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Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation

by Justina Ireland

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4552933,558 (4.27)13
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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Dread nation is a book about a girl named Jane. Jane lives during the segregated times after the Civil War. the un-dead are like zombies and they eat parts of people to re-generate. The un-dead came out during the war, so people stopped fighting each other and worked on killing the un-dead. Some white men started the Survivalists they are a group that forced people into New Americas. Jane went to a lesson that a professor was giving about the un-dead and how it takes ‘Negros” longer to turn. When he is giving his speech, his assistant turns un-dead behind him. Jane takes him down and (Jane’s frenemy) Katherine helps. Jane and Katherine are invited to go to the mayor's office for a reward. Jackson (Jane’s ex-boyfriend) sneaks in. Jackson, Jane and Katherine sneak into the Mayor's office to see why they are here and one of the Mayor’s friend caught them. He sends them off to Summerland a New America. Jane is sent to guard the wall around it Jackson is in prison for beating up someone and Katherine acts like a white women (her skin is light enough that she can pass). Once Jane caught sneaking around in the officer’s office she is whipped in the towns square. Katherine takes Jane, so she can care for her and they plan to get out. Once they have it lots of the un-dead attack, so everyone flees out of town. Jane goes to look for her mother and Katherine and Jackson come too.

I loved Dread Nation because I love times where the world is your apart and someone or people must fix it. Jane is one of those characters that wants to prove herself to other colored people. She kills the un-dead and helps people no matter what. Katherine is my favorite character because that is what I’m like. I think that Jackson and Katherine would do well without Jane. In the book they pretty much just follow what Jane is doing and help her out. I also like the Mayor he is like my mom but meaner and that is impossible. He may b mean but if he was a different character then he would be cool. ( )
  BryceT.B4 | Jan 16, 2019 |
I didn't expect to read not one but TWO historical fiction zombie young adult novels, but such is the way of the world. In this one, the zombies are called "shamblers" and they're inserted into Reconstructionist America in a clever way that deals with racial politics. I thought the book did some smart things, but I didn't personally get invested in the story. But I'll chalk that up to just not being in a very zombie mood. ( )
  cavernism | Jan 11, 2019 |
Imagine if the American Civil War was also the scene of the zombie apocalypse? That's exactly what Justina Ireland does in her novel, Dread Nation.

As if slavery and war weren't enough, now Jane has to contend with zombies! Jane's white mother is a plantation owner who had a desire for the black slaves who worked on her plantation. When Jane was born, she insisted on raising her daughter as her own even though (based on Jane's dark skin) the father is not her mother's husband. When that husband returns home from the war infected with the zombie virus, he is killed and Jane is sent to an unorthodox finishing school: Miss Preston's School of Combat. But things don't seem quite right - as friends and family begin to disappear, Jane begins to get suspicious but before she can truly investigate she finds herself in a utopian town out west where things are not quite as perfect as her friends would have her believe.

This was a fun and unique read. The premise is so outside-the-box, that I was intrigued. And Jane is a strong, independent protagonist that had me hooked from page one. A fast paced adventure with zombies thrown into the mix makes this book tough to put down. ( )
  cathishaw | Dec 20, 2018 |
Pros: interesting characters, excellent worldbuilding, fast paced


Jane McKeene is in her final year at Miss Preston’s School of Combat for Negro Girls. At 17 she’s trained to become an Attendant, to protect a white young lady from shamblers - the undead - and protect her modesty from amorous young men. But what she really wants is to return home to Rose Hill and her plantation owning Momma.

Though the war between the North and South was set aside to deal with the undead as they rose, racial tensions haven’t eased, and some people believe the shamblers are God’s punishment for trying to make all men equal. These men build communities behind walls. But can walls really keep the monsters of the world out?

When a friend of Jane’s asks for help finding his missing sister, Jane stumbles into trouble even her combat training hasn’t prepared her for.

I absolutely loved Jane and was astonished at how self-aware she was for a seventeen year old. She recognizes that she lies a lot and acknowledges her other faults, even as she often revels in rule breaking. She’s impulsive and often later regrets her actions but can’t stop herself from acting first and thinking later, a trait that actually saves her life on occasion. She’s also really smart, though realizes that there’s often safety in appearing to be less intelligent than she is.

Katherine was also great. I liked that her animosity with Jane was due to superficial things, so it didn’t feel manufactured when they started becoming friends.

As a Canadian, I don’t know much about the American Civil War or it’s immediate aftermath, so I don’t know to what extent things have been twisted here, though I did recognize the names of a few of the Generals referenced. There’s an author afterward talking about the Indian residential schools that come up in the book and how she used them as a template for her training schools.

I thought the author incorporated the zombies into the history quite well. Due to the period in which the book is set, some offensive language is used. The ’n’ word is not, but other slurs do appear. This made parts of the book uncomfortable to read, but it’s the discomfort of how horribly some people treated others.

This is a brilliant book and I highly recommend it. ( )
  Strider66 | Dec 4, 2018 |
This is a really good audiobook. Alternate history where the Civil War ended due to the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Loaded with race and feminist issues, strong female characters, great dialogue, and lots of zombie action. No annoying YA tropes and the audio is narrated by one of my favorite narrators - Bahni Turpin. ( )
  sprainedbrain | Dec 1, 2018 |
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For all the colored girls. I see you.
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The day I came squealing and squalling into the world was the first time someone tried to kill me.
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When families go missing in Baltimore County, Jane McKeene, who is studying to become an Attendant, finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy that has her fighting for her life against powerful enemies.

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