Series: Nemesis #2
Author: April Daniels
Trigger warnings: Extreme transphobia, rape mention, domestic abuse mention
This book is second in a series, so this review will probably contain spoilers of book one, Dreadnought.
Only nine months after her debut as the superhero Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse.
When she crosses a newly discovered billionaire supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.
She might be hard to kill, but there’s more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge.
And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings, ready to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.
After the difficult but absolutely fantastic story that was Dreadnought, I got my hands on this book as soon as it came out … a month ago.
I actually had to take a several-week break in the middle of reading this book. Remember how I said Dreadnought was “difficult” with all the transphobia? This book is worse.
So, if you remember Graywytch from the last book, she’s a major player in this one. With all of her TERF transphobia and man-hating. And I’m really trying to avoid spoilers here, but there’s a point about right in the middle of the book where really really bad things happen and there was so much pain and hatred and transphobia that I just had to put the book down and back away for a while. So heads up if transphobia is an issue for you – that section is going to pack one hell of a punch.
Once I came back to it after that, though, it was much easier and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some of the greatest things it has going for it:
- The master plot was fantastic and there’s a massive twist and you don’t find until AFTER the final battle what the actual evil plan is
- Relationship issues between Calamity/Sarah and Danny
- Pros: Great tension in the story and they’d-better-figure-this-out tension for me reading it
- Cons: You don’t get as much Calamity epicness in this book
- Character development! Danny grows SO MUCH in this book and it’s amazing watching her mature
- Superhero/law enforcement politics – yes, it’s a thing, and it’s kinda cool
- A superhero secondary character who’s genderqueer/nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns
My only actual plot problem with the book was all the legal stuff. Danny gets involved in a lot of legal battles, and they wrap up a little more conveniently than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind – I was dreading getting through all the superhero action and then having to deal with frustrating legal stuff – the resolution just seemed to come out of the blue.
This book was really difficult, even more so than the first book. I kept anticipating transphobia around every corner, and it was hard when it showed up and a relief when it didn’t. But it came out to a happy ending with some cute romance and I’m glad I finished it. Sovereign wraps up neatly, but if there is an upcoming book three, I certainly wouldn’t object.
The Nemesis series: