4.5/5 – This is a book about a trans superhero written by a trans author, hell yes. I was absolutely in on this book when I first heard about it. It did not disappoint either. The main character Danny was nothing short of lovable and a few amazing supporting characters were what hooked me most. That combined with this fictional world of a nondescript Pacific Northwest city that seemed like a combination of Portland and Seattle, but was also filled with futuristic technology that doesn’t seem too far off.
Now, I did only rate this 4.5 out of 5 because I personally am not a superhero fan. I don’t watch Marvel or DC movies and I’ve never really been interested*. However, I was very eager to read about a trans superhero who also identified as a lesbian. The only way I’d ever really be interested in superheroes is if I saw something I could relate to.
I will say my only issue with the book were the combat sequences. Not because I thought they were bad, but because they weren’t my favorite parts. I wanted to read about the interpersonal relationships and Danny’s struggle. That being said, I loved the parts where Danny wasn’t perfect in her fighting. For example, in her first big rescue, she had no idea what she was doing. She didn’t automatically know what she was doing and I loved that. She was getting used to her powers, which were incredible, and it took some struggling before she got the hang of it.
Sarah, one of the supporting characters is Latinx and is the funniest character in the book. I enjoyed every moment she was around and I wanted more of her.
On the flip side, there were some disgusting and awful characters that played their parts well. Unfortunately, Dreadnought doesn’t take place in a world where transphobia doesn’t exist. It very much exists and is very prominent in Danny’s life with multiple characters. None of these awful characters is the main villain. They are worse! However, transphobia and really any other form of bigotry exists and aren’t going away anytime soon.
Dreadnought is a superhero who is incredibly powerful, however, those powers don’t automatically make it easy to stand up to those who bring you down. The difference between physical strength and emotional strength is key. This book is ultimately about freely being your true self and I happen to think that’s beautiful. Ultimately, I would absolutely recommend this book and I can’t wait for the second book to come out later this year.
* Unless it stars Benedict Cumberbatch.