Book Review: Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland
By Erin Parks
Jane McKeene is a student at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore in the late 1800s. She’s learning to become an attendant: a woman who accompanies wealthy white ladies and protects them from the undead. Many years before, in the midst of the Civil War, the dead began to walk during the Battle of Gettysburg. The war was put on hold as people tried to figure out how to protect themselves from this new threat. Jane, however, is determined to return to her mother and her home in Kentucky. However, before that can happen, she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy as close friends and neighbors start to go missing. Along with her friends, Katherine and Jackson, Jane works to get to the bottom of what’s going on and finds out that you can’t always trust the people around you.
This alternate history with zombies is perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Throughout the book, Jane makes keen observations about human nature, politics, and race relations, and she grows and evolves as she learns that people are not always what they seem on the surface. The compelling writing and intense moments make it impossible to put the book down. Find Dread Nation in eBook in Overdrive/Libby and Hoopla and in audiobook in Hoopla. The sequel, Deathless Divide, can also be found in audiobook on Hoopla.