Review: Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders

Series: Unstoppable #2
Author: Charlie Jane Anders
Publisher: Tor Teen
Released: April 5, 2022
Received: NetGalley

4 kitties

The sequel to Charlie Jane Anders‘ Victories Greater Than Death is finally here! Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak is the second novel in the Unstoppable series, and I am still utterly enthralled by this series (and the universe within).

This is the universe on the brink of change. Evil still lurks at nearly every corner – but a determined group of heroes is doing everything in their power to prevent an intergalactic war from breaking out.

The first of our heroes is Rachel Townsend, an Earth artist – the first of her kind ever to make it off the planet. Yet the term has come to be a painful one, as she’s lost the ability to make art. Then there’s Elza Monteiro, a fierce and determined sort of human. She ran for the opportunity to become a princess…only that path was not what she expected. Finally, there’s Tina Mains. She’s been studying at the Royal Space Academy, and she still feels like she is constantly letting down everyone around her. It doesn’t help that their expectations were so high.

Yet these three, alongside their friends, will have to rally if they want to find a way to prevent a war from tearing apart their known universe. Literally.

“If you attain a high enough status, then normality is whatever you say.”

Let me be the first to say that I adored Victories Greater Than Death – it was brilliant and so much fun to read. Now, keep that in mind when I say that Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak somehow surpassed my expectations, creating an enchanting sequel far better than I could have ever hoped for.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like we got to know the characters better in this series segment. Perhaps that is because so much of the worldbuilding had already been done, I’m not sure. I did appreciate the opportunity to know Rachel, Elza, and Tina better. Their stories are what make this series shine.

The sheer amount of rep in Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak (and the series as a whole) will always be something that makes me smile. Any reader should be able to pick up this series and find a reflection of themselves somewhere within the pages. I sincerely hope that is the case, at any rate.

There are a lot of pop culture references woven into the story, which I found to be a lot of fun. In my mind, it sort of grounds the more science fiction elements at any rate. I know that these references might eventually end up dating the series, but I’m okay with that trade-off. However, I know not all readers like their stories full of references, so keep that in mind.

Long story short – I loved Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak. I gobbled it up in a single sitting and will now happily wait for the next novel in the series (Promises Greater Than Darkness) to drop.

Thanks to Tor Teen and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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