Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Author: Justina Ireland
Title: Dread Nation
Series: Dread Nation #1
Publication: April 3, 2018
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher 
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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.
Review 
Jane is a clever, impulsive and witty character. She's way too sassy for her own good but she's smart. I enjoyed her humor in the midst of everything she was going through in this world. She's a badass shambler harvester and I could easily visualize her doing it.  Jane has great instincts about her surroundings and sees things that others so easily miss. So, when people begin to go missing Jane begins to piece together that it has something to do with the leaders in Baltimore County but as she gets closer to solving the puzzle, she and her friends get shipped off to the middle of nowhere. She sparks an unlikely friendship with her nemesis Katherine, who seems at first ditsy as all get out but managed to surprise me because she is so much more than that. Red Jack is a scoundrel that seems to show up at the least expected times but can't help but to fall for his slick charm. 

She misses home at Rose Hill and the uncertainties about her future make her wary. She's written countless letters to her mother but never receives word back. Each chapter begins with a letter to her mom and they are always cheery compared to what she is going through at the school in Baltimore County. She thinks her mother is upset with her for leaving and maybe that's why she hasn't heard back but the truth will spark her fury and vengeance at the betrayal. 

Okay, so this was a little hard for me to read considering the subject and not talking about the zombies. The way they get treated and talked about as if they are less than human is infuriating, yet it's okay for them being trained to kill and protect their betters. The Survivalists see a world that is changing and they'll do whatever they can to hold on to a semblance of the past that has them at the top of the hierarchy and the negroes subservient to them. There is one scene in particular that involves Jane that hit a nerve with the violence that highlights a moment those past ancestors had to endure that she herself never thought she would experience. I could connect to her pain, devastation, and anger as well as the other characters that had to go through the things they did in this world. Overall, this is a good beginning to Jane's story and I'm interested to see how the next book continues. The pace of this work is steady and the characters are engaging. The writing is good and the world is realistic considering the subject. I feel that anyone that's interested in zombies and a female lead that pulls you into to her life as if you are right there with her will like this one.  

32 comments:

  1. Well this definitely sounds a bit different. YAY for strong female leads!

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  2. This looks SO GOOD, I absolutely cannot wait to read it.

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  3. I second all the comments thus far, thank you for putting this book on our radars!

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  4. I'm glad to hear that Jane is such a strong character. I feel like the hierarchy and the way the people who fall under the Native and Negro Reeducation Act are treated/viewed would make me really angry and probably want to throw the book. I love that cover though.

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    Replies
    1. I almost put it aside but for Jane

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  5. Great review. It's good to see such a strong female lead

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    1. She is in spite of everything she goes through in this book

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  6. I like sassy and clever heroines

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    Replies
    1. She has such a smart mouth and always finds trouble

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  7. interesting premise

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  8. I'm not much for zombies, but the fierceness of the cover model makes this very enticing.

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    Replies
    1. She is a great character and that what made like the book more.

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  9. Sounds really really good! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Great review, and yes I really want too check out this book when it comes out as well. It just looks and sounds absolutely fantastic and right up my alley. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

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  11. I’v been waiting for this one to come out! Great review!

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  12. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I love sassy and clever female leads, so I'll have to check this out.

    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

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  13. Strong female character, what's not to like. Great review

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  14. This one sounds really cleverly done! I'm going to have to get to this one sooner rather than later. Thanks for the review.

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  15. Oh this book sounds so good. Justina is a new author for me!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you found a new author to try.

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  16. Replies
    1. It's good and I hope you enjoy it as as well.

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