Friday, February 3, 2017

Review: Dreadnought

Title: Dreadnought
Author: April Daniels
Series: Nemesis
Volume: 1
Genres: Action, Superheroes
Release Date: January 24, 2017

When dying superhero Dreadnought passes on his powers to Danny, she gains more than just super-strength and the ability to fly- she also gets the body she's always wanted. Before she has a chance to get used to her powers or finally having a body that fits with her gender identity, she's cast into the complicated world of heroes and villains- where the heroes aren't always good people, and nothing is as black-and-white as she was led to believe. She has to find her feet quickly because a sinister new force is rising- one she'll need all her new abilities and determination to face.

Out of Ten: 7/10

Review at a Glance: While it struggled slightly with flow, this first book in a series featuring a transgender superheroine found it's feet and juggled it's multiple themes and combined them well.

Review: This was a pretty fast read, and had moments where it faltered while it found it's feet- while the plot was straight forward enough, the flip-flop between the larger plot and the more personal fallout of Danny's transition took a little getting used to and sometimes made things feel a touch abrupt. That said, once I got used to it, it didn't end up detracting hugely from my enjoyment.

It was interesting to see the superhero politics that happened behind the scenes, and seeing how, despite their public image some of them really weren't very kind people. As people, some of them were kind of awful, and it was frustrating to have to watch Danny have to struggle to be accepted by them, as well as by her parents, who should have supported her. It's a terrible thing that too many members of the LGBT+ community have to face and is a tough part of representation to see sometimes (though obviously that aspect of the LGBT+ experience that should be shared).

Danny goes through a lot of character growth as she struggles to decide whether to embrace the mantel of Dreadnought, and especially as she begins working with a vigilante named Calamity and sees the complexity of the underworld for those with superpowers. She also grows in that she's finally able to publicly embrace being a girl, and having to face the backlash and some pretty awful treatment for simply being who she is. She was really brave in the face of all of that, and it was fantastic to see her character grow, and I'm looking forward to seeing that continue!

Overall, I enjoyed this one, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next! There's clearly a bigger story here, and I'm curious which direction it's going to go in. I'm hoping to see the plot grow more complex, as the action-plot of the story in Dreadnought was fairly standard, I'd really like to see some unexpected twists.