Charlie Jane Anders’ Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak is a dreamy, captivating, queer sci-fi tale about fellowship and acceptance.
In Victories Greater Than Death, Anders romped around the galaxy in a swashbuckling yarn filled with charming characters, a diverse palette of alien races, and a big bad that was assuredly big and definitely bad. Anders’ follow-up forces the main cast to contend with their choices and the consequences of those choices in a slower-paced, more introspective story.
The book’s themes are timely and well-constructed, with an enemy that would almost certainly end up in the Twitter trending column. It’s not difficult to imagine contending with a foe that can turn anything you love into something you revile. Dreams reminds us of the flaws in the forces of good, too, ably displaying the truism that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Anders applies to all this a liberal dose of eclectic creativity and an enjoyably diverse cast that shines a light on folks not often found in the sci-fi genre. Like its predecessor, Dreams is delightfully queer.
Anders clearly wrote Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak with a young adult audience in mind, with complex, relatable themes expressed with appropriately accessible language. Readers looking for a story dressed in complex prose will be unsatisfied.
This book contains mentions of war and genocide, descriptions of mental illness, violent combat and death, and mild sexual content.