I was approached by Diversion Books to read this title in exchange for a review. Although this book was sent to me by a publisher through NetGalley, all opinions are my own, as always.
This is the second book in the Nemesis series, so I went into reading this without the benefit of background knowledge. So, of course, I was pretty worried that I wouldn’t understand the storyline completely, and the themes would be harder to pick up from the second book alone.
Sovereign follows the story of Danny – aka the superhero ‘Dreadnought’ – as she navigates a fantasy world filled with magic. In fact, it is her job to completely protect a whole city in her role, which is a feat for any superhero, let alone a teenage one.
There are several background characters to compliment Danny too; the mysterious Doctor Impossible, who spends most of her time drinking alcohol to do away with the guilt of her actions in the previous novel. I really enjoyed Doctor Impossible’s character, especially as she’s a robot/cyborg (I forgot which, but I’m assuming the latter), in a Cinder-esque way.
In addition, there’s also fellow powered person Calamity – or Sarah, Danny’s love interest. I loved the relationship between the pair, which managed to do justice to both characters. Calamity wasn’t simply the protagonist’s love affair, she was a 3D, fleshed out person with her own problems in her own right.
Danny is also transgender. The idea of a transgender superhero really made me interested in reading this, mostly because I was looking forward to seeing how Daniels would manage to touch on the issues that transgender people face, whilst still maintaining the fantasy element. This is also an Own Voices LGBT+ novel, which gave an added level of authenticity.
All in all, I’m really pleased with how April Daniels managed to combine LGBT+ issues into this plot. The reason I didn’t give 5 stars to this story was mostly because I was confused at a few points in the novel – I’m pinning this down to my own lack of previous reading, but I think there could have been more recap on previous events, such as in a flashback or a conversation, maybe even a meta story. That way, this book could definitely have worked better as a standalone novel.
Overall, I gave this book a hot 4 stars out of 5, and I’m going to be looking out to buy the first novel as soon as I can, and maybe give this book another read once I’m done with that.
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