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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Dreadnought

Dreadnought - April Daniels

First in a series that I've only not pre-ordered the next volume of because I don't see a Kindle option yet. Will read, for sure.


I don't typically love origin stories. Probably because I've overdosed on Spiderman and Batman re-introductions over the years. With great power comes great repetition, Martha. This feels quite fresh, though. Not just a subtle variation on something I've read a dozen times before.


Part of that, of course, is that the protagonist is trans, and that just adds layers of bullshit for her to face. And why pick just one kind of gross asshole when you can have both the toxic masculinity mascot parents failing to accept you and the genetics-is-destiny feminist who considers you an invader?


Part of it is also the relationships she builds with supers in different socioeconomic brackets. It's quite interesting to see someone flit back and forth between a wealthy, corporate officially sanctioned setting and a street wise, morally gray setting and struggle to grok both individually and in relation to each other. I know I've read other stories that try to approach this, but not as successfully as Dreadnought.


The pacing is a bid slow to start, but ramps up in the last act. Sadly, while much of this feels novel, the villain's plan, when finally revealed, is disappointingly familiar when first introduced, and still well worn territory for scifi fans even after the twist is revealed. That's kind of okay, though, since this book is much more about the journey than the destination. And while the plan is meh, the motivation behind it has a lot of potential to lead the protagonist into new, interesting territory.


I am so looking forward to the next installment.