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Publisher's Summary

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 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.

Original cover art copyright Diversion Publishing Corp.

©2017 April Daniels (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Dreadnought

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Flawed and perfect, this book has something to say

It's a mashup of transgender coming of age and comicbook superhero. At it's best, the superhero aspects of this book mimic and reinforce a story of a young woman struggling for identity. At it's worst, they distract from a far more compelling plot.

After all, how can a supervillain bent on world domination compete with a father intent on trapping his daughter in the wrong body?

But Daniels realizes this and manages to keep the coming of age plot alive throughout the book, only neglecting it for a few chapters. The opening, in particular, is striking, as the author doesn't pull any punches and lets us know exactly what it feels like to be transgendered. Yes, the main character is vulnerable, and at times weak, but aren't we all? If she were overly confident it would destroy an inner struggle that is so fascinating.

I wish she would have explored the family a bit deeper, David and the mother both seem like they weren't fleshed out enough, and the issues at school seem to have been glossed over.

While I do feel like Daniels doesn't quite have the formula down just yet, it's a new formula and well worth your attention. I look forward to seeing what she can do in the future.

Soudek's performance is engaging, and fun. All the characters have distinct voices. The book is written in the present tense which would normally annoy me to no end, but Soudek puts a lot of effort into inflecting in just the right way to keep the prose clear and understandable.

(On a technical note, there are several pops in the recording (maybe 40 in all) where you can hear edits. This can be avoided if you only cut and stitch a recording where the waveform is at zero)

20 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Awesome story with a trans badass

absolutely loved it and it's really meaningful to finally have a character I connect with

11 people found this helpful

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hope

this story had me cry and smile and laugh and scream. totally amazing first book.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beating super villains? Easy. Self-acceptance...?

As a very queer trans lady, this story was relatable on a multitude of levels. While I haven't had *every* verbal battle with my parents as Danielle, I could repeat about 90% of them from memory while they were happening.

I feel I should address some issues that certain groups of people might have with this story.

First, cis people will probably think that Danielle talked about being trans too much. They might think that no one would say that things that Graywytch said. Neither of these are valid criticisms. When a trans person is closeted and then even more when they come out pretty much the entire weight of western society tries to shove them back into repressing or suppressing their identity. It happened to me, and I've seen it happen to three of my friends. Fighting back is a constant struggle even when we've known the truth for years. Danielle going through it was simultaneously painful and affirming. As for Graywytch, well... Let's put it this way. I only rarely get mad at fictional characters, and until now, I have never so desperately wanted to see one end up dead. Why? Well, because she uses the same rhetoric and tactics as real-life TERFs. I half think that April just copied some TERF's post for one of Graywytch's rants. The spelling, more than anything, gives it away -- a classic TERF practice is to spell "women" as "womyn." If you thought that her rant was too heavy-handed, then please, please take it up with the women that police our gender, and get them to stop.

Secondly (and that was a pretty long first point), I'd like to talk to the other trans people who might want to read this. If you haven't made peace (in whatever form) with your family situation, you might want to wait to read this. Get it, and let yourself wait until you're ready. Vindication and validation can wait for you in your pocket -- in the form of a fifteen-year-old girl. And she is fifteen and just out as trans and lacking any other queer people to support her. Keep that in mind with some of the language she uses. Be kind to her -- she's got a lot of internalized stuff to work through. On top of rhat, she hasn't had support in working through it - quite the opposite, in fact -- and she's so incredibly young.

That stuff aside, I had a few minor quibbles with the writing itself, mainly in terms of word repetition and the passage of time feeling more like something I had to keep track of than something visible in the world. That makes some of the dramatic irony seems strange until you think back on realize that enough time has passed for certain things to no longer be obvious to the characters. Despite those minor issues I had with it, I like the use of a superhero story to explore the almost illogical reality of domestic abuse. It really underscores how physical power can have so little bearing on the situation as to be meaningless.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to a friend (and have already, in fact), and I will be picking up the sequel.

I don't know if you read the Amazon comments, April, but if you do, good on you for writing this. Thanks for representing me.

172 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • JG
  • 10-10-19

Mixed result

This book weaves a typical/somewhat-unremarkable superhero story into a framework of teenage transgender wish fulfillment. The first two thirds of the book put the latter aspect first and foremost, often to the detriment of the story, and without much subtlety (eg, a very two-dimensional take on an abusive father), but is otherwise reasonable well told. The final third is a bit more focused on the superhero line, but doesn’t cover any new ground for the genre. You may enjoy this book more if the transgender aspect interests you, but if you are here for the supes, you might be better served elsewhere.

The narrator does an excellent job with the main character’s initial (not-yet-transformed) voice, but that rapidly becomes less representative of the character post-transformation, and voices for the other characters are unremarkable at best.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful new take on a coming-of-age/coming-out story

I loved Danny the main character. She is wonderfully drawn by the author. I think the book is great balance of superhero action and teen introspection. Her experiences of coming out as trans, the excitement and the hurt, the family that shuns her and the family she begins to create, all feel true to the experience of many trans kids. I do wish there was a cathartic shouting match with her father where she really got to tell him off. But we don’t always get that release :) It would also be interesting to dig deeper into the conflict between Greywitch and Danny, maybe offer the counter argument from another superfeminist. All the conflict Danny faces is real and the hateful things said come from reality. However, it’d be cool to see some nuance or depth explored so the characters weren’t so black and white or that showed growth... maybe the parents will get woke in the next few books and their can be reconciliation :) The superhero world that April Daniels creates is interesting and more superhuman than hero. I love the special powers economy she creates!

My only criticism is the narrator. Most of her voice work is great. However, it drives me crazy when people fall back on Southern accents when voicing people who are dumb/poor/mean. The story is set in Washington State near Seattle. Why would there be Southern accents?! Please adjust for next book!

25 people found this helpful

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beginning sucks

the beginning (0:00:00 - 2:30:00) is super boring with just whining and nothing really that interesting, the middle of the book (2:30:00 - 7:30:00) is a little better with more superhero action and less whining. near the end of the book (7:30:00 - 11:28:00) was actually pretty good and is what made me read the 2nd book. it has very little repetitiveness and has a little more of what the story is supposed to be about.

Overview
sucky beginning
ok middle
good ending

3 people found this helpful

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Great story! Opened my eyes.

I really enjoyed the story, both the superhero and the transgender lines. Give it a try, you may be surprised.

3 people found this helpful

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wonderful! just wonderful.

I could not stop listening once I started til I reached the end. but warning you really hate a couple of the characters in this book. so much raw emotion. riveting!

3 people found this helpful

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Spectacular!

Listened straight through in a single sitting! I worried that the magical transformation would be cliché and strip Danny of her transness like I've seen so many times before, but it was so far from that! Hell, the speech in chapter 7 is one of the most powerful pieces of trans affirmation I've ever heard. Could not recommend this book enough!

60 people found this helpful

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  • Paul The Koala Baby
  • 10-20-20

Great transgender story and just a great superhero

I love superheroes and have also been looking for a Jk Rowling terf pallet cleanser. This was great a really interesting concept, great descriptions, and very emotional at points

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-14-21

Wanted to enjoy but couldn’t

TLDR: good premise, awful presentation.

I really wanted to like this but after the first chapter and a bit I find the writing style and narrator insufferable.

The narrator draws out every word as if either savouring every one or unsure of the next phrase. This disrupts any fast paced action (I use the term loosely) or emotional tension.

The writing style feels very young (even for an ~14 year old POV character based on general male puberty) and the constant repetition of “I am a girl” is incredibly boring. The same idea can be expressed in so many ways sticking to one is just bad, especially when the only word the narrator ever emphasises is girl. It also bothers me that in all this time the word “woman” was never used, even when saying he didn’t want to be a man in his own head.

There was so many things that could have been explored but I won’t find out whether they were or not.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paige
  • 04-01-18

I needed this so so much

this was absolutely beautiful and wonderful and amazing. I needed this story so damn much and I hope it helps others

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sam coupland
  • 05-26-17

Brilliant

Loved this book. I eagerly await volume two. Great story and brilliant trans heroine written well

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jane c
  • 08-03-22

wow seriously brilliant

Brilliant book , I couldn't stop listening to this ,April Daniels has written one of the best books I've read in an awful long time

So rare to see positive representation of the transgender community and April Daniels does a great job and all the emotions that can bring
At the heart is the story of Danny who is unexpectedly given a great responsibility of the Dreadnought mantle and I like how that is the perfect way of showing the vulnerable side of Danny who suffers from self doubt and low self worth at times . Becoming a superhero is a new journey for her and it's fascinating to read .
You know why the baddies are there (and i dont mean the lets blow things up baddie), they do a job as hurtful as they are , I can understand their inclusion.
Great book with great action and characters, I can't recommend this enough .
The narration was also great Natasha Soudek really bought the emotion and at times pain out of Danny

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-16-22

Enjoyable story!

Enjoyed the book much more than I usually do YA. The author does a good job of marrying a lot of conflict in the story into an engaging narrative, I also really enjoyed the way main character's powers are described in a way that makes it clear how powerful she is without making her victories feel undeserved.
Depth of some characters is lacking, but it is to be expected in a way.
Narration is good overall, but I felt like the voice was almost a bit too old for Danny.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-22

A story of a trans superheroine and it's great.

If you're interested in a new twist on a superhero origin story or in a trans main character I will highly recommend this book.

The struggle of transitioning and becoming a superhero at the same time is a wonderful combination for drama and character development.

It's included with audibles+ membership so you can listen to it for free if you have the membership. The book is good enough to stand on it's own though

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  • E. Day
  • 04-13-22

My new favourite book

I love love love this book.
Best fiction I’ve ever heard/read. As a trans woman i could relate so much to Danny and it was so refreshing to feel such a connection to a character. I hunger for more trans characters in fiction like this. The transphobic characters felt so real and heart crunching and the way it all merged into this fantastical world was enthralling. What i loved the most was how sometimes how she uses her superpowers becomes an expression of the emotions she’s feeling. and how accurate and relateable those emotions were.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Zoey
  • 03-23-22

I wanted to love it

But could not.
I'll give the physical copy a try, because a lot of it was due to the choice of the narrator in their voice acting.
I would suggest some CW as well for the transphobia and transmisoginy too, it can be a tough read. I'm glad other trans folks found joy in it but I personally felt a bit dysphoric and uncomfortable at times with the amount of cisnormativity. There is a thin line between wishfulfilling writing and plain cisnormative gaze I guess and for me it fell into the latter category

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-20-22

A wonderful story of empowerment of trans girl

I love this story of a young trans woman become her ideal self and one of the strongest beings in the world. Yet she still has to deal with the misogyny and transphobia from friend, family and superhero but along side this there is heart warming support from some characters and moments of gender euphoria that filled me up with some much joy I wept.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-26-22

one of my favourites

loved it so much found the main character so relatable. loved the characters and setting writer has a grasp on super hero stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-18-22

Superhero more like super book.

Everything I could’ve wished for and more as a trans superhero story. Insightful and illuminating but also realistic and vulnerable. The genuine care for the characters and the ideas shine over the couple of hiccups that only serve to make it feel all the more human.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-22

Overall not bad

struggled with some of the narration being a bit OTT. great storyline and queer representation. would be great for a young Trans person to read and feel like a superhero :)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-23-22

My new favourite series

As a trans woman, this book resonated with me in a deep and indescribable way. The author explores Danny's journey in such an exciting and authentic way.

As far as superhero novels go, this series is fantastic! April Daniels manages to play with superhero genre tropes in a lovingly new way, giving this book all of the flair and excitement of your classic superhero stories but with its own unique, refreshing and surprising flavour.

Please check this series out and support the author!! You won't regret it!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane Krauss
  • 11-04-21

First Transgender Read

This was my first foray into the field of 'superhero' books. Honestly, this was a fun read. It was also my first trans read, and I think it was delivered in a really cool way that fits so well with the genre. Overall, this book helped me understand how it can feel to be trans. April Daniels' writing was transporting, and I felt totally immersed in the experience of the story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous
  • 07-23-17

Amazing

Where does Dreadnought rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 10.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dreadnought?

The final speech, though the action scenes were really exciting as well.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The final speech

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The final speech

Any additional comments?

(These guided questions are just begging for repeated answers \(*_*)/)

Natasha Soudek's narration is top notched.