July 23, 2023

Review: Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak

Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I'm beginning to think this author is not for me anymore. I read and enjoyed her first novel, and also her nonfiction writing book. But my opinions of her fiction books have been on a steady downward spiral, and I couldn't even finish this one.

The problems with this book are the same as the first in the series, only ramped up to 11 with additional teenage angst. I don't have any problems with teenage angst in and of itself, as long as it's balanced out with a decent story and not allowed to drag on and on for endless pages. This book fails on both fronts. I realize it's supposed to be a takeoff and satire of superhero movies, with the same nonsensical "science," but this story is so over-the-top that it grated on me like fingernails on a chalkboard. Here, the focus is on Elza and Rachael, the girlfriend and best friend of the previous volume's protagonist Tina Mains respectively. Tina is the alien clone of a dead general, and Rachael sacrificed her ability to make art to stop the first book's Big Bad. But the alien Vayt from the first book are back, trying to take over the galaxy and wipe out non-human species, and the six teenagers from the first book are the only ones standing in their way.

Or so I assume, because when I got to page 165 of this I said, "That's it, I don't care what happens to these people," and set it aside. (This book really suffered in comparison to my previous book, the excellent Rubicon. That is some galaxy-spanning space opera done right.) There is obviously an audience for this series, but it's definitely not me.

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