Book Review: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland successfully takes real and raw historical events and merges them with fantasy in a way that’s intense, gripping, and at times plain old heartbreaking.

Jane is the heroine I simply didn’t know I needed. When I was a teen, I don’t recall ever reading about a badass black female protagonist who not only knows her way around a weapon, but also isn’t afraid to be upfront and honest about the fact that she’s not opposed to a bit of lying and scheming. The best part about it is that she isn’t some scoundrel who you’re not sure whether you should hate. In fact, she’s got a huge heart and is just not the type to wear it on her sleeve.

I admit to being a tad skeptical about a plot involving zombies taking over the country in the post-Civil War years, but I’m now joining the ranks of those who appreciate how brilliant this book is. Dread Nation makes its blatant and much needed commentary on the deplorable way that African Americans have been treated throughout history and also hands us the action and entertainment that, quite frankly, our stories deserve to have even as they tackle the darker topics.

“You willing to give your life for some rich man’s delusions?”

Synopsis Excerpt (via Goodreads)

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…

Buy Dread Nation at The Strand here.
(This happens to be my favorite indie, but please support your local ones!)

Note: I’m experimenting with a new format, keeping the reviews of content that I love short and sweet. Comment below with your feedback and/or tweet @FanaticReviews!

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