{Review/Giveaway} DREADNOUGHT by April Daniels

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

  THIS IS TAKING TOO LONG. I just want to pay for the shit and go. It's not like I'm breaking the law or anything--except it totally feels like I'm breaking the law. It'd be really cool to do this without shame, without hopping on a train to ride halfway across the city first.

(Page 1, US paperback edition)

    "They want me to cooperate in my own destruction. They want me to tell them it's not true. They want me to help them believe the lie. 



DREADNOUGHT is a powerful debut novel, and readers will be sucked in from the very first page. Danny is instantly easy to root for, investing readers in her story from the very get-go.

When we meet Danny, she has gone out of town to buy nail polish someplace where nobody will see, then goes to paint her toes someplace quiet:

The nail polish is a nice deep red. I've been running mostly with blue recently, but I think it's time for a change. The cotton balls soak up remover and the blue polish rubs off my toes a bit at a time. It feels right. It feels necessary. Painting my toes is the one way I can take control. The one way I can fight back. The one way I can give voice to this idea inside me that gets heavier every year:

I'm not supposed to be a boy.

Unfortunately for Danny, the so-called quiet spot turns out to be a battleground for a dueling superhero/supervillain fight. Being around such fights can be very dangerous for normal, everyday civilians like Danny. When the powerful hero Dreadnought falls, Danny is horrified and hurries to help him. With his dying breath, Dreadnought passes his mantle to Danny, and something unexpectedly wonderful happens: By absorbing Dreadnought's powers, Danny becomes a girl in all the ways that count. Now she's female both inside and out, with a perfect body to match who she has always been inside.

While Danny loves who she has become, she's not certain she wants the power and responsibility that comes with stepping into the role of Dreadnought. But she doesn't want to give them up, either, because it might turn her back into a boy again, and she can't bear to go back to that life. Her parents are horrified to see that their son has been transformed and seek out the help of doctors. The Legion of Superheroes that protect the city aren't sure what to make of Danny. Some of them are fine with her, while others are perplexed or upset that Dreadnought's powers passed on to Danny. Danny has to worry not just about what she wants, but what everyone else expects of her, all while trying to come to terms with her new powers and decide what she wants in life.

Because this is a book from an OwnVoices author, Danny reads in such an authentic, heartfelt way. You feel for her when people treat her poorly and call her filthy names. Once Danny's body is female, she also gets objectified and slurred against for being female, so she gets the nasty comments in both corners. Her homelife is a wreck. You root for her when people show up in her corner and befriend her and give her the safety net she's desperately in need of. Danny gets help where she never expected to find it, and it's life-changing.

So many readers have asked for more books--especially in fantasy--where the main characters going on adventures are more diverse. Where that diversity isn't the entire story, but another layer of it. Where characters of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds can have adventures. DREADNOUGHT fulfills that wish by creating a captivating transgender superhero adventure that flows and feels authentic in every way that matters. This book will resonate with so many readers, and Danny and her story are easy to embrace and fall for.

We need more female superheroes in the world, and there are several powerful women worth rooting for in DREADNOUGHT. GIRL POWER, y'all! From the smart-as-a-whip Doctor Impossible who takes Danny under her wing (And seriously, isn't that an awesome name!?) to her friend Calamity, who is a graycape walking the line between good and evil to the female members of the Legion, there are a ton of fierce ladies that make this story come to life. I love that it's not a Bro Adventure like so many superhero adventures out there that have maybe one or two token females.

And the world building? Listen, it's HARD to bring superheroes to life through writing. That's why so many of them are graphic novels. It's a very visual form of storytelling. But DREADNOUGHT does it well, and it's easy to see the battles and get a sense of the world. This is world building done right, and it really helps bring the story to life and make it feel even more fleshed out and real.

I really loved DREADNOUGHT and I was so excited when I found out that Daniels was releasing a sequel this past summer entitled SOVEREIGN. I dove in as soon as I could and am hoping for yet more books in this world because I still can't get enough! This is such a great, underrated series, and if you're a fan of superheroes, you really need to check this one out!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: --
Language: PG13  (.Cursing, some f-bombs, some derogatory slang; sexual innuendo as guys make slurs about Danny's new body )
Violence: PG   (.Typical superhero violence )
Other:   (.Transphobia, especially at home and school, make things harder for Danny. )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

You have the traditional superhero pose with the city in the background. This one will make you grab it immediately to see what it's about if you're a fan of superheroes!

I also love the velvety feel of the paperback when you hold it in your hands!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: April Daniels
Release Date: Jan. 24, 2017
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Received: Purchased

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 much 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. 



During Will You Rise or Will You Fall?,
we're giving away a book of YOUR CHOICE
from the event!

It could be DREADNOUGHT!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL to any country that Book Depository ships to.  You can also claim an e-book as a prize; it doesn't have to be a physical copy!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!

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