Title: Dread Nation
Author: Justina Ireland
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, YA
Dread Nation is a continuation of my newfound love for YA. I’ve seen the books listed on numerous must-read lists. After an extended library waitlist, my turn finally came.
I had no idea what Dread Nation was about, like every book I start reading. A historical science fiction novel featuring zombies and a strong female character kicking ass in pursuit of equality…uh, could the plot get any better?
The Civil War ends in a dramatic twist in this historical rewrite. Flesh-hungry dead rise at the Battle of Gettysburg just days before Jane McCree, a black southern girl, was born. With slavery recently abolished and a war against the undead to fight, the government requires all black children to attend combat school, framing their training as the Native and Negro Reeducation Act.
Jane is a skilled yet rebellious fighter who finds herself in danger for investigating recent disappearances and a possible government conspiracy.
What I Liked Most
Jane’s defiant attitude towards hierarchy, the status quo, and injustice brings refreshment to an otherwise morbid and disturbing plot. She reminds us to be ourselves and never stop fighting for equality and freedom, all while killing the undead.
The historical rewrite is intriguing and, in my opinion, remains empathetic to the struggle of Native Americans and black people experienced during and following the Civil War. The plot and characters illustrate that prejudice and disregard for human beings were so deeply ingrained in the pre-Civil War mindset that even zombies couldn’t unite us during that time.
What I Didn’t Like
I wanted more thrilling scenes. The story is well-written and moves well. I wanted to live longer in the adventurous and hearting breaking scenes.
Should you read it?
Dread Nation offers a unique rewrite of American history told from the point-of-view of a strong, rebellious teenager. I highly recommend this book to all you YA and historical science fiction lovers looking for an easy yet thought-provoking read.
But don’t just take my word for it. See what other readers thought:
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