Dreadnought by April Daniels (Nemesis #1)
Published by Diversion Books on Jan. 24th, 2017
Genres: Superheroes, YA
Page Length: 276 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world's greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, she was trying to keep people from finding out she's transgender. But then her second-hand superpowers transformed her 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 between her father's dangerous obsession with curing her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he's entitled to date her, and the classmate who is secretly a masked vigilante, Danny's first weeks living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.
She doesn't have much time to adjust. Dreadnought's murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, still haunts the streets of New Port City. If Danny can't sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.
Note: I received an advanced copy of Dreadnought from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
- I immediately grabbed Dreadnought when I heard that it starred a trans female main character in speculative fiction! I can tell you the number of books with trans MAIN characters that I’ve been able to find in mainstream spec fic on one hand. Since Dreadnought is also #ownvoices in that April Daniels is a trans woman and active in trans rights on social media. This is the best introduction to what it is like being a trans teen that I have found. It’ll hurt at times, but I am very glad to have been able to look through Danny’s eyes.
- Superheroes! I will always enjoy a light super hero story and the world of Dreadnought was a nice mix of new ideas and familiar themes. Danny’s powers as Dreadnought are really interesting and involve being able to see the matrix of space itself and therefore manipulate it in useful ways.
- Supervillains! Where there are heroes, we need villains. Since this is a world where super powers are accepted and established, there is a whole history of supervillains and ‘greycapes’ that fall somewhere in between. I loved the treatment of villains in the story, in that they thought they were doing the right thing in their twisted view of the world.
- F/F ship! Danny loses a friend early on in the story (and I just want to punch him), but she gains a new super friend and she is AWESOME. There must be romance, pleeeaaaaaaase!!!
- There was something that just didn’t work for me as we got to the climax of this story. I think the action didn’t feel emotional enough because I knew Danny would make it and I didn’t care about anyone else involved. Yes, hundreds of people are dying, but I don’t know them sooooooo. I ended up getting bored of the action since it went on for a while after I had emotionally disengaged.
- Talking about this while avoiding spoilers is going to be a bit tricky. In the final battle, there is at least one person who has a supersuit. They are a quad-amputee full limb as far as Danny can tell. They are torn out of their suit and left to wait until someone finds them. This person is a henchman, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling REALLY uncomfortable with this treatment of disability and it is something I anticipate really bothering others as well. Just goes to show that marginalized voices won’t necessarily get everything right in regards to other marginalizations.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Dreadnought by April Daniels
© 2017, Anya. All rights reserved.