* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.
In a world where superheroes and villains are a regular occurrence, Danny finds herself being the passed the power of Dreadnought when he falls out of the sky and dies right in front of her. The side effects of this transform Danny’s body into what she thought it should be. To Danny, she now looks like the girl she knows she is even if everyone around her says otherwise. Dreadnought is her origin story which follows her first few weeks of superhero living. While trying to juggle her new life, she’s also trying to find the old Dreadnought’s murderer, who is still threatening the streets of New Port City.
I really, really enjoyed this. I’m a sucker for superhero stories and Dreadnought is such a fantastic and adventurous story. It’s fun, fast-paced, and certainly action-packed all the way through. Daniels has done a great job with Danny’s story. We see her struggles, her hopes and fears. You root for her from the very beginning and each move she made not once felt out of character.
Like I mentioned before, Dreadnought is entertaining. It took a while to build, for me personally, but once the ball starts rolling, the story really hits off. Danny grabbed my attention from the very beginning. Her jokes with Doc Impossible to her teaming her up with “greycape” hero called Calamity to take upon much smaller crimes; she’s snarky and hilarious. While we see at her happiest, we also see her at her worst where she’s scared and unsure, but in the end, she knows who is she and you, as a reader, can’t help but love her.
However, there are some darker parts which Daniels doesn’t shy away from portraying the reality of transphobia and how difficult it is to grow up with family don’t accept you. I should warn that many transphobic slurs are aimed at Danny and another superhero deliberately misgenders Danny.
However, there were some weaknesses. There were moments that felt unconvincing that was due to the fact they weren’t fleshed out enough to make an impact. This is mainly aimed at some members of the Legion. The Legion (sans Doc Impossible) were the only side characters I didn’t really like but I loved the rest of them. Daniels did a lot more telling than showing and quite a lot of info-dumping, especially at the beginning which you have to push through to get to the good parts. Also, I hope Daniels builds on the world building (outside of the Legion HQ – I loved the sci-fi description of the building and all the things it could do) rather than glossing over it in the future novels.
Overall, I do recommend this book. Strong plot, fun characters and a great main lead. I’m very much excited to see how Daniels develops this story even further and what’s in store for Danny.