wholesale Dread online high quality Nation online

wholesale Dread online high quality Nation online

wholesale Dread online high quality Nation online

Used - Good: All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels. Shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Item may be missing bundled media.
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New York Times bestseller * Six starred reviews

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.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education 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.

Please note that this book has deckle edges (the edges of the paper are purposely rough).

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Slavery comes to a halt when the dead on Civil War battlefields begin to rise and eat their compatriots. The north and south put aside their philosophical differences and join forces against the undead. They are aided in their efforts by the passage of the Native and Negro Reeducation Act which forces African American boys and girls into combat schools. Graduates from these schools are a buffer between the living and the undead. Jane McKeen is a biracial girl sent to Ms. Preston''s school of combat to obtain an attendant certificate. Jane is about to graduate when her friend, Red Jack, asks for help locating his sister Lily. Jane''s attempts to discover Lily''s whereabouts land her in a survivalist colony. Survivalists advocate a disordered view of natural selection that places Jane firmly under the thumb of a vicious sheriff and his psychopathic family. Jane is tasked with finding a way out of Summerland not only for herself, but also for those she loves. She must make some unlikely alliances of her own if she is to survive long enough to find her own path to freedom. This is a fictional exploration of the chattel slavery and American Indian boarding school systems. Ireland skillfully works in the different forms of enslavement, mental and physical, into a complex and engaging story. VERDICT A perfect blend of horrors real and imagined, perfect for public and school libraries and fans of The Walking Dead.—Desiree Thomas, Worthington Library, OH

Review

“This highly anticipated release is getting lauded as equal parts exciting, terrifying, and oh-so-relevant. Crackles on every page.” -- Brightly

“Ireland delivers a necessary, subversive, and explosive novel with her fantasy-laced alternate history that does the all-important work of exploring topics of oppression, racism, and slavery while simultaneously accomplishing so much more. Brilliant and gut-wrenching.” -- Booklist (starred review)

“Abundant action, thoughtful worldbuilding, and a brave, smart, and skillfully drawn cast entertain as Ireland ( Promise of Shadows) illustrates the ignorance and immorality of racial discrimination and examines the relationship between equality and freedom. Mounting peril creates a pulse-pounding pace, hurtling readers toward a nail-biting conclusion.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Will catch readers off-guard with its blend of genres: it starts out as an historical thriller but then tosses in hard hits of mystery, dystopian reimagining, romance, and humor. Jane’s voice reads familiar to more contemporary considerations of Black girlhood, with elements such as beauty standards, colorism, and friendships.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

“This absorbing page-turner works on multiple levels: as unflinching alternate history set in post-Reconstruction-era Maryland and Kansas; as a refreshingly subversive action story starring a badass heroine; as zombie fiction suspenseful; and as a compelling exhortation to scrutinize the racist underpinnings of contemporary American sociopolitical systems.” -- Horn Book (starred review)

“Ireland skillfully works in the different forms of enslavement, mental and physical, into a complex and engaging story. A perfect blend of horrors real and imagined, perfect for fans of The Walking Dead.” -- School Library Journal (starred review)

“Tremendously original, subversive, sharp, and all around badass, Dread Nation is not your mother’s Civil War–era zombie story.” -- Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Dumplin’

Dread Nation is everything I love—it’s beautiful, unflinching, lyrical, tender, and vividly imagined. Don’t miss this book!” -- Ann Aguirre, New York Times bestseller and coauthor of Honor Among Thieves

“This is the zombie novel I’ve been waiting for my whole life.” -- Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Court of Fives

From the Back Cover

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War between the States and changing the nation forever. In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Negro and Native 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. 

But that’s not a life she 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 desperate fight 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.

About the Author

Justina Ireland is the New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation and its sequel, Deathless Divide, as well as Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows. She is also one of the authors creating the next generation of Star Wars novels entitled the High Republic and is the author of the middle grade Star Wars adventures Lando’s Luck, Spark the Resistance, and A Test of Courage. She lives with her family in Maryland, where she enjoys dark chocolate and dark humor and is not too proud to admit that she’s still afraid of the dark. You can visit her online at www.justinaireland.com.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
1,285 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

praetor1983
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Rise up.
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2018
I hate zombies. They squig me out. Like, ridiculously. I can''t even make it through 10 pages of any zombie novel let alone 5 minutes of a zombie film. I bluddy loved Dread Nation. Justina Ireland is one of the bravest, snarkiest, most phenomenally talented... See more
I hate zombies.
They squig me out. Like, ridiculously. I can''t even make it through 10 pages of any zombie novel let alone 5 minutes of a zombie film.
I bluddy loved Dread Nation.
Justina Ireland is one of the bravest, snarkiest, most phenomenally talented voices in the industry and her newest novel, examining racism and its text/subtext/hypertext, is a stand out read that you cannot ignore. Between her richly written characters (who jump off the page as fully-fleshed out, realistic people that you feel like you not only already know, but want to just be around) and such a PERFECT touch at world-building the reader is lost and doesn''t want to come up for air at any point.
This. This is the historical "what if" about the Civil War that we - that you, everyone out there in the internets - want.

Don''t miss out.
90 people found this helpful
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Greg Andree
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is the best YA book you will ever read. Instant classic. Ready for the curriculum.
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2018
"I understand that it is dismaying to know a girl might be wont to strap a revolver to her thigh before attending an educational event." First, I loved this book. I’m writing this weeks after I read it, and I’m still thinking about it. I really liked... See more
"I understand that it is dismaying to know a girl might be wont to strap a revolver to her thigh before attending an educational event."

First, I loved this book. I’m writing this weeks after I read it, and I’m still thinking about it. I really liked Ireland’s PROMISE OF SHADOWS, but DREAD NATION is such a leap forward in complexity and craft that’s amazing. I really am in awe of this book that shows us a alternate history of the United States during reconstruction, but reflects our country as it currently exists. Her mind for satire is sharp (and not The Onion hahaha funny headline satire, but the satire of dead serious reflection), and the action is AWESOME and terrifying.

I love Jane, the MC of DREAD NATION. She is thoughtful, and impulsive. She is caring, and hateful. She is hilarious, and dead serious. She is such a complex character that she felt alive (insert zombie joke . . .) Her voice felt authentic for the time of reconstruction, but it didn''t feel dated or stilted. Her voice was W.E.B. Dubois, Mark Twain, Hariet E. Wilson, and of course Justina Ireland stirred together into a perfect amalgam - poetic at times, sarcastic, and truth throwing always. And Jane is surrounded by fully realized characters from friends and family, to politicians, scientists, and community members. Their relationships feel real, and are at the core of the book.

The world building in DREAD NATION is incredible. Justina Ireland knows her history. She knows the culture of the times, popular entertainment, mindsets of people in all levels of society, and science. You feel like you''re living in a fully realized world, and as her alternate history shaped by the uprising of the dead during the Civil War progresses you see that she has thought through not just the BIG parts of society and history that would change, but even down to the smallest details (and if this doesn''t have a sequel, a series, and HBO show our world will be poorer for it).

One of my fave world building parts that took me by surprise was a piece of classic literature. At one point Jane has a copy of the big new book of the time, Tom Sawyer, and it didn’t occur to me how much the book would have changed if Twain was writing during these times. I just thought of the book that I read when I was in school, but nope. Tom Sawyer in this alt-history is of course dealing with mischief, but instead of getting kids to paint fences for him, he’s out dealing with zombies and death, and all with Twain’s humor.

We see a bigger part of her world-building in Jane’s combat school. Jane is torn away from her home and taught to battle zombies ("shamblers") while maintaining perfect manners. Though what Jane learns best is how best to usurp all authority as they try to train her to protect the status quo. The schools are based on the real life schools Native American children were forced into to kill native culture, and re-educate them in accordance to Westernized ways of thinking and living, and like those schools her combat school has well-meaning teachers as well as cruelly manipulative. But it''s apparent that the "Negro and Native Re-education Act" is put in place so that Black and Native children become a product to protect and serve white people. They maintain white supremacy in a country that is falling into death and chaos. They’re meant to preserve the status quo in a world that would be better served, and might better survive, if it made changes that would value all their people, instead of just the privileged.

Of course the school is just the beginning, but as we go out into the wider world with Jane we are confronted with race and racism, science that dehumanizes and experiments on Black people, politics, medicine, communities surrounded by walls with leaders who want to make America great again, passing privilege, deconstruction of beauty standards, privilege, education, code-switching, and deciding who we really want to be our leaders. Who we need to be our heroes.

And really, seeing Jane as a hero, Black and epic and proud in this book, is revolutionary all on its own, aside from how brilliantly conceived this books is. Jane is going to change teen readers’ perceptions. I can’t wait to share it with my students, and looking forward to summer reading lists that include DREAD NATION, and really school curriculums that could build entire classes around unpacking the world Justina Ireland created. Anyway, long story short, I liked the book, a lot . . . obv. I wonder if I could get my school system to adopt it to read side by side with another zombie classic we can''t stop teaching, To Kill A Mockingbird. No joke. New personal mission : )
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Jamar Brown
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
THIS.BOOK.WAS.EVERYTHING.TO.ME
Reviewed in the United States on April 8, 2018
Hands down, this story was one of the best pieces young adult fiction that I''ve witnessed in quite some time. To have a fictional story such as this, and for it to contain so many elements that speak to me is downright amazing. Its one thing to read a fictional tale, and... See more
Hands down, this story was one of the best pieces young adult fiction that I''ve witnessed in quite some time. To have a fictional story such as this, and for it to contain so many elements that speak to me is downright amazing. Its one thing to read a fictional tale, and god knows i''ve read plenty, but to be able to identify so strongly with not only Jane, but with a number of the bevy of characters whom we are introduced to.

The life of an Attendant is most certainly a grueling task and Jane is a young woman who plies her craft well for her utmost survival. What made me love the main character so much is how flawed of a woman she is as we witness her moments of hubris, vulnerability, jealousy, and other traits intermixed with her heroism. Jane is a black woman who is careful of the optics which surround her and most certainly knows how to pull the "okey doke" in the realm of white supremacy. She deceptively tones down her keen intellect, her brassy attitude, and her deadly potential to put the minds of her oppressors at ease when she is far beyond the boundaries that they ignorantly believe her kind to be capable of. It''s a tiresome and frustrating tactic having to conceal one''s true potential, but its one that keeps her safe and her enemies for the most part unguarded.

Miss "Rich White Woman", Miss Katherine Deveraux was a standout. Like Jane she''s also an Attendant, but unlike Jane she possesses a special trait that eludes Jane which is her proximity to whiteness. With her light skin, softened and loose hair texture, and her eurocentric features, she is seamlessly able to navigate the surroundings of her oppressors with ease. She, like Jane is a strong woman worthy of a true Attendant who rises above her peers. She also makes one fine Nemesis as their personalities differ like night and day. She carries the makings of a exquisite woman, with the personality to match. Beyond her fair complexion, she possesses has a Je ne sais quoi about her that has men falling over themselves, and leaves Jane mad with envy and insecure about herself. I empathize with Jane for her feelings of jealousy. You cannot help but feel the way she does when you have the entire world saying you''re undesirable for who you are. Even by today''s standards, Its the fair and light being placed to the forefront. Admittedly, I hated people like Katherine growing up. The light, bright, damn near white, ones who think by just the way that they look, they are somehow better when at the end of the day, you will never truly be one of them. Katherine however had proven to be furthest thing from that. As someone consciously aware of her privileges, She used her natural traits and her upscale "boujee" behaviour as a means to ensure survival for herself AND for Jane. She had absolutely no time for the affluent, privileged, and downright racist community that she was forced to become a part of, and with each passing day could read that it ate away at her. I grew to adore Katherine just as much as Jane. The dynamics between the two were so organic and despite their differences, these young ladies had more in common than they were willing to admit.

There were times where I had to put the book down because I felt a deep seated feeling of anger at the treatment Jane was forced to go through. The obstacles she faced for being who she was took me back to some of the unfair experiences I faced as a black kid growing up. With the times, the ugliness of racism truly never dies. It simply evolves into something more concealable, not so blatant, yet equally as painful. Even in the face of what seems to be the end of days, they STILL must find a way to be on top! It was frustrating to read, but it strengthened my connection to Jane. As Wise Lady Whitley Gilbert would say, "I know this woman." I see elements of Jane in the mother who raised me, the older sister who protected me, and the "down for anything" bulldagger cousin who jumped in to take over a fist fight I was losing. I had to pace myself not to get through with this story to quickly because I sincerely did not want it to end. Its been so long since I''ve read something that I could Identify with. Finding stories with strong and BELIEVABLE people of color who arent side cast as the sassy, matronly, stereotypical, non believable, and ultimately forgotten types are genuinely hard to find. I was truly blessed to have both Children of Blood and Bone and Dread Nation at the same damn time, in the same damn year. Bless you Justina! I was truly honored.
38 people found this helpful
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Kelley
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I loved almost everything about this book
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2018
I loved almost everything about this book. The first half dragged in a few places, but once the girls left the school, everything clipped along at a steady, entertaining pace. I''m not entirely sure how I feel about Native American rep, or that the concept of... See more
I loved almost everything about this book. The first half dragged in a few places, but once the girls left the school, everything clipped along at a steady, entertaining pace.

I''m not entirely sure how I feel about Native American rep, or that the concept of Native boarding schools was taken and used in the manner it was. I''m also not sure if it''s my place to really comment on it, though, because I''m neither black nor Native. So I''ll leave that thought as it is.

I loved the world-building, the tension, the fight scenes. I loved Jane''s unapologetic personality. She''s ruthless when she needs to be and doesn''t seem to have any hangups about that, which is kind of refreshing. She and Katherine (who, honestly, I was rooting for as a couple until finding out that Katherine has zero interest in a romantic or physical relationship with anyone) have such good chemistry on-page.

Some very minor nitpicks... Big Sue was mentioned briefly at the beginning as being Jane''s real only friend at school, but then she was never mentioned again until once much, much later on in the book. Jackson''s appearances also felt a little convenient at times. He always seemed to pop up out of nowhere.

That said, the side characters were all wonderful. Even Lily, who we didn''t get too much of, seems like she''s going to be a little fireball in later books. Katherine was one of my faves. I''m *not* entirely looking forward to this implied love triangle I think we''re going to end up with, but we''ll see. Some authors can pull it off, and my dislike of love triangles is a personal thing rather than any kind of real reflection on the book itself.

The themes of racism in this book are hard-hitting, and Ms. Ireland did a fantastic job with it. No punches pulled. While I''m not normally big on cliffhanger endings, this one left off at a perfect spot, and I''m super excited for what comes next.
7 people found this helpful
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Emerson Jesseler
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Exciting Zombie Adventure With Unflinching Social Commentary
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2019
You might think the zombie thing is played out, but not so. This book manages to breath new life (forgive the pun) into the zombie trope by imagining the American Civil War interrupted by dead soldiers rising up and attacking their former comrades. This is only slightly... See more
You might think the zombie thing is played out, but not so. This book manages to breath new life (forgive the pun) into the zombie trope by imagining the American Civil War interrupted by dead soldiers rising up and attacking their former comrades. This is only slightly more horrifying than what actually happened…

As the book opens, the country is beginning to emerge from the resultant chaos. Politicians are telling people the zombie problem is Under Control. But is it really? As you might imagine, mayhem ensues.

The story is fast paced and exciting. Our heroine is a young woman trained in the techniques of zombie combat and she gets plenty of chance to put those skills to use. But why does she receive this training in the first place? Because in this version of America, people of color are used as human shields against zombies. The zombie apocalypse is unrealistic, of course. But the rest is sadly believable.

For a novel set so far in the past, this story is surprisingly relevant to the present. I think that is because it deals with the fact of racism in a clear and unflinching way. Racism is not represented as an occasional evildoer with a chip on his shoulder. Instead it is an institution, bent on keeping a whole people down.

Rating: 5 stars
Length: 120,000 words
Violence: Yep
Sex: Strongly Implied
Drugs: No
4 people found this helpful
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L Dopa
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very Intellectual, But Not That Thrilling
Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2018
I was introduced to Justina Ireland through her blog, where she wrote many engaging posts about the YA book scene. The blog was taken down once this book was announced for publication, likely as a business measure, but I miss reading the author''s blog! I really appreciated... See more
I was introduced to Justina Ireland through her blog, where she wrote many engaging posts about the YA book scene. The blog was taken down once this book was announced for publication, likely as a business measure, but I miss reading the author''s blog! I really appreciated her perspective on the latest book news. You can tell she''s a very intelligent writer, and Dread Nation is a very intellectual book, but for a zombie horror book, it''s lacking.

The book''s greatest strength is in its examination of the role American Protestant-flavor Christianity played in the institution of slavery. I took an American Religious History class in college and that class gave me a whole new outlook on my country''s history. So I was so intrigued and excited to see in this book how many of the white characters referenced and spread ideology that real slave owners and slavery-supporters held. It was very vindicating, in a way. It was absolutely my favorite part of the novel, and definitely made this book a very intellectual alternate history novel. I think readers who haven''t taken a class like the one I took might learn a new thing about American history just by reading this book.

BUT... this book is also a zombie novel. And as a zombie novel, it fell really flat. The main character, Jane, has been studying how to kill zombies at a very prestigious school, and is quite good at it. In fact, she''s SO good at killing zombies that it kills the tension in any of the zombie-fighting scenes. And because the book is written from her perspective, and because zombie bites are 100% fatal, there''s never any doubt that Jane will survive any zombie encounter she has. There was one scene early on where Jane ran out of bullets and was alone in a room with a zombie... and then someone else, appearing just in the nick of time, shoots it. That turned what could''ve been a really interesting scene of Jane improvising a zombie-killing weapon with what was around her into a scene where Jane survives due to a coincidence.

I also felt like the plot meandered a bit. There''s a mystery that kinda gets solved halfway through, and more mysteries that pop up that don''t have THAT much impact on the plot. There''s many descriptions of eating and sleeping that pad for time between zombie fights. And in the end, the good characters pretty much all survive to live another day and maybe even appear in another book. In any other book, I would be happy that people lived! But in a zombie book, in a horror book where death is everywhere, it feels out of place. I find zombies really scary usually and this book was just not very scary!

This book had a few good twists, and nice representation of different races and sexual identities, and of course it was very intellectual in way I liked, but don''t go in expecting to be scared or surprised by the zombies. It''s really not that stellar of a zombie book in the end.
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Waites Family
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
*Review from The Illustrated Page*
Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2018
At the battle of Gettysburg, the dead began to walk, changing history forever. Jane McKeene was born only a few days after that historic event, and she has never known a world where humanity isn’t threatened by the ravenous hunger of their own dead. Under the Native and... See more
At the battle of Gettysburg, the dead began to walk, changing history forever. Jane McKeene was born only a few days after that historic event, and she has never known a world where humanity isn’t threatened by the ravenous hunger of their own dead. Under the Native and Negro Reeducation Act, Jane and other black children are required to go to combat schools and then enter patrols to fight the dead. Jane attends the prestigious Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, and upon graduation, she is expected to go into service to a wealthy white woman, becoming her personal protector. Jane isn’t much interested in becoming a companion. Instead, she wants to return to the Kentucky plantation of her birth, where she hopes her mother is still alive. But Jane’s plans are derailed by a massive conspiracy, one that will see her struggling to survive in both the undead and some all too human threats.

From the start, Dread Nation presents a compelling and gripping narrative. I may or may not have stayed up until 2 AM reading it. Okay, I totally did. It’s just so good! The pacing is fast, and there’s plenty of action. It’s so easy to promise yourself, “just one more chapter…” until you’ve finished the entire book.

Jane is a wonderful protagonist, and I adored her narrative voice. She’s smart and strong willed, entirely capable. She’s also got just a touch of sarcasm to her, but not enough to get the point where it’s overwhelming or annoying. Oh, and the narrative briefly mentions that she’s bi, and there’s an ace supporting character! I’m so, so happy about this.

“See, the problem in this world ain’t sinners, or even the dead. It is men who will step on anyone who stands in the way of their pursuit of power.”

When trying to convince my friends to read Dread Nation, I’ve been giving the elevator pitch of, “Black girl fights both zombies and racism. Which is worse? Spoiler alert, it’s probably the racism.” Dread Nation obviously deals a whole lot with race and racism. Only black children are trained to fight the zombies, and they’re expected to protect white families. In fact, white people begin coming up with racist pseudo-science to explain why this should be. I’ve read other historical zombie stories where the divisions between people fall away in the face of the undead. Dread Nation takes a different view — in times of trouble, bigotry only increases.

One of the things I love about Dread Nation is how the most important relationship is between two female characters, Jane and Katherine. Katherine is a white-passing girl at Miss Preston’s school, and she and Jane are initially at odds. During the course of the story, events throw them together. Their alliance is uneasy to begin with, but by the end they are fast friends. I can’t tell you how much I loved their relationship arc! It’s also particularly wonderful to see a YA novel that prizes friendship over romance. While there’s definite hints of potential romances for Jane, it’s mostly left as something for the sequels to explore.

Each chapter begins with an excerpt, either from a letter from Jane to her mother or vice versa. I really liked this decision. Jane’s past and her relationship with her mother is a huge driving force. We get flashbacks to it throughout the book, but the excerpts from letters really help to strengthen the reader’s belief in their relationship.

It is worth mentioning that some Native American readers have critiqued the Native representation in Dread Nation. See Debbie Reese’s comments on the American Indians in Children’s Literature website, for instance.

Overall, my experience reading Dread Nation was wonderful. I’m sure this will be one of my favorite books of the year, and I can’t wait for book two!
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3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great potential - not quite realised
Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2018
It was the cover that lured me in to this novel, I''ll freely admit. Look at how gorgeous that cover is - a brilliant piece of work. The story is an alternative history - in a world where the American Civil War ended abruptly, when the dead rose from the... See more
It was the cover that lured me in to this novel, I''ll freely admit. Look at how gorgeous that cover is - a brilliant piece of work.

The story is an alternative history - in a world where the American Civil War ended abruptly, when the dead rose from the battlefields of Gettysburg and humanity had a new enemy, one that would bite and turn victims into fresh monsters. Warring soldiers are suddenly united in the face of a new enemy - but life doesn''t get any better for those who were slaves.

No longer reaping harvests, instead they are forced into reaping the dead - or to die trying.

Enter Jane McKeene, a student at a school of combat where she is being trained to fight.

So far, so good - it''s an intriguing premise, certainly. Alas, it doesn''t quite hang together.

For example, in one nugget of information, we learn Jane likes to sneak out of the combat school at night to go hunting zombies that threaten travellers. She does so on such a regular basis that you would think a supposedly top school would notice frequent absences - but nope, no sign of guards watchful enough to spot any passing zombies, let alone a bored student looking to pass the time with a spot of zombiecide.

The zombies don''t seem to be terribly much of a threat most of the time either - except as required for dramatic effect. Jane, meanwhile, is something of a superhero zombie killer, smiting while others are screaming.

Still, there''s something about reading this in the wake of reading the satire Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, which so effectively skewered this comfitted world of corsets and corpses that it''s hard to take some of Dread Nation seriously. That wasn''t helped every time someone gasped or grew short of breath because of the tightness of their corset while running or fighting zombies.

All in all, it felt something of a mixed book - there''s an intriguing world within bursting to be freed. The ramifications of the changed world remain to be explored in full, and the tone wavers at times, but it''s still intriguing. It didn''t quite hit the mark for me - but then, if you''ve steered clear of the satire mentioned above, you might well add an extra star for your own reading.
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Emma
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderfully well written and super diverse!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 13, 2018
Dread Nation is a zombie book set in the American Civil War era. It follows Jane McKeene, a black girl who was taken from her family and trained as an Attendant, an expert in the art of killing zombies who is expected to go into service protecting a middle class white woman...See more
Dread Nation is a zombie book set in the American Civil War era. It follows Jane McKeene, a black girl who was taken from her family and trained as an Attendant, an expert in the art of killing zombies who is expected to go into service protecting a middle class white woman from the unquiet dead. But Jane plans to use the education that her school has provided her with to go back to the Kentucky plantation she was born in, and hopefully reunite with the mother she was taken from. From the blurb, I expecting the story to remain in Miss Preston’s School of Combat where it begins, but the story went in such a wonderfully unexpected direction that I found myself constantly surprised. The heroine is witty and her voice is full of dry humour. The action scenes are also really well written and I loved reading how the fights unfolded, which is something I don''t normally enjoy in the books I read. Highlights: - Very diverse cast of loveable characters - the main characters are our black bisexual mc and her black aro-ace sidekick, both women - Sinister setting and very gripping plot - The change in historical period, in terms of how people understand diseases and science, adds a fun and unique twist to how people understand and deal with a zombie apocalypse - Lots of wonderful, cathartic moments of badassery from our protagonist Jane
3 people found this helpful
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amysreading_nook
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A bit too much world-building
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 10, 2020
I hadn''t actually heard of this series before but I was sent the second book by the publisher and so thought I should probably read the first one first. This was actually a really interesting and unique read and although i''ve only rated it three stars, which seems low, I...See more
I hadn''t actually heard of this series before but I was sent the second book by the publisher and so thought I should probably read the first one first. This was actually a really interesting and unique read and although i''ve only rated it three stars, which seems low, I did enjoy this book overall. There were just some issues in it for me that made me feel unable to rate it five stars. This is a very character driven book; it almost feels like a filler book because it is so centered on the characters and barely the plot. There''s almost no tension in this book and virtually no action; yes there are a couple of bits of them fighting the hordes but other than that it''s almost a period drama. I did enjoy it, but it felt largely unnecessary at times. The plot is interesting, but not really developed on throughout the book which makes this feel very much like it was intended to be a middle book but somehow got shunted to the front. This book has some really good representation; LQBTQ with Jane being bisexual (I think - it''s never explicitly stated buy she mentions relationships with males and females) and Katherine being asexual (again not stated but she discuses having no sexual attraction to anyone). Although it is mostly about zombies, it''s a really important historical read and I would highly recommend it. There are also some real discussions about feminism and typical femininity with Katherine; the MC Jane and Katherine are both extremely different women and are probably polar opposites for the main part. They don''t just get over things but actually work through their differences and issues as they arise. This doesn''t mean that they don''t still have their issues, because they definitely do and it is delightful to watch. Overall I liked this read and will be keeping it on my bookshelves for now, but I wasn''t hooked by it.
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S. Naomi Scott
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A superbly written tale that will stay with you.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 2, 2019
When the dead start to rise at the battle of Gettysburg, the American Civil War comes to a sudden end with both sides agreeing to join forces against this new shambling threat. Some years later, Jane McKeene is a student at Miss Preston''s School of Combat, a place where...See more
When the dead start to rise at the battle of Gettysburg, the American Civil War comes to a sudden end with both sides agreeing to join forces against this new shambling threat. Some years later, Jane McKeene is a student at Miss Preston''s School of Combat, a place where young women of colour are trained to fight the dead and protect the white folks from being turned into zombies. As you can probably imagine from that very brief introduction, this book really doesn''t hold back on showing the true face of racial inequality in the not-so United States of the nineteenth century. I really enjoyed this book and fell in love with Jane''s voice right from word one. It starts with the protagonist telling us how the midwife tried to murder her on her first day of life and from there the narrative just keeps ramping up the pace. We''re quickly introduced to the other main characters and given a brief but informative history of the years since Gettysburg alongside some well-paced action sequences, before gradually being drawn into a mystery surrounding the sudden and unexplainable disappearance of a local farming family. Suffice to say it isn''t long before Jane, her co-student Katherine (don''t call her Kate), and one-time beau, Red Jack, find themselves stumbling headfirst into a mite more trouble than they expected. While it is possible to read this book as nothing more than a popcorn-fuelled historical fantasy zombiefest, I really do believe doing so would be an injustice. Justina Ireland paints a vivid, almost shockingly sober account of what life was like for people of colour, and especially women of colour, during the post-bellum years in the States. Take away the zombies and the combat training, and Jane could just as easily be any young woman of colour from that period, and her experiences wouldn''t have been all that different. I couldn''t help but draw comparisons between this and Octavia E. Butler''s Kindred, and while the approach taken by each book may be very different the end result is still a harsh indictment of the way most white people treated anyone who wasn''t white. This is a book that will, if you let it, make you think quite deeply about what''s going on in the background. It''s superbly written, and the character of Jane is one who will stay with you long after you''ve turned the final page. I''m giving it a solid four stars and waiting eagerly for the next book in the series.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Zombie western
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 9, 2020
I’m not usually into zombie books/ shows, but this duology is the exception. In 1800s America, a zombie plague has risen up from the civil war and black people are forced to go to combat schools where they learn how to fight and kill zombies for the protection of white...See more
I’m not usually into zombie books/ shows, but this duology is the exception. In 1800s America, a zombie plague has risen up from the civil war and black people are forced to go to combat schools where they learn how to fight and kill zombies for the protection of white people. Enter Jane McKeene, a Brave, strong-willed student at Miss Preston’s combat school. What I love about this book is that it’s more of western that just happens to have zombies in it. You’ve got bandits, bounty hunters, lawmen (woman), but from the perspective not often told in historical-like (especially Westerns) novels, black People. I also love that the main character are all strong women and they get to do all the fighting. The book also has great lgbtq representation.
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Farah Mendlesohn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I cannot remember who recommended this to me
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 3, 2018
So unexpected! I cannot remember who recommended this to me, but, well... zombies and the American Civil War... it sounded awful. And it''s first person which I don''t love. It''s sat on my shelf for months. I picked it up yesterday for the stupidest of reasons, I have a...See more
So unexpected! I cannot remember who recommended this to me, but, well... zombies and the American Civil War... it sounded awful. And it''s first person which I don''t love. It''s sat on my shelf for months. I picked it up yesterday for the stupidest of reasons, I have a migraine and need large print. Young black woman zombie hunter takes on white supremacy. Utterly utterly riveting. Ireland has really thought through the ways in which white liberal people were willing to sell out Blacks in Reconstruction and used that to think through what would happen in a nation only part way into emancipation if a major external threat arrived.
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