Saturday, April 7, 2018

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

e-ARC, 464 pages
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Read from: April 1-6, 2018
Dread Nation, #1
Source: Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.
For fans of:  Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Zombies, Diverse Authors, Diversity, 

     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.


     I'm normally not a fan of historical fiction. I'm also normally not a fan of zombies. But who knew if you put them together I'd fall for them both?! This very unusual mix of things helped me find a new love for both of these story ideas.
"The truth and I ain't very close- uneasy acquaintances at best."
     Jane attends a school where she learns how to become an attendant, someone who protects her charges (wealthy white women) from shamblers. All of a sudden, those families she was learning to protect go missing. Jane wants to figure out what's going on.... And that of course puts her right in the middle of drama. And now, not only does she have to fight the shamblers, but she also has to fight some terrible humans too......
"We're going to kill the dead."
     For this to be historical fiction, this was such an easy read. The history didn't overbear on the rest of the story and I was able to enjoy it better that way. The historical parts were there, but Ireland didn't really go into detail. This may be why I liked it so much. It wasn't too teachy and it wasn't trying to be too preachy. 
"One: the dead will take everything you love. You have to end them before they can end you. That's exactly what I aim to do. And two: the person poking the dead ain't always the one paying for it.  In fact, most times, it's the ones minfing their own business who suffer."
     It really could have done with some more shamblers and shambler attacks. I know the object is to stay away from them, but for the most part, I was expecting them to do more. See them more. I'm hoping for more in Book 2 because the fighting and action in this one was AMAZING. So much so that I had some really trippy dreams about fighting shamblers when I first started reading it. 
"...the easiest lie to tell is the one people want to believe."
     And of course, I LOVED the main character. Jane reminded me so much of me and my sarcasm. And then there was Red Jack and Katherine. They were a bit annoying at first, but they grew on me as things went along. All the characters were fully developed and they all served a specific part of the puzzle.
"It's a cruel, cruel world. And the people are the worst part."
     This book was nothing at all like I expected. It was raw, real, and uncut and it was amazing. It has definitely made me look at historical fiction and zombies in a completely new light. Can't wait to see what trouble Jane and Co get into in Book 2!
Overall, I give this


  1. Oh nice! I was hesitant with this one at first, but now I am getting more intrigued! It definitely sounds like my kind of read! So glad you enjoyed it too! Great review!

  2. I’m hopefully going to be starting this book tomorrow. I like history and zombies, so it seems like a very “me” book. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. I loved Jane too. She was so likeable. And yes more shambles. Maybe in the next book. I really loved this book