- Series: Nemesis (Book 1)
- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Diversion Publishing (January 24, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1682300684
- ISBN-13: 978-1682300688
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dreadnought: Nemesis - Book One Paperback – January 24, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—While many teenagers have a challenging time dealing with school and peer pressure, for 15-year-old Danny Tozer, life is a little more complicated. For starters, she is transgender and living in a world where superheroes and supervillains exist. When Danny unexpectedly becomes the recipient of popular superhero Dreadnought's mantle, the superpowers also transform her body into the female one she has always identified with. Because Danny is not yet an adult, the Legion of Superheroes is divided on how to approach her unique situation. Her father is in denial that his son is now his daughter, and has been verbally abusive toward Danny. A promise of romance adds a further layer when Danny's best friend wants to date her. There are some violent fight scenes when Danny sets off to find Dreadnought's killer. There are also some light moments that offset the deeper questions about establishing identity. VERDICT This first title in the series offers a rich, unusual mix of subjects and themes for fantasy fans.—Vivian Ho, Port Washington Public Library, NY
“I didn’t know how much I needed this brave, thrilling book until it rocked my world. Dreadnought is the superhero adventure we all need right now.”―Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky
“A thoroughly enjoyable, emotionally rich, action-packed story with the most exciting new superheroes in decades. Unmissable.”―Kirkus Starred Review
“…A fascinating exploration of gender identity in a fantastical setting.”―Publishers Weekly
“This first title in the series offers a rich, unusual mix of subjects and themes for fantasy fans.”―School Library Journal
“I’m not normally a fan of superhero narratives, and then I find an exception that grabs me by the throat and makes me love it. Dreadnought is one of those exceptions.” ―Liz Bourke, Tor.com
“Dreadnought is a coming-of-age story: it’s all about Danny coming to terms with her own power and her own agency, not just as a superhero, but as a person (and as a person who chooses to be a superhero), and it’s one that doesn’t shy away from consequences, either. People get hurt, sometimes badly―sometimes killed, and it’s this willingness to highlight the fact that standing up doesn’t come without real cost that gives Dreadnought its real heart.”―Locus Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
This book contains several sequences of great superhero action (the airplane rescue and the fight against the mechas really stand out as pulse-pounding, fist-pumping action sequences), but it also focuses a lot on Danny's (pretty rough) social life, capturing with really pitch-perfect gut-wrenching nuance how hard it is to be trans in high school, especially when you're going home to systematic psychological abuse.
But because Danny's a good old-fashioned hero, with a sort of unwavering decency that carries her through all the problems the world throws at her, through rabid TERFs and wavering allies and friends lost and found and the occasional world-ending supervillain.
Anyways seriously you should go read it.
The story itself was pretty fun. Exciting, because it's usually dragons and mermaids for me. It lagged a bit because I was more interested in the Legion than nights out with Calamity, but eventually she grew on me and I saw the bigger picture of bringing the ending to a close. Overall, a story definitely worth checking out.
The book does a lot of building up to the finale but I didn't mind that too much. It's the first book in a series, so is setting the stage for characters and their motivations, and when the action happens it's vivid and blood pumping.
A few have described this book as ham-fisted or preachy but I think that criticism is a bit unfair. If you're not familiar with trans experiences, some of the characters do seem a bit larger than life. However the unfortunate reality is that these almost cartoonishly bigoted people are far more common than many cis people like to acknowledge.
Ultimately I feel like Daniels was setting out to write a power fantasy for trans women, who so often end up as tragic figures. She succeeded beautifully and I'm eagerly waiting for the next volume to be announced.
In her debut novel, April Daniels creates a colorful and fun world filled with superhuman abilities that is still perfectly relatable. I love the characters, and love/hate April's refusal to pull any punches.
Besides being a damn good story this is one that's especially needed right now. The protagonist is transgender and April writes her in a way that is at times painfully intimate, while still accessible for people who thought the "T" in LGBT stood for Tomatoes.
This is a story about a trans superhero. It's also a story everyone will enjoy.
Smaller things I liked: the quirky, human, and frequently un-hip behavior of establishment superheroes. The emotional and physical limits of the protagonist, even as a superhero. The author's willingness not to pull punches with the plot...
But. I do have a suggestion. For the next novel, Ms. Daniels, if you can read this: PLEASE have some character school Danielle on being less sexist with her insults! I don't want to be playing devil's advocate for Graywytch, but holy moly, some of those scenes made me cringe.
In a dozen different ways, it is all about Identity. From the villain's ultimate evil plan, to the claiming of the colors, to minds bound under the control and opinion of others, to the simple acceptance who and what the MC is.
Who you are is what matters, if you just claim it with your entire heart.
Wonderfully told, well edited, a joy to read.