Dread Nation ~ Justina Ireland

Happy Book Birthday to Dread Nation!

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1)

Rating: 5/5

From the depths of the South in the Civil War area comes an uprising of Shamblers, also known as zombies. Who will stop them? Of course the logical conclusion would be to draft Native American and black children into a zombie fighting army, right? This alternative history novel is stunning in it’s simplicity and shockingly tragic at the same time. Throughout reading this novel, the premise continued to blow me away with its incredibly likely scenario.

An excellent examination of America both past and present, this story tells the tale of young women and men who are deemed different simply for the color of their skin. Jane is incredibly smart, and has an aptitude for science, which I love. She shows her true colors several times when white men are giving lectures or asserting dominance, while she demonstrates a scientific understanding that clearly undermines their theories. She’s so badass, and I love how smart she is. She’s also an amazing actor, not afraid to use others’ biases to her advantage.

Not only does this story focus on racial injustice in America from a dystopian standpoint, but Ireland talks about gender and sexuality during Civil War era. Some of the characters are very casually not straight, an element that I always love when it is eventually unearthed. I even love Katherine, as she continues to reprimand Jane for judging her for wanting to be stylish.

Katherine faces her own battles. At one point Jane sends Katherine away to live among white people as she is fair skinned enough to pass for white. Katherine hates this, as she then has to live in fear of being discovered. In a way, Katherine has it the hardest, for she is neither accepted by Jane and other black girls, nor by white women when they realize she’s not white. No one will hire her for the job she wants as an Attendant to white folks because of her fair skin and pretty face. Katherine’s development throughout this book is stunning.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, as I feel it’s various themes traverse a variety of subjects that could interest almost anyone. Plus the graphics are brutal enough to definitely consider this an action book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss.

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