Dreadnought

Dreadnought

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’...

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Title:Dreadnought
Author:April Daniels
Rating:
ISBN:1682300684
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:276 pages

Dreadnought Reviews

  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    Jan 27, 2017

    I loved so much about this story, so I'll try to be both brief and coherent. No promises, though. And just before we get started I want to emphasize that this is an ownvoices book - which is something that I think comes through in Danny's character. Just want to make sure as many people know that as possible. Ok, onto the review!

    Danny is such a fresh and fantastic voice. Trans, lesbian, and a superhero, and I think every one of those identifiers is handled equally, while it is also clear that th

    I loved so much about this story, so I'll try to be both brief and coherent. No promises, though. And just before we get started I want to emphasize that this is an ownvoices book - which is something that I think comes through in Danny's character. Just want to make sure as many people know that as possible. Ok, onto the review!

    Danny is such a fresh and fantastic voice. Trans, lesbian, and a superhero, and I think every one of those identifiers is handled equally, while it is also clear that these are not her only attributes. She is powerful and weak, brave and utterly terrified. And I loved her for it all.

    This book also did such an excellent job of balancing the types of people that Danny encounters after she gets the body she wants - not to mention an incredible set of superpowers. She has people who are fiercely in her corner and are utterly accepting of her. These characters intentionally reach out in any way they can to help Danny to feel comfortable. They make sure she has the clothes she wants, or offer her support when she can't find it elsewhere. But Danny also has a fair amount of more terrible people to deal with. And when I say terrible people, I'm not talking about the full-on supervillain.

    Danny is (sadly) not free from transphobia once she transitions. She has spent a lot of her life being hyper-masculinized by her emotionally abusive father, and I want to make sure I offer the warning that he throws a lot of slurs Danny's way throughout the book. Not only that, but she also has to deal with frequent misgendering by a trans-exclusionary feminist. To me, she came across as occasionally more villainous than the villain of the book does. She was vile. Feminism that doesn't include trans women is pointless and deeply horrifying, and the TERF character in this story disgusted me. Which is exactly what she was supposed to do.

    And!!! The side characters are also super diverse. There are multiple side characters of color, one of whom is latinx and who I adore. There are also multiple side queer characters. I'm hoping for possibly more side queer characters going into the next book that have a more central role in Danny's life, but ultimately I loved the collection of characters we got in this book so I am still super pleased.

    The worldbuilding was fantastic. I loved the chapters we get when characters talk about superhero tech, as that is one of my favorite elements of superhero stories. There was also (and this is such a small scene I feel silly for mentioning it except that it was hysterical) this fantastic section that was CLEARLY calling out Batman and his completely ridiculous eccentricities. This scene happens at the beginning of the book and I think it sets the tone for how a lot of the superhero stuff is handled. This story isn't silly, but it does embrace some of the ridiculousness that comes inherently with people who have super powers and wear costumes to fight crime.

    Overall, I loved so much about this book. It was fast-paced, well-balanced, and Danny was a force of nature as a main character. I cannot wait to see how she develops moving forward into the next book in the series, and how the world around her shifts as well.

    Remember when I said I would be brief? Oops.

    Ok so tl;dr... this book was fantastic and I highly encourage you to pick it up. Plus keep a lookout for the sequel because it comes out in just six months and I will 100% be getting my hands on it as soon as I can.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    Jan 12, 2017

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    This year, if you’re involved in one or more of the many diversity reading challenges out there or simply encouraging yourself to check out more diverse reads, I hope you’ll consider Dreadnought. Books like this one have a relevant place in our world today for their role in celebrating LGBT voices and spreading awareness, and I think what excited me most was the depth of our protagonist and the way her story was told.

    Fif

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    This year, if you’re involved in one or more of the many diversity reading challenges out there or simply encouraging yourself to check out more diverse reads, I hope you’ll consider Dreadnought. Books like this one have a relevant place in our world today for their role in celebrating LGBT voices and spreading awareness, and I think what excited me most was the depth of our protagonist and the way her story was told.

    Fifteen Danny Tozer has always known in her mind and in her heart that she is a girl, even if her body says otherwise. The crushing anxiety of trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender has been building lately, which is why at the start of this book, she finds herself hiding behind the mall secretly painting her toenails—holding onto this one thing she can control. That’s when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the world’s greatest superhero known as Dreadnought literally falls out of the sky and lands right in front of her. Gravely injured by a supervillain named Utopia, Dreadnought knows his time is near, so with his dying breath he passes his powers on to Danny.

    In that moment, Danny is changed. Becoming the new Dreadnought has not only granted the amazing superpowers that come with the role, but it has also transformed her body into what she’s always thought it should be, the girl she has always been inside. For Danny, this is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to her, though that happiness is quickly dampened when faced with the hostile reactions of her overbearing father who refuses to accept her new identity. At school, her best friend David is also suddenly treating her differently, saying and doing these awful things. Furthermore, Danny has realized that the mantle of Dreadnought comes with certain responsibilities—like saving the world. Sure enough, it’s not long before the superhero team Legion comes knocking at her door trying to recruit her, and the offer has Danny feeling torn. She knows she wants to help people, but she’s just not sure she wants to be the kind of hero the Legion wants her to be.

    At its heart, Dreadnought is a superhero novel—it’s fun, fast-paced, and action-packed. But as you can see, there’s also a lot more to the story, and the conflicts here are complex and multi-faceted. I liked how this book incorporated the superhero elements while at the same time using Danny’s super-powered transformation and the accompanying acquisition of Dreadnought’s abilities as an allegory for a person coming out as transgender. April Daniels has done a fantastic job exploring Danny’s story, especially in detailing her internal struggles, her hopes and joys, fears and doubts. I can’t even pretend to understand how it feels for teens in that situation, but reading about Danny was definitely an emotional journey. Her character is well-written, deeply developed and very real.

    Plot-wise, Dreadnought is an entertaining read. Momentum took some time to build, but when Danny meets the Legion, I think that was when the story really hit its stride. I loved Doc Impossible, and the banter between her and Danny during their first major scene together quickly made her one of my favorite side characters. Another thing I loved about this book was the female friendship. While Danny considers Legion’s offer to join up, she meets up with another “greycape” hero named Calamity (and I have a serious weakness for cowgirl-themed heroes) and the two of them take it upon themselves to help those who slip through the cracks of the Legion’s watch. They have a great dynamic together, and the excitement ramps up as the duo decide they have what it takes to take down Utopia themselves.

    But for all its strengths, the story also has its weaknesses. There were parts of it that felt a little too clichéd or unconvincing. For example, other than Danny and maybe a couple other characters, no one else was all that fleshed out, and they were treated more like props than real people. Take the Legion—we hear about all their great deeds and how they’re the most powerful superhero team in the world, but of course at the moment of truth they are rendered useless so that our protagonist can conveniently step up to save the day. Portrayal of characters like David, Graywytch, or Danny’s parents are also extreme to the point where they sometimes felt like caricatures of caricatures. While people like that certainly exist, the way they were written in this book felt scripted and done for the sake of pushing the story along. The author also did more telling than showing, with rocky prose in places and pages of info-dumping being a frequent issue early on in the novel. Finally, world-building felt sparse and glossed over, and throughout the book I couldn’t help but experience this disconnect to the wider world beyond.

    All told though, I enjoyed Dreadnought a lot. It’s an eye-opening book featuring a wonderfully developed and genuine protagonist. This is the origin story about how she became the eponymous superhero, and it is an unforgettable journey of action and emotion. What a promising start, with much potential for the rest of the Nemesis series!

  • Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
    Oct 17, 2016

    is an #ownvoices superhero YA book. The MC is a lesbian trans girl and she suddenly gets powers when Dreadnought dies in front of her. She immerses into this superhero world where she finds allies and enemies. It reminded me of Boku no Hero Academia for obvious reasons though also the superhero names + One Punch Man with some type of heroes and how they looked.

    I'm giving it 3 stars mainly because a character I just couldn't swallow + phrases + some things that happened at the end. B

    is an #ownvoices superhero YA book. The MC is a lesbian trans girl and she suddenly gets powers when Dreadnought dies in front of her. She immerses into this superhero world where she finds allies and enemies. It reminded me of Boku no Hero Academia for obvious reasons though also the superhero names + One Punch Man with some type of heroes and how they looked.

    I'm giving it 3 stars mainly because a character I just couldn't swallow + phrases + some things that happened at the end. But overall, this book was epic and fun to read (the ACTION SCENES ARE SO GOOD GUYS, please make this a movie) ~ plus girl friendship though I ship them 1000% I NEED A BOOK TWO I NEED MORE ADVENTURES please!!

    Full review closer to release date.

  • Inge
    Jan 03, 2017

    You know when you’re reading a book and you’re trying to formulate some form of coherent thought so you can figure out what to write in your review? And you realise you’ve got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?

    is not that kind of book.

    is the kind of book I would love to talk more about. It’s by no means a perfect book, but it’s an important one, especially in our time of day. The main character is transgender and queer, who just happens to stumble upon a crazy set of superpowers, and it

    You know when you’re reading a book and you’re trying to formulate some form of coherent thought so you can figure out what to write in your review? And you realise you’ve got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?

    is not that kind of book.

    is the kind of book I would love to talk more about. It’s by no means a perfect book, but it’s an important one, especially in our time of day. The main character is transgender and queer, who just happens to stumble upon a crazy set of superpowers, and it’s the coolest thing in the world. Except for when she turns into a physical girl, the girl she always wanted to be – the girl she’s always

    in her mind – and then

    is the coolest thing in the world. I’m not quite sure which is cooler, but thankfully both things happened in the book so I don’t have to choose.

    Danny being transgender isn’t the main part of the plot – the main plot is superheroes. But between all the Spandex and things that go boom, it still finds one of the most important transgender notions at heart: that genetics don’t equal destiny. Here’s Danny suddenly being able to deadlift trucks in her spare time, but she also has to deal with ignorant parents and losing her best friend. There were a lot of things that, I think, trans girls could really relate to and find comfort in.

    The superheroes are just icing on the cake, really. It's reminiscent of Marvel and

    .

    Overall, I really enjoyed reading it. Danny was a really likeable main character (she’s also very responsible – even when given superpowers, she still finds time to go to school); the writing was easy to read (even when my tired mind goes

    and doesn’t register anything); and there was plenty of action. I mean, the story starts with the biggest superhero of all time dying right in front of Danny, so, you know,

    the kind of world we’re living in.

    The reason I’m not giving it a higher rating is because it felt lacking in other aspects. The thing about action-packed books is they tend to dull my mind after a while and leave me gasping for some more story. I also would have liked to see more of the other superheroes. They stayed kind of two-dimensional (with a few exceptions, like Calamity and Doctor Impossible) and didn’t do anything for the story. Even in the final fight, Danny remained a one-man show, and I like to see protagonists needing help from friends and such. I like seeing that even all-powerful characters can’t do everything alone.

  • Julia Ember
    Dec 07, 2016

    Danny's narrative provides a powerful and inspiring wish fulfillment fantasy for trans teens -- she gets the perfect body to fit her gender without surgery, hormones, the horrors of medical questioning and disbelief. You can tell in the details that this book in #ownvoices. I think this is a necessary and important book. Her dad's ignorance paired with his 'fix it' attitude made me want to scream, but I thought the family dynamics and reactions were sensitively and realistically portrayed.

    I love

    Danny's narrative provides a powerful and inspiring wish fulfillment fantasy for trans teens -- she gets the perfect body to fit her gender without surgery, hormones, the horrors of medical questioning and disbelief. You can tell in the details that this book in #ownvoices. I think this is a necessary and important book. Her dad's ignorance paired with his 'fix it' attitude made me want to scream, but I thought the family dynamics and reactions were sensitively and realistically portrayed.

    I loved all of Danny's reactions to her first experiences in a girl's body -- especially shopping with her mum! I also loved all the scenes where she experimented with her new powers and her physical with Doc Impossible.

    Less compelling for me were sadly, many of the superhero elements of the novel. A lot of information about the superheroes and their origin is delivered as pure backstory. I would have liked to have seen more integrated world-building, including some before Danny's transition. The narrative is also extremely dialogue heavy, which tends to read a little slow / over expository to me.

    Still, the story is cute and entirely worth it for the excellent trans rep.

  • Lindsay
    Feb 06, 2017

    A YA superhero story with a transgender heroine that has a lot of depth.

    Danny Tozer is a transgender 15-year old who is living life as a boy because her family is anything but supportive of her. Then she suddenly inherits the mantle of Dreadnought which remakes her physical form into her ideal body, that of a girl. But she's still Danny, still has an abusive family and has to deal with the whole spectrum of reactions to transgender people. She also has to come to terms with having superpowers an

    A YA superhero story with a transgender heroine that has a lot of depth.

    Danny Tozer is a transgender 15-year old who is living life as a boy because her family is anything but supportive of her. Then she suddenly inherits the mantle of Dreadnought which remakes her physical form into her ideal body, that of a girl. But she's still Danny, still has an abusive family and has to deal with the whole spectrum of reactions to transgender people. She also has to come to terms with having superpowers and whether she even wants to be a hero or not as well as whether she even considers herself worthy to be one.

    This is fantastic. Danny is a compelling character who is very easy to root for, partly because she's such an underdog, but also because her motivations for being a hero are so great. Her friendship with Calamity, another great character, is good but also serves to contrast their motivations and methods.

    Additionally the super-villain behind it all, although clearly insane, also has a very interesting motivation which I'm sure we'll see more of in upcoming books. I hope there's many more in the series.

  • Emily May
    Jan 23, 2017

    In a world where the skies are filled with superheroes and supervillains, 15-year-old Danny's dreams come true when the famous Dreadnought perishes in her arms and passes his powers on to her - powers that include super-strength, flight, and an outer body that matches the girl Danny's always been inside.

    And, well... I loved it!

    . This is such a beautiful ownvoices work and it shows from the very first chapter when w

    In a world where the skies are filled with superheroes and supervillains, 15-year-old Danny's dreams come true when the famous Dreadnought perishes in her arms and passes his powers on to her - powers that include super-strength, flight, and an outer body that matches the girl Danny's always been inside.

    And, well... I loved it!

    . This is such a beautiful ownvoices work and it shows from the very first chapter when we meet Danny sneakily buying nail polish. She tells us:

    The author gets the balance absolutely perfect between light, quirky superhero novel, and a darker, thought-provoking, coming-of-age story. The flying, world-saving and GIRL POWER make this a

    . The other members of the former Dreadnought's group - "Legion Pacifica" - think Danny is too young to take on the villains and save the world, but that just gets added to the long list of mistakes people make about her.

    However, as noted above, there are some darker aspects of

    . The author doesn't shy away from portraying the reality of transphobia and how difficult it is to grow up with a father who wants to make you a "real man". Many trans slurs are thrown around, and Graywytch (another of the Legion Pacifica members) deliberately misgenders Danny.

    Additionally, Danny must now deal with the lingering eyes of certain men and boys, other forms of sexism, and the assumption that she now wants to start dating the boys at her school - which is incorrect because Danny is, in fact, gay. It's fantastic to see, despite all of this, that Danny comes out on top again and again. She's allowed to be weak and scared and unsure, but in the end, she knows who she is and who she's always been. She calls out the boys on their sexism:

    Though a superhero story,

    is first and foremost about its characters. Its

    , I should say. A diverse array of women drive the novel - from the white, gay and trans Danny, to the Latina Calamity, to Doc Impossible who is coded as non-white (

    ) to Utopia who is - wait for it - a

    villain.

    The character dynamics - particularly between Danny and Calamity - shine throughout. Reading this the weekend of the Women's March made me feel quite emotional. This message of female solidarity is so important; and add to it a much-needed, complex, trans superheroine and you have one hell of a powerful book. I can't wait for more.

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  • Justine
    Feb 04, 2017

    So, so good! This book is, in one sense, wish fulfillment of the highest order - when Danny inherits Dreadnought's superpowers, it allows her to physically transition into the girl she has always kept hidden on the inside. But Danielle very quickly learns that transition, even when accompanied by superpowers, does not magically heal the damage to her self esteem resulting from the years of emotional and physical abuse she has suffered. And guess what? There is prejudice and misunderstanding even

    So, so good! This book is, in one sense, wish fulfillment of the highest order - when Danny inherits Dreadnought's superpowers, it allows her to physically transition into the girl she has always kept hidden on the inside. But Danielle very quickly learns that transition, even when accompanied by superpowers, does not magically heal the damage to her self esteem resulting from the years of emotional and physical abuse she has suffered. And guess what? There is prejudice and misunderstanding even among the world of superheroes - it isn't just reserved for the obvious villains.

    I loved Danielle's journey to come to terms with her identity both as a girl and as a superhero, and her discovery that true empowerment has to come from inside. This is a great series starter with so much potential, and I'm very much looking forward to the next part of Danielle's story.

    UPDATE: After thinking about it for a few days, I updated my rating to a full 5 stars. I don't change my ratings very often, but this book was so good on so many levels:)

  • Veronique
    Feb 07, 2017

    4.5

    As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it.

    Danny’s life is turned upside down when he inherits Dreadnought’s mantel, which turns him into the girl he always was inside. All is not however as easy as it looks and superpowers do not resolve everything, especially prejudice and abuse.

    Daniels doesn’t just give us a transgender/superhero coming-of-age story with an amazing main character that is only too easy to like, but a whole cast of very strong females - my favourites being

    4.5

    As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it.

    Danny’s life is turned upside down when he inherits Dreadnought’s mantel, which turns him into the girl he always was inside. All is not however as easy as it looks and superpowers do not resolve everything, especially prejudice and abuse.

    Daniels doesn’t just give us a transgender/superhero coming-of-age story with an amazing main character that is only too easy to like, but a whole cast of very strong females - my favourites being Calamity and Doc Impossible.

    Loved it and cannot wait for the sequel.

  • Emma
    Feb 26, 2017

    3.5 stars. This was an important book with a serious theme: society's attitudes to being transgender. Although in some ways this is a wish fulfilment story, even in this context, and maybe because of it, the phobic and bigoted attitudes (and abusive in the father's case) seem even worse. I can't imagine what it must be like to feel you are in the wrong body and have to fight for the right to become who you really are when there isn't a superhero to help the process along.

    The superhero story itse

    3.5 stars. This was an important book with a serious theme: society's attitudes to being transgender. Although in some ways this is a wish fulfilment story, even in this context, and maybe because of it, the phobic and bigoted attitudes (and abusive in the father's case) seem even worse. I can't imagine what it must be like to feel you are in the wrong body and have to fight for the right to become who you really are when there isn't a superhero to help the process along.

    The superhero story itself was fun and the action scenes were great but world building was patchy as was the character development for some of the side characters.