Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: Dare Mighty Things

Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 9/17/17
384 pages


THE RULES ARE SIMPLE: You must be gifted. You must be younger than twenty-five. You must be willing to accept the dangers that you will face if you win.

Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Gupta’s entire life has been leading up to this—the opportunity to travel to space. But to secure a spot on this classified mission, she must first compete against the best and brightest people on the planet. People who are as determined as she to win a place on a journey to the farthest reaches of the universe.

Cassie is ready for the toll that the competition will take; the rigorous mental and physical tests designed to push her to the brink of her endurance. But nothing could have prepared her for the bonds she would form with the very people she hopes to beat. Or that with each passing day it would be more and more difficult to ignore the feeling that the true objective of the mission is being kept from her.

As the days until the launch tick down and the stakes rise higher than ever before, only one thing is clear to Cassie: she’ll never back down . . . even if it costs her everything.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I'm going to be honest I have no idea where to start with Dare Mighty things. I read this book in one day, (and it wasn't even one day it was more like one night) and I ended up staying up until 1 am or so. All in all, this was a pretty good book even though I knew that it wasn't going to be taking place in space just yet. (Because I love all things space).

Why does this not take in space, you ask? Well it’s because the main character, Cassie, is competing for a spot on a spaceship, by performing all these mental and physical tests. This is such a big deal since a trip into space hasn’t been funded in years, maybe even decades. And Cassie is going against a bunch of other 18 to early 20 year olds, so the competition is intense. Even after the first “trial”, more than 50 competitors dropped out, leaving only a handful behind.

The majority of the novel focuses on the number of tasks Cassie and her newfound friends go through. And although the blurb mentions genetically engineering, this didn’t end up being the focus of the book. Some but not all of the competitors were genetically altered.

Either way, I liked how the competition was drawn out. I loved Cassie’s friend group, and her relationships with all of them. Even though they were supposed to be competing against each other, teamwork and support was equally rewarded for during the challenges. Also, can we just talk about how driven and ambitious Cassie was? She’s kind of the person I strive to be (even though I’m a bum sometimes. It’s easier said than done, ok?). AND the book tackled the issues of unequal standings due to gender, and how the bar for women & POC is set so high compared to white males. And don’t forget that she’s Indian-American, and apparently asexual!

And then, there’s the “love interest”, Luka. Well who I assume to be the love interest. Every time I’m reminded of Luka, I’m just reminded of the ending. And yes, I’m going to say it, it’s…random…and…stupid. And uh, I don’t even know what to say about it? Which is why I’ll just shout out all my feelings in this spoiler section.

SPOILER (highlight to read):

Luka turns out to be an alien from outer space, and he and his family basically dragged Cassie, the crew, and their spaceship from Earth to a completely different galaxy. The initial plan was to explore this new galaxy and establish some sort of colony, but nope, this galaxy is not only inhabited, but also completely destroyed. Really reminds you a lot of what happened in my favorite video game, Mass Effect Andromeda.

But I mean other than that ending, I didn't really have anything else against this book. I mean yes, I admit the book was pretty predictable at times, and I do wish that there was just more done in space in general, but I think what really affected my rating the most was the really random ending. Which I'm assuming we'll find out more about in the sequel. But either way, I did enjoy the novel and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel at some point.