Sovereign is the sequel (out today) to Dreadnought, which came out earlier this year in January. Dreadnought revolved around Danny, who became a superhero in a world where superheroes, villains, and “gray” capes are widely known. When Danny became a superhero, she also became a girl, making her deepest secret apparent to the world around her. It follows her journey as a newfound superhero, also dealing with prejudice and parental emotional abuse (trigger warnings for both!). If that sounds intriguing, you should definitely go read Dreadnought now! If you want more information, I also reviewed Dreadnought here. Sovereign is set nine months after the end of Dreadnought. Danny is trying to juggle protecting the city, her first superhero convention, relationships with the police/her parents/friends, and a new supervillain on the scene. As she juggles all of these, she’s also learning the limitations of her powers and trying to figure out what’s going on with her friend Sarah.
What I really enjoyed about this book was that, just like Dreadnought, there’s a good mix of movie-worthy action and combat scenes and character development. Danny’s relationships with those around her are really important to her survival as well as her emotional well-being. This is made apparent through what you see going on, rather than being told, which is also really great from a writing style perspective. It’s nice to have some characters back from the previous book as well, and a few new ones to build on.
The story also continues to follow Danny’s experiences as not only one of the world’s newest superheroes, but also as someone the world widely considers to be the first transgender superhero. In this vein, she has to learn how to “handle” the press, and try to make it known to the wider world that she is *not* the first transgender superhero, she’s just the first to be widely recognized. She has a lot on her plate, essentially. Be forewarned that some of what she deals with is rough–and there are trigger warnings for torture and transphobia towards Danny.
Overall, this is a great superhero story. The writing is well done, the villain is properly scary in a way that mimics current society, and Danny’s story is one you really care about. Her adventures are also interesting, and I had a very favorite subplot (that I won’t spoil here) that was super sweet and cute. If you enjoyed Dreadnought, I recommend Sovereign. If you haven’t read Dreadnought, then I recommend reading both!
Note: I received this book from Netgalley & the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
What diverse superhero stories do you recommend? Leave me some rec’s in the comments!