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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mohit
Dreadnought, New Port City's most powerful superhero, has been mortally wounded during an unexpected battle with another metahuman. He lands near Daniel Tozer, a fifteen year old high school student, in a secluded area in back of the mall. Despite the danger, Danny attempts to help by dragging him to safety. The dying superhero urges Danny to flee but the teen refuses. As Dreadnought feels his life force extinguishing, he bestows his powers on Danny. The results are unexpected. Dreadnought's powers are transferred but somehow they transform the teen from Daniel to Danielle. Danny, a trans woman, has always felt trapped in her own skin, so although she is saddened by Dreadnought's passing, she can't help but rejoice at the gift that he's given her. But there is the issue of her new superpowers. Danny wants to find a way to repay the superhero for all that he has done for her. Should she accept the mantle of Dreadnought with the responsibilities and sacrifices that come with it? And how on earth will she explain all this to her parents?

Dreadnought is a YA with definite adult crossover appeal. The story is told through a first person narrative, and although I had some trouble getting accustomed to Danny's adolescent voice, by the third chapter I was hooked. Author April Daniels has written an inspiring tale that blends the perils involved in learning to use brand new superpowers with the emotional journey of a transgender teen.

This story is special because Danny is a superhero with whom readers can empathize. She has lived her young life in fear: fear of her verbally abusive father, fear of being thought of as a freak, fear of not being strong, or brave, or smart enough, and fear of never being allowed to be herself. The joy she feels about her physical transformation is short-lived as the negative reaction of her parents, friends, and doctor rings with a brutal truthfulness that is painful to witness. Yet, happily, Danny perseveres and her strength of character allows readers to see her as a fully realized human.

There is a second part to the story that is equally engaging. Dreadnought is also about a teen's decision to embrace or reject the obligations and consequences of becoming a superhero. Danny's first venture into flexing her super muscles to help people really stands out. Her attempt at rescuing a commercial airliner on the verge of crashing is particularly exhilarating. Another highlight for me is Danny's friendship with Calamity and the dangers that their youthful exuberance land them in. Calamity's acceptance and support are a welcome departure from the many narrow-minded characters that populate Danny's world.

Dreadnought is an ambitious book that balances terrific metahuman battles with a myriad of topics including domestic abuse, bullying, government corruption, racism, sexism, and intolerance. April Daniels has written a insightful novel that is thoughtful without being preachy. Due to the complex, and often stressful, emotional conflicts, I would recommend this book to ages 13 and up. I think Danny's story can serve as a stepping stone to great discussions and conversations. In my opinion, Danny's heart-wrenchingly bittersweet attempt to make the people she cares about understand and accept that she is a transgender lesbian is written beautifully and needs to be shared. In the end, Dreadnought had me cheering while bringing tears to my eyes.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
shara ambrosecchia
I wanted to like this book. I'm a trans woman and I wanted to root for the hometeam here, but I couldn't recommend this book to my friends. The author spends way too much time detailing the torture Danny is put through by the cis people around her. Yes it's realistic that cis people can be that awful but is realism what you want in a superhero book? Is it realistic that Danny is the one-and-only trans character in the entire book? The city New Port City is based on has a thriving youthful trans community which is absent from this book. It just felt like misery-tourism for the amusement of cis readers. Super heroes are supposed to inspire but I feel like this book would have sent me deeper into the closet if I had read it as a teenager.

Also the writing is bad. It starts off mediocre but after the halfway point it goes downhill. The climactic battle should have been exciting but it was just boring. The final chapter left me saying to myself "what did I just read? Why would that character do that? When was THAT ever mentioned. Is that an editing mistake?"

TLDR The worst transgender super hero fiction I have ever read. Only get it if you're really desperate for novels written by trans women. I did enjoy the first half.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aziar
I loved this book because – hello superheroes – but also because of the diversity in its characters and unique perspective on the superhero genre. April Daniels brings together child-like fantasy and social commentary on identity, gender, and trans issues with ‘Dreadnought.’

One point of contention, and even though this is an ‘own voices’ book, something about the start of Danny’s story and transformation did not sit well with me. She was oversexualised at times, and many of the cis-gendered characters reactions were so stereotypically gendered that I felt it was almost reverse discrimination... but then I realised that while the author was giving an authentic representation of the facets some transgendered youth experience, I think it was that the reactions were crammed into a short space of time, and that Danny’s physical transition was pretty much instant. Where in reality much of this is spread out over years and there is a much more diverse selection of attitudes from supportive and non-supportive people throughout the life of a trans person. So I think my issue comes from the science fiction side of things, rather than the underlying social commentary around someone’s transgendered experience.

The introduction of Calamity/Sarah was a great tool for viewing the whole superhero industry and the role of villains with an outside eye. She also acted as a voice of reason and a level head that grounded Danny. Not to mention it felt like the only genuine friendship in the whole novel. Which is something ‘Dreadnought’ needed as Danny was essentially isolated from her transition.

Doc was in interesting character that merits a mention. The tech guru, patch-em-up, and gadget geek all rolled into one. While Doc was a great support (team) for Dreadnought, there were some obvious secrets being kept that had me wanting to keep an eye on Doc’s motives, despite being a trusted member of the gang.

But I loved all the issues that this narrative brought to light – and that it wasn’t all about being trans. It was about government conspiracies, complex characters, good versus evil; and all the shades of grey in-between, passing high school, making friends, confidence, and discovering how to take control of your life.

There were elements of body shaming and comments of hormonal emotional states that were a little off-putting for me. Danny kept saying she was the same person, but all of a sudden having a different outside did change her behaviour...it was a little contradictory.

The superheros deal: I loved how there was not a cut-and-dry side of who was good and bad. Each had their own motivations and none of them were all completely righteous. Just like people, we are all fallible, superpowers or not.

Daniels can craft some great fight scenes – I was glued to the page through it all, almost bobbing and weaving in my lounge chair. If that doesn’t give you a hint about how well paced this novel is… I completed it in a day! ‘Dreadnought’ definitely kept surprising me. There was so much going on. I really can’t say I predicted the ending at all. Instead I was just so swept up and engaged in Danny’s story that when I reached the end I was blinking in a stupor.

Great ending too, it resolved enough of the story to give me satisfaction, but teased enough for me to want to rush out and purchase the sequel. Which I did – I added ‘Sovereign’ to my shopping cart immediately. So stay tuned for a review on the follow up soon.
The Vampire Gift 7: Prophecies of Light :: Queen Takes Knights (Their Vampire Queen Book 1) :: The Vampire Gift 2: Kingdom of Ash :: The Vampire Gift 5: Whispers of Evil :: If I Was Your Girl
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nathangrma
Roger Ebert used to talk about how important emotional response was to him as a critic, often more important than the technical and artistic merits. Even the most technically and artistically exquisite film could be a hollow and unsatisfying experience if he didn’t connect emotionally, and the opposite could also be true: sometimes, without any other explanation, a seeming piece of trash could be surprisingly fun simply because it connected to something ineffable inside him.

So when the whole “Brie Larson commits white genocide against Old White Men” was a thing for a hot minute last month, I got what she was saying even though I didn’t think she expressed herself very eloquently. Old White Men are less likely to connect with movies that don’t feature white men, and that lack of connection can lead to consistently lower ratings, which affects “wisdom of the crowd” aggregated ratings like Rotten Tomatoes, especially when the crowd is disproportionately skewed towards Old White Men.

I’m starting with this because I often have to remind myself that I am not necessarily the primary audience for the book that I’m reading, especially if that book is about, say, a transgender lesbian teenage superhero. I don’t have to lower my standards, but I do have to lighten up on my literary-fiction-snob expectations and fine-tune my empathy. I’ve made a conscious choice to spend my money and time on this book, and I want to give myself every chance to enjoy it.

In Dreadnought by April Daniels, Danny is a superhero geek, knowledgeable about all the heroes and villains and the many in between, and Dreadnought is arguably the most powerful and revered of all. One day, Danny is in the wrong (or right, depending on your perspective) place at the wrong time and witnesses Dreadnought’s death in person. As he’s dying in Danny’s arms, Dreadnought transfers the source of his power to Danny, who undergoes an immediate transformation not only into a fledgling superhero but also into his ideal body: a female supermodel.

This presents something of a dilemma: Danny has always felt like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and she’s overcome with excitement that her dream has come true even as she’s heartbroken that it came at the expense of Dreadnought’s life. Worse, she’s terrified of how her conservative, abusive father will react. She’s hit with conflict and confusion from all sides: her best friend David gets an uncomfortable crush on her, the Legion Pacifica argue over whether Danny should join them as the new Dreadnought, and her new friend Calamity takes her out on the town to rustle up some low-level criminals and casts doubt on the supposedly good intentions of the Legion. There’s no clear line between good and bad, and Danny struggles with whom to trust and how to assert what she wants from her new-found body and abilities.

Sometimes both the main character and the narrative style were a little too teenager-y. Some characters were too emphatically one-note. At times, the whole coming out process seemed too much like an afterschool special. I didn’t always believe Danny would behave how she did. Those were the points when I had to remind myself that this book wasn’t written for me, a middle-aged cis-gendered white gay man, and if I could look past those things, I could get more enjoyment from the story.

And I really did enjoy it. I liked the world that April Daniels has built here, and her overarching story was pretty satisfying. She can write action with the best of them, and the climactic scenes were riveting. This was her first book, and the first in a planned series, so it was often heavy on the exposition. Some of the scenes and characters were underdeveloped, but she really found her style and rhythm by the end, finishing strongly and making me anxious to read the next book. 

At this point, I’d like to circle back to an important corollary to Ebert’s point about emotional connection: you don’t have to personally identify with characters and situations, but you can still connect if you have empathy for them. The world can be small and closed and defensive, or it can be big and open and curious. It’s our choice to make.

(This review was originally posted as part of Cannonball Read 10: Sticking It to Cancer, One Book at a Time.)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marne
This is a hard yet beautiful read. In a world where superheroes (and villains) are normal, we have Danny Tozer, who has been trying to keep it from her family and peers that she’s transgender – born male, identifies as female – with an abusive father and a mother who looks the other way. Danny happens to get caught up in a metahuman fight one day, and Dreadnought – one of the best of the best, dies beside her – and in doing so, transfers his powers to Danny.

It’s said that during the mutation your body will submit to how you’ve always wanted it to be – if you ever wanted to be a little taller, or stronger… or female. Danny becomes Danielle, which, while is everything she’s always wanted, soon turns out to be pretty agonising each way she turns. Danny’s father books countless medical visits to try to have it reversed – her mother doesn’t support it and goes as far as to call Danny selfish – the majority of people at school are weird about it… especially Danny’s best mate, David, who is every butthurt ‘I’ve been friendzoned’ man-whinger out there. Even the League aren’t perfect – superpowers they may have, but several of them don’t know what to make of Danny at all, with one character actively responding in quite a nasty and vile way.

I would think this book could be fairly triggering. Daniels really doesn’t pull the punches when it comes to the verbal and mental abuse Danny goes through from practically all angles. Sadly, it seems pretty realistic.

As far as the metahuman elements go, this book is quite clever (take that, Batman) and I hope we get to see more of other superheroes in the second book, which I’m hugely looking forward to.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
adel amidi
Dreadnought is an #OwnVoices YA superhero novel about a young lesbian trans girl.

Fifteen-year old Danny Tozer is secretly painting her toenails behind the mall when two meta-humans get in a fight right in front of her. Thus she’s the only person around when Dreadnought, the greatest superhero of them all dies… and so she receives his powers. But not only does she get superpowers, her body also transforms into the one she’s always wanted. Now everyone knows that she’s a girl. Unfortunately, this includes her emotionally abusive father, who’s always tried to make her into a “manly man.” Oh, and the super-villain who killed Dreadnought is still running around. Danny’s life just got complicated.

Dreadnought was a lot darker than I expected. After her superpowered transition, Danny faces a ton of transmisogyny. For one, her best friend now feels entitled to date her even as he’s being creepy. For another, her parents are just awful. She’s got all these self esteem issues as a result of her father, who’s constantly berating her. But there’s even another character who gives him a run for Worst Ever! There’s this TERF super-heroine who is just the worst. Like I don’t know if I have ever hated a character that much. Danny just goes through so much, including having all sorts of awful slurs hurled at her. There were parts I had trouble reading, and I’m cis.

But Danny was probably my favorite part of the book. Even as she’s dealing with people being despicable to her, she still manages to come into her own and save the day. A lot of the time she’s uncertain, and she’s just learning how to believe in herself. I adored her growth in Dreadnought. I also appreciated her friendships with two other female characters, Doctor Impossible and Calamity, who I both liked a lot.

On the flip side, Danny does seem to have accepted a lot of sexist norms. She looks like a supermodel after her transformation, but then she thinks she has to start worrying about her weight. Sometimes it feels like these things are being challenged (particularly regarding body image), but I’m not sure how successful this is in all regards.

The world building wasn’t great. In particular, there’s some info dumping at the beginning regarding Dreadnought and the history of superpowered people in the world that felt very clunky. The world building also had the feel of “everything in the kitchen sink” regarding superhero tropes and story elements. Honestly, I don’t expect superhero books to have fantastic world building since they tend to be building off of messy comic book universes. However, Danny’s world could have been better conveyed and I think it played into why the tone of the book felt so weird.

On one hand, you have the plot line and the world building, which both suggest fun and fluff. They’re not super serious, and they feel more like an MCU movie than one of DC’s darker films. On the other hand, you’ve got Danny’s personal life which is almost overwhelmingly dark. As a result, the overall tone feels really mismatched and off.

I liked Danny enough that I will probably read the next book in the series, although I don’t think I will give it high priority. I don’t know if I would universally recommend Dreadnought given some of what it deals with. If you’re already dealing with transphobia or emotionally abusive parents, this may be too much for you. On the other hand, maybe it’s empowering to see someone else overcoming it. So I recommend Dreadnought but with a caveat – it’s not all superpowered fun.

I received an ARC of Dreadnought from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kenny irick
I was a huge fan of this book. Ms Daniels has done an excellent job of world building. Lots of history is laid in early with the passing of the mantle of Dreadnought to Danny. Superheros have been around for long enough for people to both love them (for saving them from super villains) and loathe them (for causing the inevitable collateral damage when they have their super fights).

When she suddenly inherits the powers of Dreadnought, our heroine, Danny, is scared people will find out at first. Not just that she’s transgender (the book opens with Danny, still biologically male, secretly buying nail polish and hiding behind dumpsters to put it on), but once she becomes Dreadnought she’s scared about her friends and family finding out.

I’m not going to pretend that I understand the emotional turmoils transgender kids go through, but I can’t help but think they’d give anything to transform as easily as Danny does in this novel. Her new body and superpowers are gifted to her by the passing of the current Dreadnought. Similar to the Green Lantern movie if you’ve seen that, where it gets passed on to Ryan Reynolds at the death of the previous Lantern.

In establishing some of the history, Ms Daniels explains the origins of Dreadnought with…

“…the British had built a warship that revolutionized naval warfare. HMS Dreadnought was faster, stronger, and tougher than anything else afloat. Overnight, it made every other battleship in the world obsolete. That’s what the first man to wear the mantle did to metahumans.”

…thus the name was taken by the first “Dreadnought” who was unrivalled by the other superheros (and villains) of the time.

The irony in all of this of course is that the mantle of Dreadnought gets passed onto someone the polar opposite of this. Someone so emotionally fragile from wanting to be something else, and from being emotionally abused by her father and from being bullied at school.

Even when physically toughened against any punishment evildoers can dish out, the emotional scars still run deep. So much so that Danny can’t find it in herself to stand up to her father even after becoming superhuman.

It doesn’t help that her father, and even a couple of the super-friends from the Legion Pacifica (basically the local chapter of superhero union) are ignorant douchebags. The real, raw emotions Danny feels when her dad is yelling at her, belittling her, is powerful stuff. Ms Daniels does a great job in these moments , making you feel Danny’s torment and pain through the words on the page.

Of course it’s not all bad news. There’s the fun of learning to control her new powers, most noticeably the ability to fly. Having only tried it out in her bedroom, she suddenly needs to work it out when representatives of the Legion Pacifica come knocking at her window.

Plus of course getting to experience the world as a female for the first time, which is something she’s wanted for a long time. There’s the bonding with her mother as they shop together for the first time for underwear and clothes to fit her new shape, but even her elation at this is tempered by needing to hide it from her father.

Doc Impossible (friendly mad scientist) of the Legion Pacifica befriends her and tries to let her know what the superhero life of a “whitecape” (the good guys) is really like. It’s not just all glamorous and sexy hero stuff, but it’s also hard on you and your loved ones. Like the day to day stuff “baselines” (non supers) take for granted like their privacy or something as simple as renting an apartment.

Early on she befriends a morally ambiguous vigilante (a “greycape“) called Calamity who helps Danny find her footing in the life of a superhero and helps her with the decision she’s struggling with: join the Legion Pacifica as a whitecape and become the next Dreadnought or live anonymously as a greycape by pretending to be less than she is.

I could bang on about this novel all day, but I don’t want to give too much away. I was very happy to see that book 2 – Sovereign – is slated for a 2017 release. I’ll be getting that when it comes out.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
shailey
The story move along at a reasonable pace and is quite easy to be caught up in. Unfortunatly the minor chactaters i nteh book are uniformally underdeveloped and never raise above the level of predictble sterotype. This is espeically glaring tin the major emotional antagonists of the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abdullahas96
This is a YA superhero story with a trans lesbian protagonist. What makes it a great book is that all of these things work well with and complement each other instead of feeling like random ingredients shoe-horned together. Danny's experiences as a young trans woman and lesbian inform her actions as a superhero and how she reacts to gaining those powers. It's like how Batman isn't Batman without the murder of his parents, but it makes way more sense than someone who has tons of money but dresses up as a bat to punch crime.

In this world there have been superheros (and super villains) around since World War 2. People acquire a particular set of powers through the passing of what is called a "mantle." A hero named Dreadnought is mortally wounded near fifteen year old Danny Tozer, and Dreadnought passes along his mantle and the super powers that come with it (think roughly Superman, can fly, really hard to hurt but not as invulnerable as Superman, super strong) to Danny. And the mantle also changes your body to be closer to your physical ideal.

For the last wearer of this mantle, it made him a little taller. For Danny, who was assigned the male gender at birth, this means transitioning to a young woman's body. It's not total, but for Danny (who was afraid to even discuss transitioning with her abusive father) it's a huge step. And it also means Danny can't hide the fact that she's trans anymore. So Danny has immense physical power now, but the social fallout is enormous and still has to be dealt with.

I'm not a trans person, I can't say how accurate the physical transformation is (and it's magical almost total all at once transformation anyway), but people's reactions to discovering Danny is trans seem very realistic across the spectrum. They range from supportive to bigoted to the male friend who suddenly wants to date Danny. And Danny's reactions to suddenly having super powers are a really reasonable result of the experiences she had as a closeted trans child and teen.

It is a superhero book, so there are superhero things happening. Falling airplanes, people getting punched through buildings, investigations, the usual superhero story tropes. They're done well, in a cinematic style, and they move the plot forward. I would like to see them on the big screen.

But again, the main thing is they really work well together with the other parts of the book. And the book is part one of an ongoing series, but it can be read as a stand alone, especially as an origin story. I'll definitely buy book two when it comes out. I haven't read many books starring trans protagonists, but as a superhero tale this is up there with Nolan's Batman Begins movie, The Rook (Daniel O'Malley), and The Reckoners Series (Brandon Sanderson, I might actually like this more than the Reckoners).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jaspreet
"Dreadnought" is a unique superhero origin story. In this alternate Earth, superpowers began existing around the time of WWII and were key in the proceedings that followed. Some people had superpowers, some people just have extraordinary abilities, and most people are ordinary or baseline. Superpowers are found both in heroes and villains. Superpowers are also passed from one person to another when a superhero dies (this does not necessarily seem to be true of villains, but it is unclear).

Danny is transgendered, and she has always known that she doesn't belong in the male body she was born into. She has snuck away to buy some nail polish to paint her toes when she stumbles across a superhero/villain fight. Dreadnought, one of the most powerful superheroes is battling a supervillain. When Dreadnought falls, mortally wounded, Danny rushes to help however she can. However, it is too late for Dreadnought- but he passes along his powers to Danny. Danny is immediately transformed into a girl- her ideal body.

Before she can think about it too much, Calamity, another young female superhero shows up and tells her to run before she must answer to the police. Danny returns home where she is subjected to her parents' hate and cruelty over her transformation. At the same time, the League, of which Dreadnought was a member, contact her to find out what happened and offer her provisional membership until she is 18 when she can decide if she wants to be a full member and fight alongside them. Starstruck, Danny cannot believe her luck- but this is tempered by the transphobia/homophobia within the League.

Feeling alone, Danny is lucky to find a friend in Calamity, and together, they investigate Utopia- the supervillain who killed Dreadnought. Fraught with peril, their search heats up as these two attempt to save the world. Along the way, they also discuss the moral ambiguity of superheroes and what doing good really means.

This was a really interesting and unique superhero origin story that reminds me of the Reckoners series. However, here, we also have the elements of what it is like to come out as transgendered and the difficulties encountered at home, with friends, and in general society. We see the struggle and pain through Danny's eyes, who internalizes a lot of the negativity and- although she is good at standing up for herself- still has a lot of questions about her value. This is a fast-paced book which does a great job of showcasing not only how Danny gets and develops her powers as the new Dreadnought but also her background story and life. Overall, I think it's a great start to an exciting series, and I am curious to continue with the next book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gary bendell
While I was reading this novel, I couldn’t help comparing it to Perry Moore’s Hero, a novel featuring a closeted homosexual superhero and the author’s barely concealed contempt for superheroes in general. The so-called homosexual romance was tepid and the hatred for supers was so strong I wondered why Stan Lee would endorse the novel.

This novel has a few similar themes with a few key differences. Yes, this is a world where supers are visible, acknowledged and a clear part of the universe. Yes, homosexual and transgender people aren’t widely accepted. The superheroes also have a harsh light trained on them by someone who has a valid reason to hate and despise them.

But there are differences, small and large. The protagonist, one Daniel Tozer, is a 15-year-old boy turned into a girl by extraordinary circumstances, as well as being gifted with superpowers. The book details how she has to learn to come to grips with the radical changes in her life and outlines the stumbling blocks she encounters on her way to becoming someone who can stand up to her bigoted tormentors and an old menace rising to destroy the world.

There is no romance here, straight, queer or otherwise. Daniel (now Danielle) has enough on her plate and the author has decided to put aside any chance of getting the story’s heroine entangled in a romantic subplot. I thoroughly agree with her decision as I couldn’t with Mr. Moore’s. There is plenty of drama to be found elsewhere.

(There’s also humor. Just read about Doc Impossible’s description of Darkfist and see if you’re not amused by the resemblance to a certain caped crusader.)

The novel expertly mixes domestic abuse, a creepy ex-friend, a superheroine with her own axes to grind and the Legion, one of many superhero groups. It’s the latter that I found really intriguing. We get the inside scoop of just what makes a superhero league work and it’s a sobering look indeed. Danielle learns that having super-strength, near-invulnerability and the capability of flight aren’t the unalloyed joys she imagines them to be and we, the readers, learn this as well through her eyes. It’s a rational imagining of just what it would take for such beings to live for humanity and yet be apart from them.

The book adroitly mixes mundane matters with its imagined worldscape of capes. Ms. Daniels lets us understand that the lines between good and evil can be hazy, blurred or nonexistent. More importantly, she details a world with a variety of super abilities and cleverly ties it into the heroines sexuality and gender.

I haven’t been this excited about a superhero story since…well, since that Wonder Woman movie appeared in 2017. Just as with that powerful goddess with her golden lasso, I want to know more about the new Dreadnought: her life, her loves, her battles. This is one terrific debut by an author who clearly has given incisive thought to her subject. Tune in again, trusty readers!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kortney
I’m gonna talk about Dreadnought, by April Daniels. When I requested it on Netgalley, I only read the first line of the description: “Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world's greatest superhero.” Heck yeah! A superhero novel. I’ve also written a superhero novel and I wondered how April would handle writing a story that is usually the domain of comics and movies.

I started reading Dreadnought one Friday evening and read until I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. After a few scant hours of sleep, I just had to finish reading it. Dreadnought is an epic superhero novel. What’s that? You got to the second line in the description and it gave you pause? That’s understandable. What kind of superhero tale has a transgender hero?

I’m here to tell you that because Danny Tozer is transgender, Dreadnought is a five-star read. Don’t get me wrong, it’d still be a great story, but the depth of emotion contained within the pages of Dreadnought... You’ll chuckle. You’ll hold your breath. Your heart will break when you read the tribulations of Danny Tozer. You’ll root for Danny Tozer because this action packed taut tale will have you turning pages, hungry for more words.

If you like superheroes (who doesn’t with both Marvel and DC raking in the big bucks these last few years,) or you like sci-fi, you will absolutely love Dreadnought. I’ll read the second book, Sovereign when it’s available from Diversion Books this summer (hopefully before.) Read Dreadnought. Go on, pre-order it. You won’t be sorry.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa kjorness
Omg, how have I not posted my review for this one already? I am so, so sorry!

This book is amazing! There isn’t a thing I don’t love about it, honestly. It’s sweet, and daring, action and drama packed, with twists I didn’t see, perspectives that need to be seen and gives what everyone wants for a superhero origin story and a contemp drama.

I cannot wait to read more of this series and Not Your Villain too!

Important note: It’s #ownvoices and every trans* reviewer I’ve read raves about this book.

TW: Transphobia and homophobia, including slurs.

Favorite Quotes:

Spring in the Pacific Northwest: come for the moist, stay for the damp.

The trick with these guys is not to make eye contact. Like restless ghosts, they want to drag you down to Hell with them.

Then it hits me. This ‘ideal’ new body -- the magazine cover perfection, the shampoo commercial hair, even the fashionable shape of my thighs-- it’s more than just a different look. It’s a window inside my head. “Oh. Gross.”

Fait accompli, it’s called, an accomplished fact. Do it fast without their permission, and then there’s nothing they can do to change it back.

“Welcome to being a girl. Don’t mind the boys. You’ll get used to them.” What the hell does she mean by that?

There will only be times when he’s not hurting me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer norgate
Review first posted at Girl Who Reads. An advance reader's copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

anny Tozer just wanted to be a girl but had been born in a boy's body. But when the superhero Dreadnought died in front of her and transferred his powers to her, it also transferred her body into her ideal one: a female body. Now she can fly, is strong, and can finally help others the way she wants to. But her father is transphobic and wants to "cure" her, her best friend suddenly wanted to date her, the superhero league in her city is arguing if she even belongs, and the cyborg villain that killed Dreadnought is still out there. At least Danny found a new friend in Calamity, another superhero in training.

It's great to see such a positive character in this role. Danny is genuinely a caring person that happens to be trans, and this isn't the driving force of her character. There are diverse side characters, and even those characters that aren't meant to be sympathetic are still fairly well drawn and described. It was interesting to see superhero politics, an underworld of "gray capes" for those who had powers and didn't want to be superheroes, and how the ordinary people dealt with this kind of reality. While the blurb for the book specifically mentioned the best friend that wanted to date her, that part of the book was over fairly quickly and didn't get mentioned again. Once Danny got her powers, there was less focus on high school and more on the actual powers, her friendship with Calamity and the interactions with her parents. It makes sense, but peer groups are also an important part of a teenager's life. It would have been good to see a little more of her high school, how she interacted with kids and navigated through some of her other friendships. Danny was on her own a lot, which is a sad truth for many transgender kids.

For those who need warnings, though, there are transphobic and misogynistic slurs used against Danny, and some from Danny toward Greywytch, one of the superheroes in New Port City that finds transgender women insulting to women in general. There is also a sequence in the beginning with medical procedures done, some of which was without Danny's consent. The fight sequences are very well described and adds to the quick pace of the novel. This is a great first book for Ms. Daniels, and I look forward to the rest of the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rjnick
*I received this book as an eARC from Diversion Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I had heard great things about this book and I was so excited when I got my hands on it. One of the first books with a queer lead I read was Perry Moore's Hero. A gay teen superhero is the main character. In Dreadnought, a trans teen superhero is the main character. That's all that I needed to pique my interest in this book.

Daniels creates a vast and interesting alternative world in which superheroes have existed. I really enjoyed the World War 2 history involving people with powers. All of the classic elements of a superhero universe are present. There's a JLA equivalent. High tech heroes. Mythological heroes. Odd element based heroes. Vigilantes with gray morals. The whole gambit is covered. The worldbuilding is excellent.

Although it took me longer than I had hoped to finish it, (I was in a weird reading slump) I enjoyed every page of this book. It's fun and playful at times, but there's some deeper issues of identity and family that are central to this book. Any person who has had to come out to their parents will be able to identify with this book.

I am ready for the sequel, which comes out July 25th! I give this book a 5/5. I want to see more books like this. Bring me all the genre stories with queer protagonists!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sandee
anny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer ⎯a cyborg named Utopia⎯ still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

I received an eARC of Dreadnought courtesy of the publisher, Diversion Books, and Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review!

This book had a lot of things I love – superheroes, a struggle with identity, magic – but it also had a lot of things that were really difficult for me, as a cis woman to read. This is what’s called an “own voices” book – the author and the main character are both trans women.

I want to give a warning before I get any further into this review. There was a lot of transphobia in this book, from the character’s parents, friend, and a fellow whitecape. There’s a ton of slurs used, some unwanted medical procedures and if this is something that’s gonna trigger you, I’d advise you avoid this book.

I loved Danny as a protagonist. She felt entirely real to me, even when she was using figuring out her superpowers to get away from her family. I loved the friendship that she developed throughout the book with Calamity, and with Doc Impossible.

“It’s for science.”
“No.”
“Please?”
“You are going to buy me pizza.”
“Deal.”
“A lot of pizza.”
I liked this quote, and the exchange, but I have some concerns about the Doc’s treatment of Danny when she was having her physical with the Legion. I get that Doc’s a scientist, but the surprise strychnine and radioactive stuff bothered me, and not just because of what happens after the physical is done. Danny had literally just gotten finished being poked and prodded by dozens of “baseline” doctors at her dad’s request, and even with a funny doctor, it’s still another invasion. I don’t know if it bothered anyone else, but it bothered me.

I also thought there could have been a little more explanation of the hypertech & fancy machinery. Danny’s family is broke – I’d bet she’d never seen some of it which would have made an easy excuse to explain everything.

The action scenes were awesome, the dialogue was realistic, and I loved that Danny was eventually able to escape her parents. I was intrigued by the superhero stuff, which I wasn’t sure I’d like. I look forward to reading the rest of the series, to learn more about Calamity and the Legion, and any new heroes & villains we’ll eventually meet!

This was a four star read for me, and I highly recommend it, as long as you’re careful with your own mental state while you read. You can pick up a copy through the store, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller!

four stars and one empty one meant to signify a four star review

~ April Daniels was born in a military hospital just before it was shut down for chronic malpractice—in hindsight, that should have been an omen. After various tribulations in childhood and the frankly disconcerting discovery that she was a girl, she graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in literature, and then promptly lost her job during the 2008 stock crash and recession. After she recovered from homelessness, she completed her first manuscript by scribbling a few sentences at a time between calls while working in the customer support department for a well-known video game console. This book was mainly porn, with a few sword fights included for variety. When April realized she couldn’t pitch her book without blushing, she decided to write something else. During yet another period of unemployment, she wrote Dreadnought.

She has a number of hobbies, most of which are boring and predictable. As nostalgia for the 1990s comes into its full bloom, she has become ever more convinced that she was born two or three years too late and missed all the good stuff the first time around. Having recently become a pagan, April is currently enduring the karmic backlash for all the times she was smug about her atheism.

Early in her writing practice, April set her narrative defaults to “lots of lesbians” and never looked back.

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and the store are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
parisa h taheri
With a classic superhero fix that would do Marvel proud and a protagonist that speaks from the heart, Dreadnought is the book you didn’t know your soul needed, but it answered just the same.

Sometimes the world is a bleak and terrifying place and so much seems hopeless. All we can do is fight through the darkness and stand strong in our convictions. Dreadnought is that quintessential story. The world can be a cruel place for those who are different and humanity can leave a lot to be desired. Dreadnought is a story of strength, hope, and perseverance, of embracing what you know in your heart and not letting anyone tell you different, despite the adversity and fear.

Danny (Danielle) Tozer has lived her life in a body she feels betrayed her. I’ve never had such a keen insight into a character and their emotions. Danny’s story reflects the boxes that our sex puts us in, the way that society pushes and crafts each child into perceived ideas of masculinity and femininity. Danny has always known she was female, despite being anatomically male. She talks about how she gradually was pushed out of a circle of girls that she was friends with, how she was pushed into sports, and what she was expected to act like to assume the role of a male. My heart broke a little more with each loss, because that’s what they are deaths. It didn’t matter if Danny wanted to hold her books is a “girly” way, she was criticized for being too feminine and forced to adjust even the smallest of her mannerisms for fear of reprimand, even if part of her was dying inside with each small defeat. It’s eye-opening. How many times are people dismissive? How many times do people say, what’s the big deal, it’s a choice, what’s it matter, just hold your books differently? When you’re hit with Danny’s emotions and how it’s slowly killing her inside to relinquish even the tiniest bit of herself to satisfy society’s need to dichotomize, it cuts deeply. It’s powerful and insightful and will make you see the world differently. A transgender superhero. This makes my heart happy.

Dangerous forms of masculinity and femininity are summarized in Danny’s parents. I felt sick and disgusted by the way Danny’s father treats her and the way her mother cowers. The verbal abuse is gut-wrenching. There are all sorts of abuse and words can be just as painful and damaging as physical blows. I felt rage and hatred, and so sad for Danny. All she wants is to be accepted for who she is and the people who are supposed to love her unconditionally cast her aside.

Throw in randomly gaining a superhero mantle on top of all this emotional turmoil. Obviously the adrenaline and emotions are high. The Legion is full of a diverse cast of superheroes that are both memorable, occasionally prejudiced, and super interesting.

Calamity. I LOVE HER. She’s a little clichéd, but that’s her schtick. She’s funny, reckless, smart, and daring. The way she accepts Danny right off the bat and befriends her is sort of serendipitous and heartwarming.

That being said, the world building was iffy. There were details just thrown in as explanation. Things weren’t clearly defined. They were more broad than anything.

Utopia’s plan for domination is creative and she’s complex as a villain. However, all of these plot points were piled on at once and a little much. There’s not much spacing. The reveal too was so in your face that it didn’t pack the punch it could have. Some of the action scenes were too step-by-step and lasted an abnormally long time. Not in the sense that they dragged, because the description was epic, but you kind of wanted them to hurry up so we could get to the next catastrophe.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
heather mccauley
Dreadnought was so much fun! Danny is the newest superhero after she witnesses Dreadnought die and he passes on his mantle to her. But her immediate reaction is that she finally has the body that she wants! A girl body! Danny is transgender, but has been keeping it to herself, because there’s no way that her parents would understand or accept her. Now, she looks the way she’s always wanted to look and everyone will see her the way she wants to be seen. And, oh yeah, she has amazing superpowers but no one can know about those.

I adored Danny! She’s a very different type of heroine that I’m use to. She doesn’t do this “woe is me, and I can’t do this” moaning and groaning when faced with a problem. But she’s also not the overly confident heroine who can do anything and everything and always come out on top. She knows for sure who she is and that is wonderful! She’s not going to let anyone take that away from her. She also wants to help people and does her best with her new, untried powers. She messes up, gets hurt, doesn’t mind asking for help, and generally felt believable. And she never gives up. She might not be sure how a situation will turn out, but she goes for it! No more hiding!

The pacing of Deadnought was a bit uneven though. It’s almost as if it’s in two parts, but I enjoyed both of them immensely. The first half or so is mostly about Danny coming into her new body. She’s so excited about it! Her father is not, and he says some very cruel things to her. Yes, Danny is hurt by it, but she presses on. She goes to school with her head held high and she smiles. Her supposed best friend takes her new body as his chance to finally have a girlfriend, but Danny puts him in his place and I applaud her for that! Plus, she’s gay. Danny even stands up to the rest of the superheros when they don’t all accept her the way she is! You go, girl!

Then the second half of Dreadnought is where all of the action is. Danny teams up with Calamity, a kind of vigilante, to stop the supervillain who killed the previous Dreadnought. Maybe having two teenage girls go after an unknown enemy isn’t the best idea, but they’re smart and figure things out. That’s not to say that things go smooth, because they definitely do not! But it was all very fun and exciting and heartstopping! The villain is very interesting.

Overall, I really enjoyed Dreadnought. The world-building is pretty good, and I adored our heroine and Calamity. I especially loved that ending and cannot wait for more!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rebecca eden
Oh my. This was fun! Danny is such a loveable and strong character, you just can't help yourself and love her. It's a fun and light superhero story but at the same time it's serious and thought-provoking.

The story follows Danny who is a girl in a boy's body but after the superhero Dreadnought dies in front of her and passes his power to her, Danny's body transforms into that of a girl. Now Danny has two lives to struggle with: her normal life and her superhero life.

In her normal life, Danny has to deal with the consequences of her body being transformed. Her dad is transphobe and tries to "make a man out of her", yells and screams at her and insults her. Her mom doesn't speak up for her either. Apart from problems at home, school life is also not easy. Her best friend David thinks just because she has a girl's body now he's entitled to date her but the fact is, Danny is gay and it's awesome.

Her superhero life is not all rainbows and sunshine either, unfortunately, as the members of the "Legion Pacifia" (the "good" superheroes) dismiss her because Danny is too young with her 15 years or because they are also transphobe, for example Graywytch. While the others are nice, like Valkyrja (whom Danny has a crush on) they don't take her really seriously.

Now, I've made it look like this book is very dark and while it has its dark aspect, it's also lighthearted. Danny has a fantastic friendship with Calamity, I love them together and each on their own. Calamity's Western persona is really cool and funny, the stuff she says had me laughing.
Another character, Doc Impossible, is awesome, too, and the only memeber of the Legion who really respects Danny and Doc Impossible is very cool for herself, too, she is one of the best.

As this is also a superhero novel, you would expect some action and you'll get it. But the most of it is towards the end of the book. And while I didn't mind the scenes without any action it was just a bit unbalanced in that aspect, so the pacing of the book was a bit bumpy, too.

Overall, this was an empowering and diverse ownvoices book, very enjoyable!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
megan roberts
I was lucky enough to get a Netgalley Arc of April Daniels debut novel Dreadnought. Dreadnought follows Danielle Tozer. Danielle accidentally stumbles upon a superhero and villain fight and ends up gaining new powers and the body that she has always wanted.

Danielle has a lot of self-doubts that she has to contend with throughout this story for a large part of it. A large part of that is because of the way her father treats her and always has. You can see how the way Danielle thinks about herself is linked to her father pretty early. When Danielle thinks she’s stupid for something she did or isn’t good enough to be a hero. It’s because that’s the way her father treats her and what he calls her often.

Danielle has some really strong moments in this story where she stands up for herself.Really early on. She is able to stand up for herself against the legion of superheroes.When her friend starts treating her differently. Then still can’t do the same with her father. I thought it was such an interesting relationship to see play out in this. She’s really been emotionally abused by her father for years and you see how much it affects her life.

The superheroes in this story have great names. Wonder how April Daniels came up with some of them. It’s a really great assortment of characters even the ones we don’t learn much about. I do wish we had learned more about the heroes in the legion. I really liked a few of them.Magma and Doc Impossible are the best. I loved them. I want them to be my mentors, please.

Danielle has such a great hero journey in this. It follows the motions of things you see in a lot of origin story comics for heroes. Her first big time-saving people is really amazing. I was so happy for her as she was doing it. You could tell right then that she should be a hero. Not because these powers fell into her lap but because she wants to help people. It’s kind of the reasons she got her powers in the first place. She’s not a person that can walk away when someone is hurting.

She also had some great team up moments with Calamity that every hero needs to have.Patrolling and investigating. She goes one on one with someone who has powers. She consistently is learning, getting better, and saving people throughout this. All while still having that self-doubt for a large part of the story. She doesn’t allow herself to feel like she is as special as she is.

The claiming of superhero colors was such a powerful moment in the story. I recently wrote about how the claiming of one’s name can be important in a review of a different book and I felt like Danielle’s finally deciding on her superhero colors and superhero name was that moment in this story. She’s claiming who she is.

There will be a second book and I’m excited to see what challenges Danielle faces next. Also really want to see where Calamity goes after what happens at the end of the book. More people should read this book and make fanart if you can. I can’t make fanart but I want to see fanart for this book so badly. Definitely, pick it up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
justin remer
Danny is trans and deep in the closet, trying to protect herself from her father's aggressive attempts to make her "man up." But while secretly painting her nails in a back alley, she gets caught in the crossfire of a superhero fight. When Dreadnought, one of the country's most famous heroes, passes away despite her first-aid, he passes his powers on to her. Now she looks like the girl she always wanted to be and has some pretty neat new talents, but being outed and forcibly-super-powered in the same day is a lot for a girl to deal with, and the new targets on her back could have devastating consequences for the city.

This was a very fun, quick read, with some emotional complexity you might not expect from a superhero tale. There are not too many genre fiction stories featuring trans characters, so this book stands out in that respect immediately. The author spends a lot of time with Danny in her head, as she is quite isolated, so the reader gets an in-depth look at how she is feeling and attempting to handle the situations that she encounters. We end up knowing a lot about her, and I could see it being very encouraging to trans teens to read about those experiences in a superhero tale rather than the too-typical "issue book" where we are just supposed to feel sorry for a character who seems created to be miserable.

It's a YA tale, and sometimes that feels a little too obvious. The intensity of the school and family drama could be a little much for me, (although her father was a little chillingly too realistic at times!) and most of the characters aren't particularly unique. We've seen a version of most of these folks before, and the heroes in particular sometimes feel too close to some well-known comic characters, leading to a little bit of a fanfic feel. The plot sometimes wobbled and got a little bogged down, but always got back on track before long.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dila hanim
Danny Tozer is painting his toenails red when the superhero Dreadnought falls in front of him. He is with his best friend when he finds the medal that will make him Dreadnought. As it makes him Dreadnought, he turns into a girl. He has been wishing he was a girl as he always thought of himself being female not male. Danny is happy but fears dad's reaction as dad has been trying to make him a man.dad is horrified and tells Danny "don't worry, we'll get you back to being a boy." So many things are happening to Danny, that what will she decide to do. She has to decide if she should train with the local superhero organization, Legion Pacifica. She ends up learning about fighting from someone who isn't a member of the organization. Her name is Calamity Jane. She tells Dreadnought not to join Legion Pacifica. Why? As Dreadnought she knows, she will have to avenge the former Dreadnought's death.

There is so much more to this coming of age story. Danny is trans. When she turns into a girl as she wanted, she had to deal with all the changes in her life -- at school, home, Legion Pacifica and discovering who she really is. The author made Dreadnought a great superhero. What I liked is that the choices we make do have consequences -- some turn out good and some not good. I am looking forward to reading the next book!

Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book free from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I was not obliged to write a favorable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brendab
This is inclusive, gripping young adult fiction at it's best. The start lulls you into a false sense of security and ease, after the first few chapters I thought the biggest struggle in this book would be some superhero lessons and dealing with the fallout at school and home of coming out as trans.

But no, before you know what's happening she's discovering that one of the superhero team is a deadnaming, misgendering TERF, another might be gay but is all too happy to throw Danny under the bus as long as he gets what he wants, and the Legion really doesn't care about people with special abilities who kill, harass, and blackmail unless there's an incident big enough to require a news chopper.

You're pulled along this emotional ride as she suffers unending abuse in a toxic family situation, watching her best friend walk away as she gets "othered" for daring to be honest about who she is, and all while deathly scared that whatever killed the person who powered her up could be still out there looking for her.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stick
What would you do if one day you became a super power and a different gender all in one moment? Well after a few moments, since such transformations take time, you would deal with your trans-phobic parents, decide if you want to become a superhero, and still attend high school.

By seeing the world through Danny’s eyes, we are able to witness her transitions, her emotional breakthroughs and breakdowns. We feel the hurtful words that her parents throw at her and feel the way they permeate her mind and damage her self-confidence. (Just a quick note on this, there is a lot of trans-phobia and hate language that is thrown at Danny) She is a complex character going through a challenging period of major changes. Her superhero transformation is mirrored by her coming to terms with her identity. At moments funny, others heartbreaking, and others making us raise our fist, her journey and perspective remain enlightening the whole novel through. And it gets better because her sidekick is also diverse and with an intricate backstory too!

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jed john edwards
Heard this book mentioned at the 2018 SF Worldcon at a panel about books that deserved to make the Hugo voting list. I am not sure it is Hugo material but it is a good book and should be on the recommended reading list for young T people thought most importantly for T girls. The action hero plot should keep the younger kids entertained as Danny's life grows but doesn't become perfect thru the story. Someone complained some of the characters are stereotypes. Very true but so aren't most action heroes? This book should also prepare young Ts about how friends and associates around them could react with a new (to the observer) gender revelation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
yara eisa
In a world where there are now superheros and super villains, 15 year old Danny is a boy who wants to be a girl. When he is an unwitting witness to the death of a superhero named Dreadnought, she gets her wish, a female body, along with superpowers and the choice of what to do next . Her father is abusive and very much against her being transgender and her mother is unable to stand up to him. There is prejudice against her being transgender even among the superhero community so though she now has the body she has always wanted, some things have not changed. She befriends another girl who calls herself Calamity, who fights against evil whether it is outside of the government or within it, and begins to learn more about the superhero community and the evil villain who killed Dreadnought. I like that Danny has to overcome her own fears and learn to use her powers and chose whether to use them for good or not. This book is a fun read and I think teens will enjoy it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emmie
PLOT SPOILER IN THIS REVIEW: It's NOT a spoiler to say that Danny is transgender, since we find out in the very first pages. She is miserably unhappy, hiding her truth from everybody when Bam! the superhero world bangs into hers, and she not only gets her own set of powers, she gets her dream (SPOILER HERE!)--to have the girl's body that matches who she is. It's much more complicated than this, and one of the best things about the book is how seamlessly and beautifully the author weaves all the complexities and layers into the action plot of Danny learning to use her powers and to make choices about how and for whom she WILL use them. Everything Danny learns on this path impact her emotional journey, and everything on her emotional journey impacts her decisions as a superhero. Absolutely perfect in character arcs AND plot.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
voltin
I found Dreadnought because I am big time into superheroes. When I stumbled upon Ms. Daniels via Twitter and discovered that I'd get to read my first trans superhero story, I jumped at the chance. And I'm extremely pleased I did.

Ms. Daniels creates a vibrant world of world shaking problems between superheroes and villains that exists perfectly alongside problems that are world shaking to an individual teenager. The old guard of superheroes are well meaning but kind of square people who take their jobs seriously while also feeling besieged by their choices. It's a nuanced worldbuilding choice that I haven't seen in other superhero media recently. And the empowerment of the the lead character both in terms of superpowers and personal power was both heart wrenching and inspiring, sometimes at the exact same time.

If there's any downside to the book at all, it's that the action scenes don't read as cinematically as I'd prefer in my superhero fiction. But considering the personal drama is so much higher than the action drama, this is barely an issue.

I highly recommend this book to superhero fans, especially if they're, like me, trying to break out of the usual cishet male superhero stories.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
claw
'Dreadnought' was something I picked up on a whim, and ended up reading the entire thing in one afternoon. Turns out, superhero empowerment fantasy and trans coming-out narrative work really well together, and the character's joy at having the body she wants, and the powers she discovers with it, are really a delight to read. A thing that really spoke to me, too, was the abusive family dynamics and the emotional pitfalls those left in her; this felt like an all-too-real part of the world, even in a setting where so many problems can be solved by punching them. Here's hoping for a sequel to this story, and more adventures to come.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
julianne wey
So far, this is the best book I've read this year!

I love the main character, Danny. This kid has problems, but she handles them in a pretty mature way, especially considering every crazy thing going on in her life at once. The world is strangely believable, even with the magic, heroes, and super villains everywhere. Her abrupt transition, the way her friends and family react to her, is tragic and so true to life.

If you love superheroes, YA, coming-of-age stories, and LGBTQ characters, this is the next book you MUST read.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
caitlin corrieri
I loved so much about this story, so I'll try to be both brief and coherent. No promises, though. And just before we get started I want to emphasize that this is an ownvoices book - which is something that I think comes through in Danny's character. Just want to make sure as many people know that as possible. Now, onto the review!

Danny is such a fresh and fantastic voice. Trans, lesbian, and a superhero, and I think every one of those identifiers is handled equally, while it is also clear that these are not her only attributes. She is powerful and weak, brave and utterly terrified. And I loved her for all of it.

This book also did such an excellent job of balancing the types of people that Danny encounters after she gets the body she wants - not to mention an incredible set of superpowers. She has people who are fiercely in her corner and are utterly accepting of her. These characters intentionally reach out in any way they can to help Danny to feel comfortable. They make sure she has the clothes she wants, or offer her support when she can't find it elsewhere. But Danny also has a fair amount of more terrible people to deal with. And when I say terrible people, I'm not talking about the full-on supervillain.

Danny is (sadly) not free from transphobia once she transitions. She has spent a lot of her life being hyper-masculinized by her emotionally abusive father, and I want to make sure I offer the warning that he throws a lot of slurs Danny's way throughout the book. Not only that, but she also has to deal with frequent misgendering by a trans-exclusionary feminist. To me, she came across as occasionally more villainous than the villain of the book does. She was vile. Feminism that doesn't include trans women is pointless and deeply horrifying, and the TERF character in this story disgusted me. Which is exactly what she was supposed to do.

And!!! The side characters are also super diverse. There are multiple side characters of color, one of whom is latinx and who I adore. There are also multiple side queer characters. I'm hoping for possibly more side queer characters going into the next book that have a more central role in Danny's life, but ultimately I loved the collection of characters we got in this book so I am still super pleased.

The worldbuilding was fantastic. I loved the chapters we get when characters talk about superhero tech, as that is one of my favorite elements of superhero stories. There was also (and this is such a small scene I feel silly for mentioning it except that it was hysterical) this fantastic section that was CLEARLY calling out Batman and his completely ridiculous eccentricities. This scene happens at the beginning of the book and I think it sets the tone for how a lot of the superhero stuff is handled. This story isn't silly, but it does embrace some of the ridiculousness that comes inherently with people who have super powers and wear costumes to fight crime.

Overall, I loved so much about this book. It was fast-paced, well-balanced, and Danny was a force of nature as a main character. I cannot wait to see how she develops moving forward into the next book in the series, and how the world around her shifts as well.

Remember when I said I would be brief? Oops.

So TL;DR... this book was fantastic and I highly encourage you to pick it up. Plus keep a lookout for the sequel because it comes out in just six months and I will 100% be getting my hands on it as soon as I can.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
matt stillerman
#ownvoices trans girl superhero! Woohoo! Loved the concept a lot. Danny was a great MC, and I enjoyed her friendly (maybe more???) relationship with the "gray" caper Calamity.

The book has a loooooot of slurs and emotional violence directed right at Danny for being trans. While I appreciated the story of a girl overcoming the voices who put her down, it made me very frustrated that the ones who supported her ended up being punished and the biggest aggressors walked away scot-free.

Maybe this will be resolved in the next book, but I don't think I will be reading it. Just hurt *me* too much to get through this. Others, including trans girls, may find a lot of hope here.

***e-ARC provided by NetGalley***
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mary anne
This book is just plain well-written and fun to read. I'm a sucker for pretty much any superhero metafiction - The Tick, Venture Brothers, Steelheart, recent Marvel movies - so I probably would have liked it even if it weren't a tightly plotted page-turner. I found the explanations the author came up with for the less believable superhero tropes particularly satisfying and fun. As a cis woman who is bored with reading about teen boy protagonists, I really enjoyed having a trans teen girl as the main character and getting to see the world through her eyes.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
stevensj
Do you ever feel like a book isn't meant for you?

This book wasn't meant for me. It's an important story, but not mine. 

Danny is transgender, not a protagonist prospective I've had the pleasure of reading a story from before (and I cannot say whether this representation was done well or not). And while I enjoyed this book to a degree, the delivery wasn't engaging. I never connected fully with Danny, nor the rest of the cast. They fell flat beyond a few key details when there was the potential to real bring them alive. 

Nor was I a huge fan of the superhero world created. And a lot of it was because there wasn't enough. The world works as it stands, a bit out there much like you would expect from a superhero comic but it's a bit empty beyond that. I wanted more substance, more explanation, for the world, to see it as more than just the background music in a crowded restaurant.

The whole comic vibe could have worked, I think. In fact, I'd love to see this book as a graphic novel. But I found the pacing all over the place. This book addresses a number of issues and I think it's an important story to have out in the world but as a source of entertainment (which is generally why I read over anything else). 

Honestly, I feel like I really don't have much to say about Dreadnought. This book wasn't for me, wasn't written for me, and I didn't find it as entertaining as I had hoped. 
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rahat huda
I don't even like superhero stories, but I absolutely devoured this and cannot wait for the next book in the series.

A word of warning, Daniels does not hold back in depicting the dangers and abuses faced by teen trans girls. The idea of suicide comes up on the very 2nd page. Then you have the insistence of her family that she be other than what she is, the combined hypersexualization and threat of sexual violence coming from male peers, the virulent transmisogyny of goddess-worshipping witches, being taken advantage of by other queers who claimed to be your friends.. So much of it feels so REAL to what my trans friends talk about on a day to day basis, it felt like the author was speaking directly to me and what my loved ones experience.

Sounds like a lot, and it is. But Daniels works it all into the narrative seamlessly, and she keeps the story from becoming bleak in several ways. First (and so hugely important), Danny gets her ideal physical shape. And she gets superpowers: strength, speed, invulnerability. So while all of the horrible above things are going on, she is also the happiest she has ever been. No one can (physically) force her to do anything she does not want to do, and she never again has to fear not having bodily autonomy. Second, she makes a friend who completely supports her and who's also a 'cape,' who helps her find joy both in being a girl and being a superhero.

Ultimately, Dreadnought deals with some pretty heady matters: finding it in oneself to serve a humanity that treats one like scum; the longlasting trauma caused by emotional abuse even when you're physically invulnerable; what your recourse is when everyone who is supposed to protect and mentor you is some degree of clueless or unwilling; and most of all, how to find a place of your own and guard your own self-interest in a world where things don't separate neatly into distinct moral camps and there are conflicting perspectives, agendas, and accounts.

Not to mention there are way badass mecha battles with explosions galore, for those who like that kind of thing :D
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sheri wallace
This book is phenomenal. It's a breath of fresh air. It's superhero fantasy mixed with queer YA. Danny is a closeted trans girl who gets caught up in a superhero fight. The altercation somehow gives her superpowers and transforms her into what she's always wanted to be: a physical female. Now she has to figure out how to explain the change to her friends and family all while keeping the powers a secret.

There's tons of transphobia/xenophobia/general biogtry in the book that Danny encounters (and sometimes battles). She is a lesbian trans woman, so she faces a fair share of harassment/disrespect, (mostly from friends and family) but for the most part, she shuts it all down hard.

I loved the growth of Danny throughout the book. She is thrown into the fire (literally at one point) and comes out stronger for it. And she had her new best friend (Calamity) and "gay aunt character" (Doc Impossible) to help her along the way.

I was moved quite a lot by this book because a lot of it hit close to home. I'm a pansexual trans woman. I have a mostly supportive family, so I'm not in the same boat as Danny there, but a lot of her fears were my fears. A lot of her thoughts were my thoughts.

REPRESENTATION MATTERS.

This book shows that trans people are capable of saving the world just like cis people. As are gay people. Cishets are fine and good, but have been on the main stage for far too long. Give us queer folk a chance to save the world now! We got this!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
helmut
I absolutely recommend this to any tweens, teens, or adults who are looking for solid superhero YA that hits a lot of really good themes worthy of representation and discussion. It was a really engaging, fast-paced read. It was good to read a book with a trans main character was well written and that had a lot of really good moments with Danny dealing with the ramifications of gaining her powers personally, professionally, and with other's reactions to her. David's reaction in particular was very upsetting to me, even though as an adult I could see it coming. Not surprising at all, and yet heartbreaking for Danny. On the superhero side, it was a fairly usual origin story that was handled deftly enough to be engaging and enjoyable - not clunky or too complicated. I am going to start the sequel immediately because there's a lot to deal with from the character's perspective and from within her superhero group
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zeus2
Wow, this was... so good. It surprised me. It's rare that I devour a book as quickly as I did this one. It has a first person narrative that is so intimate and raw; I really felt like I was in Danny's head, and I believe that's what sucked me in. She's so easy to connect with and root for.

A warning, though, especially for potential transgender readers: This is NOT a stress-free read. Danny encounters a lot of awful anti-trans treatment, and the slurs and insults are on page. Moments are infuriating. But it's also a very empowering story, so as long as you feel you're in a place you can handle that kind of stuff, I really recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
krista guenther
In Dreadnought: Nemesis - Book One the crossing of a superhero origin with a transgender coming out tale worked brilliantly. The way others treat Danny, after her change, is anywhere from uplifting for the understanding to horrifying for the bigotry, hate, and blind, stupid prejudice.

The plot is well thought out, suspenseful, and scary, and the action... April Daniels writes superhero action that is as entertaining as comic-book fight scenes have ever been.

This book? It's just plain WONDERFUL!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie paige ogburn
I’ve never, ever been into superhero comics, books, movies, or TV shows, but I was SO into this coming-of-age novel, which features a 15-year-old lesbian trans girl protagonist. Dreadnought is an exciting story with a healthy dose of humor. However, it also thoughtfully tackles some very serious issues, most notably, toxic/abusive family dynamics that too many trans kids have to deal with once they decide to transition. We need more books like this! This is the kind of story that creates empathetic readers: Yes, it’s entertaining and funny, but it’s also heartwrenching, thoughtful, and empowering.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tammy perlmutter
I surprisingly enjoyable book. I picked it up entirely on a whim, but found myself drawn in by the characters and story.

The main complaint I would have is that some of the antagonists are a little bit to much of a one dimensional caricature, a bit to much jackass just for the sake of being a jackass who can be hated.

That said, I've already picked up the sequel and look forward to spending some time with it this weekend.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nadia
I've never read a superhero novel before, and good grief, this was a fantastic first one to read. I loved Danny and felt like I could relate to her thought processes when trying to decide what color/kind of cape to be. She was in such an unfortunate family situation, and she was so beautifully written to exhibit signs of abuse that I was insanely proud of her when she stood up to her parents. And Calamity! What a killer secondary character! I just loved the whole thing, and I can't wait for the second installment in the series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gydle
I really liked Danny's voice, and I appreciated that she had to work through feelings of cowardice, whether and why she wanted to be a superhero, etc. It was interesting to see how growing into being Dreadnought interacted with her (very sudden) transition.

Calamity/Sarah is my *favorite*, and I would like to see much more of her.

The mechanics of Danny's powers are also really interesting, and while she's figured out how to use them, it feels like there could be a lot more. I'm looking forward to that.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
c d sweitzer
You know when you’re reading a book and you’re trying to formulate some form of coherent thought so you can figure out what to write in your review? And you realise you’ve got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?

Dreadnought is not that kind of book.

Dreadnought is the kind of book I would love to talk more about. It’s by no means a perfect book, but it’s an important one, especially in our time of day. The main character is transgender and queer, who just happens to stumble upon a crazy set of superpowers, and it’s the coolest thing in the world. Except for when she turns into a physical girl, the girl she always wanted to be – the girl she’s always been in her mind – and then that is the coolest thing in the world. I’m not quite sure which is cooler, but thankfully both things happened in the book so I don’t have to choose.

Danny being transgender isn’t the main part of the plot – the main plot is superheroes. But between all the Spandex and things that go boom, it still finds one of the most important transgender notions at heart: that genetics don’t equal destiny. Here’s Danny suddenly being able to deadlift trucks in her spare time, but she also has to deal with ignorant parents and losing her best friend. There were a lot of things that, I think, trans girls could really relate to and find comfort in.

The superheroes are just icing on the cake, really. It's reminiscent of Marvel and The Incredibles.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading it. Danny was a really likeable main character (she’s also very responsible – even when given superpowers, she still finds time to go to school); the writing was easy to read (even when my tired mind goes droop and doesn’t register anything); and there was plenty of action. I mean, the story starts with the biggest superhero of all time dying right in front of Danny, so, you know, that’s the kind of world we’re living in.

The reason I’m not giving it a higher rating is because it felt lacking in other aspects. The thing about action-packed books is they tend to dull my mind after a while and leave me gasping for some more story. I also would have liked to see more of the other superheroes. They stayed kind of two-dimensional (with a few exceptions, like Calamity and Doctor Impossible) and didn’t do anything for the story. Even in the final fight, Danny remained a one-man show, and I like to see protagonists needing help from friends and such. I like seeing that even all-powerful characters can’t do everything alone.

Thank you NetGalley / Diversion Books for providing me with a copy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristen leal
I needed this book so much. The superhero bits were excellent and the action was really well written. But what struck me the most were the scenes that explored the main character's transness. As a trans woman myself, so much of what she went through fighting to be seen and to exist as her true self resonated with me. It's so great to see alternate versions of specific things I've gone through myself. I just don't get to see my story in media very often and it was a joy to see myself reflected back like this!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
natalie senderowicz
This was awesome. The two parts of this, the superhero origin story and the trans coming of age story, were both interesting and they worked well together.

To me (a cis girl, so obviously not an expert), the thoughts and feelings of our trans protagonist felt very real and honest. The pure knowledge that she was supposed to be a girl and the emotional reactions to things like wearing clothes designed for girls were great. The doubt and the self hate caused by her dad and society seemed realistic in a very painful way. I love that the author didn't shy away from showing what people's judgements and verbal abuse can do to someone's self worth, but it definitely did hurt. My heart broke for Danny. It did also frustrate me at times, because I just wanted her to yell back at her dad and break free. Really, I just wanted her to be happy, because I'm sappy like that.

Danny wasn't the only wonderful character, though. I loved Doc Impossible and Magma and Calamity. Just a great cast of characters.

The superhero part was fun and engaging. I loved Danny getting to know her powers and doing awesome heroic stuff. There wasn't much of an explanation for where all the superpowers came from, it seems to just be a constant in the world, but I hope we find out more in the next book(s). As far as magic systems go, though, I loved the idea of the lattice overlaying the world. That was cool and a great way of visualising magic. The plot with Utopia was interesting and kick ass and eventually kinda creepy. I like how it progressed and all the turns it took (view spoiler) and I'm looking forward to getting into the overarching plot of the series. (Duology? Trilogy? I'm hoping for a lot of books!) Definitely recommend this book if you like superhero books (with fantastic, diverse characters)!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jill timmons
What a fantastic book! Not only did it align with all of my interests (superheroes, interesting world-building, LGBT main characters), but was also fantastically written. I loved all of the characters, major and minor, especially the main character, Danielle. Danny is one of the best heroes I've read lately. She's determined, brave, so strong, but is still fighting to overcome internalized self-hatred and stand up against those who can't accept her. I absolutely can't wait for the sequel!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tammi
This book was absolutely astonishing! I loved every bit of it. The plot starts quickly and it hooks you right away. There's multiple fight scenes throughout the book that send chills up your spine. You get to know Danny so well as a person, and even without relating to her experiences you can feel her emotion. There are so many suspenseful plot twists and cliff hangers that you can't put this book down. The side characters are so diverse you can not ignore them. (Most of them) are great people and supportive to Danny and help her throughout a tough time. The villains are also unique and diverse. One might be a "friend" from school while another might be a manipulative super villain trying to conquer the world. I can't get enough of the storyline. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who loves superheroes and exciting plots.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joshua o neil
I HAVE NO WORDS. I love this book so much my heart aches omg. EVERYTHING IS PERFECT AND NOTHING HURTS.

Yay:
- Trans woman MC named Danny aka badass aka don't mess with her or I'll hurt you. This is also #ownvoices!!
- SHE'S IS A FREAKING SUPERHERO
- It's a world where superheroes are mainstream, if only!
- The plot? AMAZING. Stabby superhero stuff plus a few contemporary issues like growing up transgender, sexism, homophobia, and being a teenager in general.
- CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT WAS ON POINT
- Magnificent villain! Female friendships! Girl power! I can go on forever!

Nay:
- Not a thing

Just a little warning: there's a few transphobic characters that use slurs and misgender Danny on purpose so keep that in mind if it can trigger you.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
tosit agarwal
I wanted to like this book, but I have to admit, I was extremely disappointed. In no particular order, these are a few of the reasons I can't support this book:
-For a book that's been praised for its so-called progressive elements, the author seems to have no issue with reinforcing sexist stereotypes (the protagonist, Danielle, claims that she's more emotional after her body's feminizing transformation, and implies women feel emotions more powerfully than men; this is one example, but certainly not the only instance of this).
-The writing is decent, but the plot is basic and clearly secondary.
-This is a book with no characters. Everyone is either a strawman or a mouthpiece. The most blatant example of this is the character Graywytch, which is one of the most disgusting anti-feminist strawman caricatures I've ever seen. This goes so far at some points that it pushes the boundaries of realism; I can't imagine anyone speaking the way this character speaks, especially to a fifteen year old. The author simply seems to have a massive chip on her shoulder and apparently the editor never told her to tone it down.
-Poor handling of topics such as gender, socialization, and privilege.
-The good moments just weren't good enough to outweigh the toxic moments.

We definitely need more books by, for, and about LGBT people, but Dreadnought is not a step forward. I hope someday we have so many diverse books by Own Voices authors that Dreadnought is no longer uncritically praised as an empowering book. It's really not.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
qon8e
As soon as I heard about Dreadnought, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I mean, superheroes AND a trans girl as the lead? Sign me the heck up for that. And I'm so incredibly glad I got the chance to read it.
Despite my occasional confusion, I still really enjoyed Dreadnought. If you enjoy superhero stories like the Avengers and Ms. Marvel, then you should definitely check this out. I can't wait to read the next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
phil martin
An emotionally true story of being trans and dealing with transmisogyny, transphobia, and cissexism while super-powered. By showing that she still experiences all of this even while having the greatest superpowers in her world, trans people can relate and identify with the protagonist while maybe cis people might understand that bigotry is not erased by even the greatest privileges. Or, cis people might not, because this book has enough to say to trans people that it ultimately doesn't matter if cis people get it. This is unapologetic trans literature and very welcome.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sanjay
A very brilliant way to examine the power set for a newbie Super and explore the perils of being transgender. An excellent read, and I'm looking forward to more books in this series, as there's a lot of potential to build on from this book. The looming threats never go away, and I thoroughly enjoyed how fight scenes were portrayed. Very well written. This series has a big fan for sure.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nandipha
Great writing, great world setup, great action, and I love the main character. And Calamity! Even if they didn't both have LGBTQ protagonists dealing with prejudice, I would still compare this to Hero by Perry Moore. If you liked that, try this one! (And if you like this one, try that one!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jess cain
I'm sure this is everything I need right now. And the author is right both with abuse and identity--naming something means you finally get to do something about it. Thank you, April, from the bottom of my little trans lesbian heart.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
barbara valente
I loved this book. It was so good. One of the best superhero books I've read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
venus
I really liked this book. I hope it is the start of a long series. I can't wait to see how this world builds out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hannah betz
This made me feel both empowered and happy, both from the sheer joy that Danny feels at her transformation and her journey to emancipation from her abusive parents' household. And on top of that, she kicks ass!!! Loved it :D
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amelia wimmer
A well-done fantasy as Danny unexpectedly finds herself with superpowers. On another level, a deeply moving story of a transgender teen discovering herself, and dealing with the sometimes painful reactions of other people in her life. Every character is well drawn, and the plot twists left me eagerly awaiting the sequel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan b
This is an incredibly solid first novel, with an immediately likeable main character, plots that use tropes expertly without being cliche, and exciting action sequences. I'm 33, and read every word with engagement and anticipation, then went on to buy the sequel immediately.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gretchen parker
I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked all tthe characters, and ESPECIALLY how the superpowers were explained.
However, the only (kinda) complaint I have is that the middle was kind of slow, but that may have just been me; that's the only reason why I'm not giving it 5 stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meredith milne
This book is so good. Exciting, heartful, funny, and overall a real page-turner. So grateful to be reading a super hero story about a trans character by a trans author. Yes! Rock on April Daniels and Danny. <3
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ryan wilcoxen
It's incredible. Seriously, it is. It matches very strongly my experience of being a trans woman, and is damn fine superhero fiction to boot. I want to read a Dreadnought ongoing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
somer
The main character's voice propels the story and the fast pace keep the reader breathless as they hang on for the ride.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marquitta
Loved it! And important POV on an issue where a lot of people could use the extra perspective, and a really fun superhero story, too. Danny is a touching, tough, competent, if not confident, heroine for the story, and one I'm eager to share with other readers I know.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cecie browne
Loved it!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kate goldyn
Seemed a bit pointless to have the MC trans when the power made the MC into a full on female. The story could've just started off with the MC female to begin with and nothing important would've changed. It just looks like the whole trans thing was rammed in there to make up for bad character development and as a cheap plot device. It also seems like the moral of the story is to not fix or confront your issues but instead wait for the solution to LITERALLY drop from the sky and resolve it all for you. As far as hero novel go it's fairly average so I don't know what the deal is with all these 5 stars. I think they are just there to virtue signal about how they support the LGBT community rather than rating the novel on its merits.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
natalie ziskind
Let me preface with the necessary invocation when negatively reviewing a book on such a topic, "I wanted to like this book, but." And now I have invoked the magical phrase, lets get down to the review proper.

This book has an interesting premise, that I can't say is misused, because for it to be misused it would have to in some way material way appear in this book. Instead this book is rather shallow & the plot is not so much a plot as much as a pretext for the misery porn that makes up this collection of interpersonal interactions with bigots.

Seriously, every other character seems to be just a mouth piece for silly straw-man oppositions to the idea of transgender people, a thin character sketch of the assumed stereotypical bigot that appears in this sub genre of misery porn.

At no point is this book in any way enjoyable, at no point does the plot get interesting, nor will you feel yourself sucked in to the narrative, nor is there any real exploration of the setting either in it's superhero aspect, or it's civilian aspect, which is honestly just there as the pretext for the execution of the misery porn.

And lets be clear, both of those aspects have been done with the concept of "oops I changed gender" in narrative media before & they've all managed to still be to some degree, entertaining.

But here's the thing, this book isn't meant to be entertaining to real people, it does what all misery porn does, it's message fiction, which exists to preach to the choir of people who self describe as "Woke." This book exists to tell them that "you don't believe these strawman arguments I've put in the mouth of the bigoted people, hence you are morally superior to people who don't agree with us."
Please Rate Dreadnought: Nemesis - Book One
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