Title: Dare Mighty Things
Author: Heather Kaczynski
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction
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.
Dare Mighty Things was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
I was completely hooked from page one. There are a lot of mystery elements in the novel that were incredibly intriguing, and I didn’t want to stop reading until I had answers to every single one of my questions. But of course, once I finished it, I ended up with probably twice as many questions as what I started with. And I have to wait a year to have them answered. Great.
What I do know for sure is that the second book is going to be incredibly different from book one, which is going to be interesting to see. I cannot tell you how or why it’ll be different because that’ll spoil the entire book, but let me just say that I didn’t see it coming. At all.
But maybe I should share a few of my thoughts on book one before I start talking about book two?
Cassie, our main character, was the thing that first hooked me to this book. She’s incredibly intelligent, strong, and very driven. She goes after what she wants, and she doesn’t let anyone stop her. Having her as a narrator, and seeing everything through her eyes, was absolutely amazing and very interesting.
One of my favorite things about the novel was seeing how all of the contestants reacted to each other. I felt like putting so many kids who are competing with each other together could go two ways: 1) they all end up hating each other and do everything in their power to win themselves, 2) they become friends and support each other. This book had a little bit of both, but I’m so happy it focused more on the second. Seeing Cassandra make friends for (possibly) the first time in her life, and seeing how amazing and supportive those friendships were absolutely warmed my heart.
I loved the author’s approach to the technology in the book. It didn’t feel like it was super dumbed down, but it was approachable and understandable, which I really appreciated, and which really added a lot of depth to the book. I also loved how she ‘designed’ the contest, with all of these tests that made you sit on the edge of your seat while reading about them.
However, while I did love the book I do feel like the story didn’t reach it’s full potential. The author could’ve done so much more with the entire contest and the relationships between the contestants, and all of the tests. It sometimes felt like the author was rushing through all of this to get to the next part of the book, and that made it a bit less enjoyable. I just really wanted more.
I also think it’s important to mention that the main character identifies as asexual. I’m not ace myself, so I can’t say anything about the representation. (Edit: turns out I’m super ace, oops. The representation is fine.)
So overall, I loved a lot of things about the book, but I just don’t think it lived up to it’s full potential. I definitely cannot wait for the next book to come out though, because I’m sure that’s going to be great.