cover image Dreadnought


April Daniels. Diversion, $14.99 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-68230-068-8

A transgender teenager is transformed into her ideal self after being imbued with the powers of the world’s greatest superhero in this thought-provoking first book in the Nemesis series. As the latest iteration of Dreadnought, 15-year-old Danielle is expected to train with the local team, the Legion Pacifica, until she’s ready to become a full-fledged hero. Unfortunately, her parents would rather “cure” her and turn her back into Danny, and her reception among the other heroes is mixed at best. Danielle teams up with vigilante heroine Calamity to track down the previous Dreadnought’s murderer, only to stumble upon a plan to destroy the human race. In an impressive debut, Daniels skillfully conveys Danielle’s pain, confusion, and emotional complexity as she faces a host of detractors and conflicts. While Danielle’s supernatural transformation comes off as an easy solution compared to journeys of real-world trans teenagers, the novel’s comic-book trappings allow for a fascinating exploration of gender identity in a fantastical setting. Danielle’s evolution from confused teen to confident hero is entertaining and inspiring. Ages 12–up. Agent: Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Agency. (Jan.)