Saturday, January 28, 2017

Review: Dreadnought by April Daniels

Title: Dreadnought
Author: April Daniels
Series: Nemesis #1
Genre: LGBT/ Fantasy/ YA
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: January 24th, 2017
Edition: Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | BAM

     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 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 did enjoy this book. I liked the characters, and parts of the story were really interesting to me.

But, I something about this book felt a little "gimmicky". And I'm not sure which aspect was; the Superhero aspect, or the Transgender aspect. 

This is the first time I've read a book about a Transperson, and to be honest, that was the main reason why I picked up this book. I've read many books featuring Gay and Lesbain characters. But I'd never encountered one about Transpeople. I wanted to understand what it's like for them better. But the way this one was done, honestly left me more confused than I was when I started. I don't know if the author wanted to write a book about superheroes and then decided to make the MC a Transperson, or Visa-Versa. The flow of the two story aspects didn't really feel like they flowed together all that seamlessly for me. And I am legitimately confused at how a person can be Trans, and be attracted to the gender they identify as. I didn't know that was a thing. (Forgive me if this review comes across as insensitive, I honestly don't know anything about Transpeople) Danny's parents were some very believable characters, the best friend character less so. I didn't really buy his reaction to Danny's change. It felt like a forced and unneeded subplot. 

The book is very well written, and as I mentioned the characters are great. I do recommend this to people who want to read more diverse books. I know my previous paragraph makes it sound like I don't really like this book, but I do. It has issues, beyond my confusion on Transpeople (as that isn't the book's fault but mine.)

The world is very interesting but needs polishing and maybe some better explanation. Some of it felt a little like an info-dump at times. While I did enjoy this book, I don't know if I will be continuing the series. It depends on my mood when the book comes out.


  1. The author of Dreadnought (April Daniels) is transgender, and I don't think she'd be writing it as a trend or gimmick of any sort. And transgender people can be any sexuality - just like cisgender (non-transgender) people.

    I don't mean to unduly criticise - I just feel like maybe you need a little more info. Maybe start here: (but also understand that this is a basic explanation - there are more sexual orientations than those listed for a start,) and go from there. :)

    Hope that helps - and well done for taking the decision to read more diversely! Good luck, and I hope you find loads of awesome books! :)

    1. Perhaps, but I still feel like it was a bit too "wish fulfillment" for a transgender character. They suddenly magically become the gender they identify as? It kind of takes away from all the struggles that trans-people go through, with making a decision to transition, being able to afford it, what they have to come to terms with if they can't afford it.
      Then there was the best friend character wanting to date her, and getting weird and pushy about it when she tells him no? It was just strange to me, and not how a person would really react if their MALE best friend was kind of suddenly a girl. A real reaction wouldn't be to try and date them, unless they are bisexual, which was never exactly stated in the book or even hinted at.