, this book felt like a giant mashup of other stories. Aurora Rising was the most obvious, but also it reminded me of Futureman in certain scenes (especially the lack of technology in the NAG from season 2), Breathe by Sarah Crossan (the dome), and several other dystopian concepts I've read before. The only thing truly original about it was the language, and sadly that's the thing I hated the most.

I think maybe I would have enjoyed this a lot more if the language, and the frustration it caused, hadn't utterly ruined this book for me. At first, I tried to suspend belief - it is, after all, a thousand years in the future, and who knows how much things will change in such a large span of time? But the more I read, the more it irritated me. After a thousand years of evolution, you want me to believe that we've devolved this much? Technology is seen as magic, and a kind of religion, and AI are referred to as angels. People who wake from cryosleep are seen as deities. They're basically living in a new dark age and seem completely uncultured and uneducated. Sure, it's possible - assuming something extreme happens and we lose touch with technology - but without a believable backstory (which we don't get, I have no idea how this world came to be because there's little to no history) it just seems farfetched.

The language was absolutely ridiculous. I appreciate what the author was trying to do, and it was original, but I just couldn't handle it. The language devolved into slang so extreme that it was almost incomprehensible. The first time someone spoke, I had NO clue what the ever loving fuck he was saying. I actually had to read the paragraph twice and couldn't make sense of it. (Which I'm aware is the point, but it was just so jarring.) Again, I can appreciate the idea - Andra felt the same way, so we were getting what she was feeling: utter confusion and lack of comprehension. That was the only thing I liked about the execution. But it did not work for me. I did pick up on the language fairly quickly, but even when I could understand it, it had me sighing in frustration.

-Gnatted = annoyed
-Reck = know
-Evens = okay
-Marah = right? (this one took me forever to figure out and I scoffed when I did)
-Skirl = squirrel (I legit rolled my eyes at this one)
-Convo instead of talk, neg instead of no, peace instead of go somewhere, sorries instead of sorry, nerveful instead of nervous
-The suffix -ish completely replaced EVERYTHING that ended it in -ly, which was by far the most frustrating one of all of them. Sometimes it made sorta sense - apparentish, especialish, unsuccesfulish; other times made ZERO sense whatsoever because it was tacked onto words where ish took away the meaning of them - definitish, resolutish, finalish oh and my personal favorite, legitimatish (hard eye roll at that one)
-Some things were just straight up misspelled: skooled, sorcer, spoze

Like I said, I can totally see where the author was going; but it was just so tedious and distracting that I wanted to rage quit halfway through, and it made me resent the book by the time more interesting things started happening. Speaking of things - I called the twist nearly 200 pages before it actually happened. I was really hoping I was wrong - that twist felt so cliche - so when it was revealed that I was correct, I was just irritated instead of surprised.

I'm not sure I would recommend this book. It most certainly was NOT for me. I do tend to be the black sheep, and the concept was interesting, so it's possible plenty of people will love this book. But, personally? I would say read Aurora Rising instead.

This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.
August 31, 2020
I finished this just in time before the #owlcrateathon2020 ends! It's currently 10:08pm on sunday and I completed my second book and final book for this round! I would've read more, but I started out with a 600+ book, and then this one.
But, other than that I really enjoyed this one....

Goddess in the machine by Lora Beth Johnson was a 2020 release that wasn't on my radar and I heard about it but thought I wouldn't be into it. I don't normally read a lot of sci-fi if I do its from my favorite authors. But this one I really enjoyed! The wrirting was fast pace, and was easy to read. The one thing I didn't like about this novel (but it made the character an intersteing one) was the language that the alien used.
Overall, this was a fast pace sci-fi set in space! I would say if u like the aurora rising series or illumaine u would like this one. Or vice versa!
Anyways thank u to owlcrate for putting a beautiful edition and signed copy of this great debut in their July box, 4/5 stars!(:
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,727 reviews867 followers
December 2, 2022
”Yeah?” she said. ”Well, I’m a fucking goddess.”

This one hurts.

It is, hands down, one of the most unique young adult books I’ve read. There was so much potential but it ended on a sour note that tanked my overall enjoyment.

The writing is stunning, simple but engaging with well-distinguished dual narration. The characters are fresh and fun. A play on the Chosen One and the sassy hero who flirts at anything with a pulse. Their chemistry is a tad forced but the plot itself drew the bulk of my attention. I could not stop reading. It drew me in from chapter one and gripped me until we started to lose steam in the final 100 pages. How many times did we have to move from the caves to the palace and back again before something happened. But! The way my jaw dropped at least three times. The pacing of the reveals was next level.

When it was good, it was Good but the issues with the ending truly threw me. I don’t think I’ll bother with the sequel but I’ll give anything new from this author a chance, for sure.

A thousand extra stars for having a fat protagonist in an SFF, though! 💛

Trigger warnings for .

Representation: Andra (mc) is Asian & fat; Deaf sc; BIPOC scs.

BlogTrigger Warning DatabaseStoryGraph
Profile Image for Divine.
339 reviews167 followers
Want to read
January 13, 2020
This kinda reminds me of Diabolic AND I'M HERE FOR ALL OF IT
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,468 reviews351 followers
December 18, 2020
The plot of this - a girl goes into Cryogenic sleep and wakes up 1000 years later - will sound very familiar, as that's the plot of Aurora Burning. But that's where the similarities end, because the two books could not be any more different. This is such a twisty book, that got me so many times and had me screaming "Wait what if Goddess In The Machine DOESN'T mean Goddess In The Machine, what if it means Goddess In The Machine?!" on Twitter at 11pm and if you've read it, I swear that makes complete sense.

It took me a moment to get to grips with the language in this book, it's English but it's 1000 years later, so it's evolved somewhat. I've experienced this in other books and found it extremely annoying, but I didn't with this book, it was used extremely well and flowed, I never felt like I was stumbling over the new words.

It was really easy to imagine what it would be like to be Andra, stumbling around this alien, barren environment, trying to piece together what happened to her family 1000 years ago to leave her behind, while getting used to the new customs, because I was learning everything right alongside her. It was descriptive enough that I never struggled to picture the story, something I often have a hard time with.

This is such a good book, but it's not without it's flaws. As much as I loved it, I did find it to be mind-numbingly slow in places and I often had to drag myself through scenes. Also, as much as I loved him, I could never quite pin Zhade down, he was very unpredictable. Just as I thought I understood him, he did something completely unexpected. Which made the plot more interesting, but as he's one of the POVs I felt like I should have known him better.

This honestly threw so many twists at me that by the end I was completely emotionally exhausted, and then it threw three more at me. I loved every moment, because this whole book felt completely new. It manages to have perfect world building, have well written, complete characters and balance a dual POV that never stated who was speaking at the beginning of the chapter, because Andra and Zhade's voices were so unique it never needed to.
Profile Image for Bright Star.
417 reviews126 followers
August 30, 2021
“Decide your fate.”

Whoa! What a ride!
I started Goddess in the Machine not knowing what to expect and I ended up loving it! This sci-fi book was a rollercoaster of action and plot twists, and I couldn't put it down! I was immediately captivated by the story and the characters, but the bonus point was the linguistic side and how the author played with words, creating a new dialect; truly original! I don't want to spoil too much but if you love sci-fi stories, you have to read this one!
Profile Image for Jay G.
1,284 reviews460 followers
July 15, 2020
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*

Andromeda was put into a cyrogenetic stasis years ago with the expectation of awakening 100 years into the future to help colonize a new planet. So, when she wakes up 1000 years into the future instead, life as she knew it drastically changed. Not to mention, everyone is calling her Goddess. Now Andra seeks the help of a bastard prince named Zhade to get her out of this mess.

I really liked this! The two main characters are both great and I loved learning more about each of them. I was completely invested in the plot and these characters. I loved the idea of the nanotech and learning more about what it was capable of. Zhade was sarcastic, hilarious and chaming all wrapped into one. The tension and banter between Zhade and Andra was by far my favourite part of the book and I wanted them to fall in love DESPERATELY. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, making sure there is never a dull moment. The biggest complaint I had about this book was the dialect that the new civilization used, its completely made up, but once I got the hang of it it wasn't so jarring as when I first began the book.

Overall, a really entertaining sci-fi that I definitely recommend!
Profile Image for Kristen Peppercorn .
558 reviews96 followers
July 24, 2020
Thanks to the publisher and Bookish First for giving me a free finished copy for review. It was sposed to be an ARC, but Corona messed that up too. #2020things

Anyway, I was hoping to enjoy this one more than I did. While there were elements I definitely liked, (the snark of the main character, Lilibet for a few pages, the cover) overall, this wasn't my cup of tea.

Right off the bat, I was thrown off by the weird made up language which is really just the author spelling English words in the most annoying way possible (certz instead of certainly, mereish instead of a little, comp instead of comprehend, you get the point, it was distracting AF until I got used to it like 250 pages in).

Other than that, I ain't digging the romance, bois and gorls. I'm not a huge fan of hate to love in the first place but this one was just so anticlimactic. "I hate you less than most people." Oh. Wow. Swoon. Where can I get me a heartless fucker like this to call my own? Nopies. That ain't the kinda romance that wets my willie.

Plotwise... well... erm... I guess it was okay. Lil boring if you want the truth. Prolly don't help that I ain't a big fan of YA fantasy or sci-fi, do it? There were definitely a few moments where I was finally engrossed in the story, but they were few and far between. I wanted much more.

More humor woulda been nice too. But that's prolly cuz I'm a damn goon. YA these days is always so serious. Why so serious? Oh, yeah. Right. #2020things

What else? What else? Oh. So many of the BIG MOMENTS just fell flat for me. I ain't gonna mess with spoilers but where I'm sposed to be very upset or maybe even sad, I just didn't give half a hamhock's rump.

The writing style was fine. Nothing outta this world. Nothing wrong with it though. Like I never found myself trying to stuff the pretty book in the paper shredder at work or nothing. It just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for ivy francis.
546 reviews28 followers
April 30, 2020
Full review: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com...


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

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 and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Profile Image for Lisa.
892 reviews538 followers
July 4, 2020
What just happened to me?!? Goddess in the Machine is so well-crafted that it's hit you over the head with its cleverness before you even realize what's going on.

I love how technology is viewed as magic in the future (the 3100s), which is a really interesting reversal of Andra's culture views science. But how the language of what we call things has so much power of what it actually is...

There is a lot of twists and turns that I NEVER saw coming, like in the way that magicians say "Now, look right HERE" right as they've turned you away from the truth of their sleight of hand.

I think this book is accessible to fantasy readers, as well as sci-fi lovers, because there's an interesting amount of crossover.

I was 100 percent invested in Andra the whole time, not to mention her new crafty but handsome friend Zhade.

Recommended. A great new scifi adventure.
Profile Image for Kal ★ Reader Voracious.
560 reviews192 followers
February 13, 2021
This book is criminally underrated and I need more people to read it so I have someone to talk about it with! Goddess in the Machine is a brilliant young adult sci-fi that kept me guessing in the best of ways. It's smart and funny, with some of the best worldbuilding and a cast of characters you'll adore.

You can read the first chapter for free now!
I've wanted to read this since June 2019, and goodness Goddess in the Machine did not disappoint! This debut is gripping from the first sentence; I love the fast-pace and descriptive prose that paints a vivid picture in my mind. It's also got some biting humor that is right up my alley and made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion.
"So. You’re the last person I’ll ever speak to on Earth.
Don’t be so morbid."
Andra is just a normal and curvy teenager who wakes up from cryogenic sleep a little later than she should have in a dangerous, desert wasteland. Everyone she knew is long gone and she has no choice but to trust this roguish Zhade character who's obviously hiding something. And they won't stop calling her Goddess. I adore the banter between characters, which serves to lighten the tension of danger, but also kind of blurs what you think you know. I like complex characters with complicated motivations that the reader struggles to suss out, and then watching the conflicting emotions. If you like this too, you're in for a treat!
"She'd fallen asleep in one place and woken up across the universe."
Language changes over time, and I like that the author created a version of English that could evolve over the course of 1,000 years. I found the Linguistics element a fantastic addition to the worldbuilding and lands the reader in the same confused state as Andra. Some readers (obviously) may not enjoy this as much as I do, but I feel so invested in this story because of this - like I was there alongside her. It's understandable, but obviously different. The audiobook does a fantastic job providing audio to the new version of English. (Yes, I also bought the audiobook. What of it?)

But language isn't the only thing that's changed with humanity. The technological advances which Andra was accustomed to in her time remains in a society that does not understand them. Robots and nanotech are seen as magic and society is shaped around the mythology that's developed around it. It's interesting to consider how a society removed from the understandings of modern technology would seek to understand it.

There are a lot of twists, a few which I was able to guess early on but others that I never could have anticipated (yet are so clear to me now). Goddess in the Machine is plotted well, and while the dialect does slow down the narrative a bit and provide a bit of a learning curve, I found the book fast paced and difficult to put down once you get situated in the world.

Overall, I really enjoyed this debut sci-fi book and it's worldbuilding. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you enjoyed This Mortal Coil I think this is a book you will also enjoy. Please do me a solid and read this book: it's criminally underrated and I want to talk about it with people! I'm looking forward to the second book eagerly.

Finished copy was sent to me by Penguin Teen via Bookish First for my honest review. This has not affected my opinions or the contents of my review.

Representation: plus-sized main character, racially diverse world
Content warnings: death, depictions of blood, imprisonment, internal negative self-talk about weight & memories of diet culture, loss of loved ones, ritualistic killing
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Profile Image for Celia.
Author 7 books512 followers
May 26, 2020
Huge thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the e-arc!

Unique plot?- Check
Engaging characters?- Check
Unputdownable writing?- Check

check check check check check check check check check check check check This book did it for me in every way. We have a plus-sized main character, a unique futuristic language, twists at every corner, and a cover LIKE THAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?

Scifi/dystopian novels don't do it for me unless there's something different to set them apart from the cookie-cutter books out there. In GODDESS IN THE MACHINE, I was transported to this world that was as mysterious to me as it was for Andra, who wakes up from cryonic sleep thinking she's with her family in an entirely different planet only to realize that she's the only one left, that she's overslept by a thousand years and these people who find her think she's a goddess, able to repair their failing dome around their city.

The person who wakes her up from sleep is named Zhade, and he's a buff dude with scruff who talks funny, at least to Andra, and has his own agenda. He's funny, and kind but suspect. I never quite knew where his loyalties lie and I still don't. He kept me on my toes.

Andra is everything I love in a protagonist in a story where she doesn't know wtf is going on. She's determined, intelligent, and empathetic. The author took her character and gave it life. We found out more about the world and its people through Andra bit by bit and kept the suspense going until the last page.

This has strong science fiction elements, to warn you. But as much as it incorporated some technology and evolved human languages etc it did not bog down the story and it was very easy to follow. Give it a chance, anti-sci-fi peoples. You won't be disappointed.

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it so much I wish I could forget that I read it so I could read it again. I hope to snag whatever special edition a bookseller or book box has because this book is amazing.

For all the books pics and giveaways, join me on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/celiamcmaho...
Profile Image for Julia Ember.
Author 6 books738 followers
December 12, 2020
I’m usually a very hard sell for sci-fi but I was really captivated by this. I read the first half in the bathtub, turning into a prune, because I didn’t want to stop reading. Andra 100% reacted how I would have finding out I’d been asleep for a thousand years, and I was here for it. The writing is very fast paced and I loved how Johnson handled etymology and language evolution.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,189 reviews1,020 followers
January 29, 2021
I quite enjoyed this book! I was so excited to jump in after reading the premise (I mean, waking up after a thousand years in cryo!? How could I not be eager!?), and it definitely did not disappoint. Andra finds herself in a very, very different world than she left, and no one that she encounters can give her any clues as to what happened- at least none that make sense to her. I loved uncovering the story of what happened to Andra and her people, and figuring out what exactly was happening with the other characters (all of whom I quite enjoyed too), and was definitely motivated to keep reading. While I really enjoyed the ending and was excited for the twists that came with it, some of the plot aspects in the middle of the story felt a bit predictable. Otherwise, I found the book to be entertaining and full of characters whose fates I grew to genuinely care about, and a world in which I cannot wait to get back to!
Profile Image for Alechia.
Author 9 books660 followers
October 11, 2019
This book. Wow. I know that's not articulate, but it really is an extraordinary story. Lora Beth Johnson hooks you from the very beginning and doesn't let you go. She crafts a science fiction, fantastic tale full of detailed, engaging world-building, characters you want to trust and root for, and twists that keep you guessing even at the very end. Andra is all of us, she wakes up confused, out of place, and grasping for the truth at every turn--you can't help but cheer her on. Zhade is lovable and definitely unreliable, you can't help but fall for him. Lew, Doon, Lillibet, Kiv, even Oz... they grab your heart and you'd do ANYTHING for them. I can't recommend this book enough, preorder, steal an arc of it, request your library to pick it up. You will LOVE it. I CANNOT WAIT for the sequel.
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