I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Genres: Horror, YA
on April 3rd 2018
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A story of the undead like you’ve never read before, Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation is a fresh, stunning, and powerful meditation on race in America wrapped in an alternate-history adventure where Confederate and Union soldiers rise from the dead at the end of the Civil War.
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.
But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.
At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland’s stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.
Prologue: The day I came squealing and squalling into the world was the first time someone tried to kill me.
Here is what I thought
Dread Nation was an okay read but I was hoping for a little more zombie action.
It’s an alternate United States story that starts out after the Civil War was stopped because the dead started to rise. Instead of fighting each other they had to fight what they call Shamblers. Slavery was illegal but the white folks still thought of themselves as supreme beings and so they had what they called the Native and Negro Reeducation Act which took young children Natives and Negroes out of their homes and into schools to teach them how to fight against shamblers. The would then be hired out to protect the rich white folk.
Jane is one of those girls and she is at Miss Prescott’s Combat School for Girls and she is close to graduating and she has one thing on her mind and that is getting out of there and finding her mother who is back in Rose Hill. She has written her letters but not heard anything. So she has no clue if they were over run with shamblers and are dead or what. Jane is a bit headstrong and gets herself in some trouble.
She agrees to help a friend try and find his sister and learns about some folks that have gone missing, it doesn’t take to long to find out what happens when she is caught along with Jackson and Kathryn and are sent to Summerland. The corrupt Mayor of Baltimore has told everyone they are safe and that the shamblers are gone but they are not. He also has this place he thinks will bring America back to the way it should be, this place is Summerland, but it’s a horrible place.
Jane and her friends find out just how much there is a lot more going on here and that their are way more shamblers roaming than the sheriff wants to let on and it’s a fight for her life.
I really liked Jane and even came to like Kathryn as well. They end up having a lot more in common they would have thought and were sort of enemies at first. Jackson is a cocky and smooth talking young black man and I liked him as well.
I liked Dread Nation but at times it was kind of slow and I think there might have been only about 5 or 6 shambler attacks and most of them wasn’t even much. It wasn’t till the end that they had to fight a horde of them and I guess I just thought a zombie book would have more zombies, as I don’t read many of them. It was more focused on political corruption which I am sure that is what the author was wanting but it wasn’t what I had in mind. It’s marked as horror on goodreads but I think it’s more dystopian with zombies as it wasn’t scary at all.
The ending makes me think that there could be a sequel but it doesn’t say on goodreads so I don’t know. If there is no sequel and it’s left very open ended and that could affect my thoughts on this book because I don’t’ like how it ended but I am leaving it as there will be another one. 🙂
Overall, it was an interesting read and if it sounds like one you would enjoy then try it.