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Presented by State Library Victoria

Dreadnought (Nemesis #1) by April Daniels

TRIGGER WARNING: TRANSPHOBIA AND HOMOPHOBIA

Oh man I never knew I needed transgender superheroes in my life until I got given one and Oh My Gosh I was HERE for Danielle (Danny) Tozer!

My librarian recommended this to me saying “this seems to be your cup of tea! Trust me you’d love it!” after reading The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, a book she recommended to me and having LOVED, LIVED and BREATHED the graphic novel I promised myself to NEVER NOT READ A BOOK MY LIBRARIAN HAS RECOMMENDED TO ME! I took Dreadnought cautiously. I don’t really read superhero novels… (in fact there’s not many that I have read and now thinking about it this book could potentially have been my first!) but I decided to give it a shot I mean why not? Books are all about trial and error and seeing what you like and don’t like.

And I must admit I did love it! I loved Danny she was an amazing character and I loved her for who she is instead of just her Dreadnought superpowers. She was brave not just as a hero but brave for being resilient and not listening to her transphobic father who was insistent to “cure her womanhood” and the LGBTQ+ rep in her and some other characters?! Done right. Done beautifully. I’m really glad this is another book to add to the LGBTQ+ section, a section that is currently small but is growing. This book is an essential read for any trans or LGBTQ+ reader or in fact any reader in general for bringing the sad but real issue that is transphobia. It is real and it doesn’t get talked about as often as we hear about homophobia and I’m grateful that Daniels has addressed it in a not-so confronting way but one where we can sympathise with Danny and we can also see her dad’s point of view.

You’re probably wondering why I rated this a three star then?

It’s two things really one being that there was limited superhero action. The majority of the book was finding out who you are and Danny dealing with things at home. And okay I’ll give point for the whole thing at the end but I thought it was lacking in the action there was Utopia, the robot planning to destroy the world but I didn’t feel like I got much from her or it seemed like she just appeared and i didn’t really care about her or what she was planning to do to the world.

In fact I didn’t really know what she was planning on doing to the world which is something that should be made clear in an action novel. I think this plot would develop further in the series as it progresses.

Second of all, Dreadnought’s powers give the person the ability to look however they wish to look like e.g., taller, shorter etc. In Danny’s case it made her body transform from a males into a females. But it also made her have “the ideal supermodel figure.” and that part just made me mad. I hate it when book characters are said to have the “perfect figure” aren’t characters meant to be representing us? and okay Daniels pulled off a “Marvel” here (Marvel always has skinny athletic characters. If you analyse any action or superhero movie (in general) you can see that all the girls are skinny (this makes me mad) and there 1000% needs to be a change) but honestly? SERIOUSLY? Perfect figure? And it was always talked about “perfect figure” “You look like a supermodel” and I had enough of it.

Anyways, all in all really good LGBTQ+ rep just please no “perfect figure” talk and I’ll say it should’ve had more superhero epicness in it!

ACTUAL RATING: 3.1 STARS

2 comments

inky Centre for Youth Literature

So glad you trust your librarian!

5d ago
sylvs

Hehe she's scarily good at finding books I would like :O

5d ago