Monday, July 10, 2017

Dreadnought (Nemesis #1) by April Daniels - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Diversion Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Dreadnought (Nemesis #1)
Author: April Daniels
Recent Release Date: January 24, 2017

Synopsis: Danny 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 much 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.


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!