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One Giant Leap

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When Cassandra Gupta was chosen to be the youngest member of a top-secret mission to the far reaches of the universe she knew to expect the unexpected. But nothing could have prepared her for the catastrophic events that would occur once she left Earth. Cassie and the rest of the crew have found themselves in the middle of a conflict between two alien civilizations hell-ben When Cassandra Gupta was chosen to be the youngest member of a top-secret mission to the far reaches of the universe she knew to expect the unexpected. But nothing could have prepared her for the catastrophic events that would occur once she left Earth. Cassie and the rest of the crew have found themselves in the middle of a conflict between two alien civilizations hell-bent on destroying each other . . . and anyone else who gets in their way. What was supposed to be a reconnaissance mission soon becomes a fight for their lives. But Cassie knows that it isn’t enough to simply survive. The war is coming to Earth, and only she has the information that can possibly stop the devastation it will bring. With humanity’s fate in the balance, Cassie must decide who she can trust and who she is willing to sacrifice in order to complete her mission.


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When Cassandra Gupta was chosen to be the youngest member of a top-secret mission to the far reaches of the universe she knew to expect the unexpected. But nothing could have prepared her for the catastrophic events that would occur once she left Earth. Cassie and the rest of the crew have found themselves in the middle of a conflict between two alien civilizations hell-ben When Cassandra Gupta was chosen to be the youngest member of a top-secret mission to the far reaches of the universe she knew to expect the unexpected. But nothing could have prepared her for the catastrophic events that would occur once she left Earth. Cassie and the rest of the crew have found themselves in the middle of a conflict between two alien civilizations hell-bent on destroying each other . . . and anyone else who gets in their way. What was supposed to be a reconnaissance mission soon becomes a fight for their lives. But Cassie knows that it isn’t enough to simply survive. The war is coming to Earth, and only she has the information that can possibly stop the devastation it will bring. With humanity’s fate in the balance, Cassie must decide who she can trust and who she is willing to sacrifice in order to complete her mission.

30 review for One Giant Leap

  1. 4 out of 5

    Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)

    I didn't enjoy this as much as the first. I was expecting the story to go in a totally different direction then what it did so that kind of threw me off. Plus I didn't care for all of the alien communication crap like Sunny and Pinnacle and the whole Megobarri LiteBrite system they had going on. It was just too much and overshadowed the story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    I did not expect to love this duology THIS much! It honestly blew me away. The pacing is slow enough to get fully invested in the characters and the story, but quick enough to stay engaging. And I would die for Cassandra Gupta, I just love her so much! She went through sooo much character development, and I love how it was shown that coming to terms with her asexuality was a journey and she wasn't yet done with that at the end of the book. Rep: Indian asexual MC, Asian side character, bisexual si I did not expect to love this duology THIS much! It honestly blew me away. The pacing is slow enough to get fully invested in the characters and the story, but quick enough to stay engaging. And I would die for Cassandra Gupta, I just love her so much! She went through sooo much character development, and I love how it was shown that coming to terms with her asexuality was a journey and she wasn't yet done with that at the end of the book. Rep: Indian asexual MC, Asian side character, bisexual side character, Latinx side character. CW: genocide.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura (bbliophile)

    This book made me remember why I love sci-fi books

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen’s Library

    Finding this sci-fi duology was a really nice surprise and One Giant Leap was a nice satisfying ending. I received book 1, Dare Mighty Things, as a Xmas gift and loved the storyline of a group of young adults aged 18 to 25 competing for a coveted spot on a space mission along with 4 other experienced astronauts. NASA, astronaut training, space, spaceship!! All the things I love!! I bought book 2 about halfway in just so I could binge read the duology. Book 2 was a continuation, but now the 5 astr Finding this sci-fi duology was a really nice surprise and One Giant Leap was a nice satisfying ending. I received book 1, Dare Mighty Things, as a Xmas gift and loved the storyline of a group of young adults aged 18 to 25 competing for a coveted spot on a space mission along with 4 other experienced astronauts. NASA, astronaut training, space, spaceship!! All the things I love!! I bought book 2 about halfway in just so I could binge read the duology. Book 2 was a continuation, but now the 5 astronauts are on their mission. What I loved so much about book 1 wasn't in book 2, but it was still a good story. I'm happy that the lovable characters I adored were back and helping Cassie to save Earth, and humanity. This was a pretty fast paced story with lots of adventure and space travel. I look forward to seeing more from this author.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kap

    This book was a hot mess. Neither the plot nor the characters received the time or attention that they needed. There were too many parts that would have been cool on their own(view spoiler)[: Humans interfacing with computers? Cool! Aliens whose "written" language is a colorful fireworks show? Intriguing! An inter-species extraterrestrial conflicts that threatens Earth? I'm listening... Aliens that have engineered a virus which induces infertility over time? Tell me more! (hide spoiler)] . I though This book was a hot mess. Neither the plot nor the characters received the time or attention that they needed. There were too many parts that would have been cool on their own(view spoiler)[: Humans interfacing with computers? Cool! Aliens whose "written" language is a colorful fireworks show? Intriguing! An inter-species extraterrestrial conflicts that threatens Earth? I'm listening... Aliens that have engineered a virus which induces infertility over time? Tell me more! (hide spoiler)] . I thought Kaczynski actually did a decent job creating intelligent species that were somewhat different from humans. The Vrag were really interesting! I would have enjoyed seeing more world-building. Really, that's the problem with the plot: there's not enough contextual infrastructure to fully support it. The points that I was hoping would be further addressed and more deeply explored in this book were not. I wanted to see Cassie explore her asexuality more - but instead her sexuality remained superficial and insignificant (which is completely fine, but if you're going to take the time to explicitly say that Cass is asexual, I'd expect you to spend a little more time exploring what that actually means and how that might more fully affect her character). This book really suffers from superficial diversity all around. Cass is asexual, but it's barely explored beyond a cursory, "oh, you might be asexual" remark after she gets flustered by the mention of sex. Cass is a bi-racial, Indian American woman, but these components of her identity never go beyond her last name (Gupta) and a shallow depiction of her Indian grandmother. There are a few other sprinkled in mentions of Cass being a POC, but they were insubstantial. Really, she could have been any race or ethnicity and it would have no effect on the story. I guess this is fine, but I still wanted more. Let's get more representation that has substance and weight! All of these characters suffer from this superficial treatment. Mitsuko is Japanese, but that has no bearing on her character beyond one moment where she reads the Japanese news. Hanna is German (am I remembering that correctly? I just know that she's from somewhere in Northern Europe).... no relevancy to her character. Emilio is latino. Again, no relevancy (plus he gets criminally little air time in book two). And Luka is ~kinda~ Georgian, though I'll excuse the lack of rep since he's technically an alien. But still. He supposedly spent time growing up in Georgia and learned about the culture to more authentically play the role of human. I'm not saying that the lack of depth in these characters is wrong, just that I wanted more. If you're looking for a YA scifi with diverse representation that actually impacts the characters, sadly this series will only let you down. Going beyond the impact of ethnic identity on these characters, aside from Cassie, no one really had any character depth. Luka was two-dimensional in Dare Mighty Things and he remained two-dimensional in One Giant Leap. For being such an important and central character (not to mention, Cassie's love interest) he was about as interesting as a clump of dirt on the side of the road. And he had the personality to match. In fact, he became even less interesting in this book than the previous one. How is that possible?? Last complaint: The resolution was too easily won. (view spoiler)[Bada-boom, bada-bing. Cass and Hanna defeat Skyfall with their miiiiinds~~ OOooOOoOooOOOOoooOo~~ spooky. The real hero is Godmother, who gets the shortest end of the stick ever. Tortured for years. Unjustly persecuted. Alone in the universe. Just looking out for her babies. She sacrifices her life so that her genocidal enemies and humans can live. Criminally unfair. She deserved better! (hide spoiler)] All in all, a disappointment :( YA needs more inter-galactic scifi, because I keep being disappointed when all I want is a decent story about teenagers in space with aliens.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ellie

    update: tHE COVER IS GORGEOUS AND ITS AS BEAUTIFUL AS I EXPECTED IT TO BE I’M SO EXCITED TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE PLANET AND THE ALIENS AND JUST SPACE IN GENERAL!!! throughout the last half I couldn’t stop grinning at the book bc I was so excited about space. And this one will probably be centered fully in space so YAY

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    "When his arms pulled me against him, I felt stronger somehow. Maybe I don't like kissing, but I do like this" I loved the first book so much . I felt like this was a decent sequel but I was expecting more. I liked how the author didn't immediately force Cassie and Luka in a relationship. They worked together as partners first to save the planet and their lives and there wasn't much drama in between like in most books where they have the main characters in a romance trying to save the world "When his arms pulled me against him, I felt stronger somehow. Maybe I don't like kissing, but I do like this" I loved the first book so much . I felt like this was a decent sequel but I was expecting more. I liked how the author didn't immediately force Cassie and Luka in a relationship. They worked together as partners first to save the planet and their lives and there wasn't much drama in between like in most books where they have the main characters in a romance trying to save the world or something. I really wish there were more crew interactions before (view spoiler)[ the crew literally all died (hide spoiler)] . I liked the plot twist with the megobari and the vrag. However with the way the Vrag were described it made it hard to believe that they were (view spoiler)[ actually peaceful (hide spoiler)] . In general the book felt slightly rushed in some places. Towards the beginning and when they were moving the weapon away from earth. Overall I thought this was a pretty good sequel!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    GUYS tHERE'S A COVER TODAY HAS BEEN SO WONDERFUL TO US COVER-WISE WOW I'M IN AWE (full info here)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Marie

    Torn between a 3 or 4 star rating. Overall this series was such a nice read. I loved the setting of space and the impending doom that the characters attempt to escape.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Dyer

    Round up to 4.5 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan Manzano

    I absolutely loved this book and thought it did an incredible job of wrapping up the duology but also giving readers an entirely different atmosphere than the first book. Heather throws us into a whirlwind of a space adventure making the reader question whose side they should be on, what are the limits and faults of humanity, and what to do in the existence of a whole new race. If you want a sci-fi novel that will hook you from start to finish, pick up Dare Mighty Things and then read One Giant I absolutely loved this book and thought it did an incredible job of wrapping up the duology but also giving readers an entirely different atmosphere than the first book. Heather throws us into a whirlwind of a space adventure making the reader question whose side they should be on, what are the limits and faults of humanity, and what to do in the existence of a whole new race. If you want a sci-fi novel that will hook you from start to finish, pick up Dare Mighty Things and then read One Giant Leap.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tagcaver

    I want more books like this! I highly recommend this fast-paced and exciting sequel to Dare Mighty Things. This book concludes Cassie’s journey to the stars and beyond. Our favorite characters from DMT are joined by some new characters and new places to bring the story to an exciting conclusion.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Louisa

    Such a great book, I really enjoyed the shift in genre, a little bit, because the first one was a competition to go to space, and this book is actually in space and aliens and such! Such a great read, and I loved how things came together!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anna Priemaza

    I got to read an early version of ONE GIANT LEAP, and it's an exciting, riveting, and sometimes mesmerizing follow-up to DARE MIGHTY THINGS! Loved it!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I gave this sequel 4 stars, again, like the first book, because of the writing, but I still struggled with connecting with and relating to Cassie, the main character. There are a few mentions of this future society being very progressive as far as sexual orientation, and Cassie is noted in the first book to be asexual, but then there are instances of Luka kissing her and Cassie developing some mild feelings for him, though at the end of this book she states that she will never want anything more I gave this sequel 4 stars, again, like the first book, because of the writing, but I still struggled with connecting with and relating to Cassie, the main character. There are a few mentions of this future society being very progressive as far as sexual orientation, and Cassie is noted in the first book to be asexual, but then there are instances of Luka kissing her and Cassie developing some mild feelings for him, though at the end of this book she states that she will never want anything more than kissing from him, so I struggled with understanding that type of attitude. There are also quite a few instances of strong language in this book, where there was pretty much no strong language in the first book. There were a few times I struggled with the plot as well and where it seemed to be going, and it often felt like things were random and not connected or organized very well, as well as the advanced technology seemingly thrown in because the time frame for the book is supposed to take place in the fairly near future (around 2050), so it was hard for me to follow that at times, the connections between present-day technology and the more advanced technology for this future world. That could have just been my comprehension though, but it still felt to me as though the technology was advanced but then it wasn't in many ways, a little confusing to follow. Overall, I liked how the story resolved and how the humans and two different alien species were able to mainly come to a resolution (there are still a few loose ends at the book, but we're told that things are expected to resolve peacefully at the upcoming peace talks. However, this book doesn't have a cliffhanger and appears to bring an end to the series, although I can see where the author does have room to continue with more, but it doesn't appear that she means to. Interesting resolution in this book and interesting duology, probably a 3.5 stars average.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Kaczynski, Heather. One Giant Leap. Dare Mighty Things No. 2. Harper Teen, 2018. I missed the first number of this series, but one does not need it to read One Giant Leap. Cassandra Gupta, a high school senior, lands a spot on an interstellar probe based on alien technology because she has a brain that is compatible with an AI implant. There is a mysterious romantic alien. There are scary planet-destroying aliens. There is a secret planet destroying weapon. There is a smart group of culturally di Kaczynski, Heather. One Giant Leap. Dare Mighty Things No. 2. Harper Teen, 2018. I missed the first number of this series, but one does not need it to read One Giant Leap. Cassandra Gupta, a high school senior, lands a spot on an interstellar probe based on alien technology because she has a brain that is compatible with an AI implant. There is a mysterious romantic alien. There are scary planet-destroying aliens. There is a secret planet destroying weapon. There is a smart group of culturally diverse teenage friends and rivals. A good writer could do something with this material. But the book has a fatal flaw—it talks down to its teen audience. Cultural diversity does not extend much beyond the character names. There is only the most minimal discussion of artificial intelligence, the technology of space travel, or the nature of alien biology or mentation. Where are Ender and Podkayne when you need them?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    When Cassandra Gupta and the rest of the crew of Odysseus, NASA’s first starship, come out of cryogenic hibernation five hundred light-years from Earth, after a journey of less than six months, they discover that they’ve arrived in a war zone. Two alien races have already destroyed each other’s home worlds, and Earth may be next. After a disastrous fire fight, Cassie and one other member of her mission team flee back to Earth with a secret weapon they hope will save the planet and the rest of hu When Cassandra Gupta and the rest of the crew of Odysseus, NASA’s first starship, come out of cryogenic hibernation five hundred light-years from Earth, after a journey of less than six months, they discover that they’ve arrived in a war zone. Two alien races have already destroyed each other’s home worlds, and Earth may be next. After a disastrous fire fight, Cassie and one other member of her mission team flee back to Earth with a secret weapon they hope will save the planet and the rest of humanity. Kaczynski’s sequel to Dare Mighty Things is as suspense-filled and full of surprises as its predecessor. The action is non-stop. In addition to scary alien invaders bent on planetary destruction, it also highlights the excesses, fears, and short-sightedness of earth’s dominant species.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I liked it but not as much as the first one. I'm not sure why, maybe because it felt like a completely different story. Book 1 was a contest to win the chance to man a mission to space. Book 2 was the mission and all of its wonder as well as the trials and tribulations. So the vibe was very different. Regardless, the characters are still present and still likable. Lots of far-fetchedness going on here but I liked it and was glad to be along for the ride. One thing that stuck out to me was how the "ot I liked it but not as much as the first one. I'm not sure why, maybe because it felt like a completely different story. Book 1 was a contest to win the chance to man a mission to space. Book 2 was the mission and all of its wonder as well as the trials and tribulations. So the vibe was very different. Regardless, the characters are still present and still likable. Lots of far-fetchedness going on here but I liked it and was glad to be along for the ride. One thing that stuck out to me was how the "others" communicated, with sound and color. Cass made a comment about how it was as foreign as trying to communicate via raindrops and then I just thought about THAT for a while. I want to find the book that uses raindrops as language. If you find it before I do, please let me know.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Duckytwit

    Cassie has achieved what few others ever will: making first contact with aliens in a ship made by humans but via instructions sent by aliens across space. Unfortunately, Cassie learns a fellow competitor is one of those aliens, sent to monitor the progress of the competition, and now she struggles who to trust as she explores with the crew of the Odyssey. The distrust continues as she learns Earth will become the new center of the conflict between two alien races, who previously destroyed at lea Cassie has achieved what few others ever will: making first contact with aliens in a ship made by humans but via instructions sent by aliens across space. Unfortunately, Cassie learns a fellow competitor is one of those aliens, sent to monitor the progress of the competition, and now she struggles who to trust as she explores with the crew of the Odyssey. The distrust continues as she learns Earth will become the new center of the conflict between two alien races, who previously destroyed at least one other planet. This was a great conclusion to “Dare Mighty Things”, despite the increased “preachy” tone. My only complaint is that the series was a duology.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Charmaine

    I thought this would be a bridge book, but it was so much better! Thanks for delivering a satisfying conclusion, Ms. Kaczynski. I love that this vision of the near future is close enough to our own that it's plausible. Things got a little weird on Odysseus, but it was satisfying in a very non deus-ex machina way. I give kudos to Heather Kaczynski for providing solid social commentary (as all sci-fi does, to be honest), but in a creative and refreshing way (no revolution, no epic wars spanning ac I thought this would be a bridge book, but it was so much better! Thanks for delivering a satisfying conclusion, Ms. Kaczynski. I love that this vision of the near future is close enough to our own that it's plausible. Things got a little weird on Odysseus, but it was satisfying in a very non deus-ex machina way. I give kudos to Heather Kaczynski for providing solid social commentary (as all sci-fi does, to be honest), but in a creative and refreshing way (no revolution, no epic wars spanning across the galaxy). Very well done in terms of going from a classic "selection" in the first book to solving broader issues in the world (or rather, universe).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ina

    3.5 Stars - After the first book was a total success with me, I already knew it was gonna be hard for the sequel to live up to that. Sadly, it didn’t work out completely. There were parts I really enjoyed, but overall the plot was a bit too much all over the place for me and the really awesome things that I liked about the first in this series (the characters, the tension, the plot twist) fell a little short here. It was a solid continuation of the story, it just didn’t excite me as much as the 3.5 Stars - After the first book was a total success with me, I already knew it was gonna be hard for the sequel to live up to that. Sadly, it didn’t work out completely. There were parts I really enjoyed, but overall the plot was a bit too much all over the place for me and the really awesome things that I liked about the first in this series (the characters, the tension, the plot twist) fell a little short here. It was a solid continuation of the story, it just didn’t excite me as much as the first part.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Coudeville

    I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I loved the first one, but this one didn't turn out at all how I thought it would. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it. (view spoiler)[ I was just rather disappointed that we weren't going to be exploring a new world, but instead get stuck in a war between species. It felt very "I Am Number Four". (hide spoiler)] I will however, be keeping an eye on this author. Wouldn't mind reading more of her books

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I loved reading this book! Heather Kaczynski takes readers on an adventure through space with Cassie, Luka, and the rest of the gang. A mix of adventure, thriller, and science fiction, One Giant Leap explores making impossible choices in impossible situations. While the first book, Dare Mighty Things, left readers with a cliffhanger, this second book has a solid conclusion to help wrap up Cassie's story. I would read anything else from this author!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aileen M

    Overall a good conclusion to the duology. The beginning went quite quickly and a lot of events happened without giving the reader time to process it all. I appreciate the thought that went into the alien species to keep them from being completely human-like. Also, the representation this series has is great and totally worth the read to support diverse writing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hira165

    Not nearly as much fun as the second book. I truly struggled. The first book was so much fun, moment to moment always going. I felt like this one just had too much set up, but not enough actually happening, and the twist, while I didn't see it, persay, wasn't really that much of a twist. Overall, not terrible, but not great.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Dykeman

    This wasn’t quite what I thought it would be, but I still enjoyed reading it, so 4 stars. The story was all over the place, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My favorite thing about this was the descriptions of the alien planets and life forms that Cassie comes across. Other than that, I don’t really know how to describe how I feel without being too spoiler-y.

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Clark

    Nice sequel to Dare Mighty Things. The action and plot twists make for a fast and engrossing read. By the end, readers will be shaking their heads over which race was the villain and which was the victim. My only comment of a critical nature is that the ending was a bit too long, but that's a very minor point.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    3-3.5 I flew through this and had fun with it - it was by no means a bad read - but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as book 1. I didn’t really find myself attached to the characters or story and felt things got a little strange close to the end.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    While I am glad I read this second book to Dare Mighty Things, I found it disappointing. The character relationship and story building was more interesting in the first and was a bit more scattered and undeveloped in the second.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    aaaaa. I wanted to like this. I really did. unfortunately, this overstuffed story struggled along the ENTIRE way and I’m really sad about it since I championed the first book so hard. It’s a no from me!!

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