Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1) by Justina Ireland--A "Quickie" Review

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.


3 1/2 out of five stars
What a read. This book grabs you in a choke hold, and does not let go until the very last page.

Reminiscent of Alice in Zombieland, Dread Nation is the Walking Dead, immediately post slavery.

Jane McKeene, is a black girl during the most difficult of times. Although slavery has been abolished, the negro is no more accepted than they were before. 

Educated in the art of killing the dead, Jane is a force to be reckoned with. With sass, that is unmatched--Jane quickly became one of my favorite characters.

I admired her zest, and her unwavering bravery. Despite the circumstance, Jane stood up for what she believed in, and fought to the very end for both herself, but every other person that was mistreated before and after her.

Although this reads like a historical fiction, the tone--and the feelings the novel incites is very timely, and very now. 

The characters are easy to root for, and so very easy to follow along with. The plot itself is intriguing--but by the end, I felt like there was more to see--and I can see why this will be a series, and I have a feeling it's going to be an exciting series. 

For the romance lovers, there's not much in that department--but I do believe, there will be more of it in book two--and it's something to look forward to. 

All in all, the book reads well, is well-written, and is filled with gore and excitement. If you love the walking dead, a little bit of history--and a lot of sass, this book is for you! 


  1. I adored Jane, she was just sooo smart and sassy. I would love to see this become a movie just to see Jane kick butt!

    I'm holding out for a romance as well! Great review Jazmen!

  2. I love that this is a twist of genres, it definitely sounds interesting and different, which I like.

  3. I'm a fan of zombie books and I like historicals in certain situations, so I have high hopes for this one. Sounds like a good start to a series.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  4. Hi! I know, I know. I've been gone so long!! I preordered this on my Kindle, so I'll probably jump on it as soon as it shows up at midnight Tuesday morning. I think the cover, blurb and book trailer did me in. I don't usually preorder books unless they're sequels. I'm glad you enjoyed this, even if it's not a 5*. You will probably get spammed with comments from me on your other posts. I need to catch up and see what you've been reading.