Author: April Daniels
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Publication Date: 24. January 2017
Rating: 4/5. Stars
Diversity: LGBT Characaters
TW: parental abuse, emotional abuse, transphobia, misgendering, murder, character death, rape mention
Summary: Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, she was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But then her second-hand superpowers transformed her 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 between her father’s dangerous obsession with curing her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and the classmate who is secretly a masked vigilante, Danny’s first weeks living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.
She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, still haunts the streets of New Port City. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer II: I’m a cis girl, so I do not experience transmisogyny like Danny does. If I said something offensive in this review please let me know.
I am a big fan of superhero stories, I am a big fan of diverse stories and I’m an even bigger fan of stories combining these two things.
We meet Danny in the story buying nail-polish, terrified that somebody would find out her secret. She’s not actually a girl and she’s known that since she was eight years old. But then Dreadnought, a well known superhero, drops on the street near her, grievously wounded. He passes his powers on to her and miraculously her body changes into the one she always wanted. But with that her troubles only seem to increase.
First off all I want to mention the huge trigger warnings in this book. Danny’s family (especially her father) is emotionally abusive, there’s a TERF that constantly misgenders Danny and insults her, there’s a lot of slurs (one ableist slur, some transphobic ones, some homophobic ones), one characters wishes for her to be raped. It is however not a sad story
I really love Danny. I love that she’s a lesbian transwoman, I love that she’s #ownvoices, I love her because she is representation that is so grievously needed, I love her because she stands up for herself, I love her because she is very like able and responsible.
The story is told from her perspective and we get to know a lot about Danny.
The writing is flows really nicely and the actions scenes are fast paced and I’d love to see them made into a movie.
There’s side characters I love (Calamity and Doctor Impossible) there’s side characters I hate (Graywytch I’m looking at you), but all in all most of them lacked depth. I understand that the story was mostly focused on Danny and what she had to deal with (which was a lot), but I would have loved to get to know more about the side characters. I definitely hope that this will be something that’s picked up in the second book.
Another problem I had with the book is the fact that it feels rushed at times. In the beginning the story info dumps, giving us a lot of information about some superheroes, but considering that there’s so many interesting side characters, we barely find out anything about them.
There’s also not a lot of world building sadly. I wish there would have been some more, but then there’s often not a lot more in comics of well known characters. All in all I just have the feeling that the book is lacking in depth a bit and could have used some more pages to explain the world/characters better.
Despite that I really enjoyed this book and I can definitely only recommend it.