Dreadnought (Nemesis #1)
by April Daniels
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.
4.5 of 5 Stars
This book touched on so many different issues within the realm of fantasy it would have been easy for it to become confusing. The storyline covers emotional abuse, race and class issues, rape culture, sexism, and LGBTQ issues. I relished in this book because of the fact that all too often the fantasy genre is filled with a certain type of character (white, cisgendered, heterosexual). I love the huge step into diversity this story took and love even more that it did it so well.
Danny isn’t a character that I connected with right away. The more I got to know her the more I felt for her, especially after meeting her family. I can’t imagine facing the challenges she does on a daily basis. In the story itself, it’s like she gets her ultimate wish – she finally looks on the outside exactly how she’s always felt on the inside. What was eye opening for me were the various issues this brought up that I hadn’t even really thought of before. I appreciated this peek into her life and the education it gave me. I am curious as to how accurate the portrayal of her transgender issues are to those in real life. Obviously, in real life, no one gets a wish granted like this which only makes it worse. I think about how a character like Danny would have survived if she’d not been given this golden ticket out of her circumstances.
When I finished this book I was in awe. I felt like I’d just read the origin story of a superhero I can’t wait to get to know more. I can easily see this becoming a tv series right up there with SuperGirl, the Flash, and the many others on Netflix. I’m looking forward to this as a series and will be sure to check future books out.
Thank you to Diversion Books for providing me with a free copy of this galley in exchange for my honest review.