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Dread Nation

(Dread Nation #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  11,489 ratings  ·  2,774 reviews
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. B ...more
Hardcover, 455 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Balzer + Bray
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,489 ratings  ·  2,774 reviews


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شيماء ✨
this book inspired me to start going to the gym because I've realized that at this rate if zombies arrived, I would be truly, absolutely, unequivocally FUCKED
Elise (TheBookishActress)
I shrug. “My momma always said the best way to get what you want from people is to give them what they think they want. Sometimes you have to live down to people’s expectations, Kate. If you can do that, you’ll get much further in life.”
Honestly, black zombie hunters in the Reconstruction era is definitely the best historical fiction concept of all time. And the fact that this totally, completely lived up to my hopes? Even better.

I think this is a book action fans are going to enjoy. Dread
...more
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
The worst thing about this book is that I mentally read it with a Southern drawl. It is unbelievably annoying.

Most of the time, I go into a book with certain expectations. "I'm going to love this book" "Oh, this sounds just awful" so on and so forth. I have to admit, the premise didn't sound that great to me. Zombies are boring. Civil-war era America (even after a zombie apocalypse) doesn't sound terribly awesome either. So I have to admit I started this book with a whole lot of skepticism, and
...more
Heidi Heilig
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is what i'm envisioning after every zombie slay.

Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
3 Stars

"It's a cruel, cruel world. And the people are the worst part."


I just want to preface this review by saying I think this book is extremely important. It's historical fiction with zombies, sure, but it also centers on a very strong, biracial woman. I can't speak for the representation as a whole, but I will say I loved how unapologetic Jane is.

Taking place in an alternate US where zombies rose up during the Civil War, this takes a long hard look at institutionalized racism. Jane is a st
...more
may ➹
May 12, 2018 marked it as uhhh-no
I honest to god was so excited to read this book. black queer girls + zombies? that’s a CONCEPT. a really really great concept

but I truly truly cannot support someone who implies that Asian women like myself... are not women of color. I’m really sad to be taking this off my TBR but someone saying that Asians aren’t people of color makes me sick, and it’s even worse when someone I respect[ed] says that.

read this book if you want!! it’s certainly an important book in YA. but I truly cannot make m
...more
Nick
Oct 31, 2018 marked it as to-read
I was today years old when I found out that this book exists.
Bang Bang Books
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5
The year is 1880 and slavery has kind of ended in the traditional sense but blacks and native Americans are now forced to enter combat schools to learn how to fight zombies.

Our main character is Jane who is a sassy bi-racial zombie killing machine that takes no shits from anyone. This book has all the fixin’s, Katherine a snooty student who is passing as white, Jackson a sexy hustler/sexual harasser, a racist sheriff, and a corrupt mayor. Our trio lives and trains in Baltimore and their only
...more
Joe Valdez
Dec 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
When the dead rise from the battlefield of Gettysburg, the Civil War is called off and to help fight a new war, the Negro and Native Reeducation Act requires qualified children to attend combat schools to slay the shamblers. That's the synopsis for Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, whose narrator is a mixed race teenager named Jane McKeene. Civil War era zombies? Yes! Black heroine? Yes! Silly Young Adult conventions? No! Annoying patois? Hell no! I made it to page 64 before abandoning this novel ...more
Erin
4.5 Stars

When I first heard about this book last year, I knew I needed to read it. I'm not usually into zombies. I've never watched an episode of The Walking Dead and I usually laugh at zombie movies but this book peaked my interest immediately. I love Historical Fiction, add to that African American Historical Fiction and I'm sold.

Justina Ireland took one of the most dark and terrifying times in history Reconstruction and made it even more terrifying by adding zombies. Not only does our heroine
...more
Zoraida
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is fucking badass. Yes, there are zombies, but there are also young girls trying their damndest to survive in a world that doesn't want them.

This book is just as important as The Hate U Give and Dear Martin. We like to romanticize the past and the old west, but need constant reminders about the ways that things haven't changed at all. It's an examination of America, old and new, and the idea that perhaps humanity is worse than a plague of zombies.

Jane is someone I want to see slay the
...more
Jeweliana
May 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
"Her voice is deep, and she sings a fine baritone in church. She's the tallest of us here, big and dark and imposing with arms like John Henry.




That's how Jane describes her best friend and how the author pretty much describes anyone who isn't light skinned. The colorism in this book disgusted me. Besides that, the story is stagnant and the characters are never developed. Let's dive into this dumpster fire, shall we?

Plot: There isn't one. I'm not kidding. Any goals Jane had were never acted upo
...more
shady boots | #WatchPOSE
Originally started as a buddy read with Lola but she wasn't into it so I went ahead and finished it myself. :p

I thought this had a pretty strong start. I was really enjoying it up until around the 40% mark. From then on, my interest sort of waned. I guess its partly due to the whole zombie thing; let's be honest, they're not the most exciting supernatural monsters to read about. Most of the time they're just lumbering, brainless things designed to move the plot forward and provide action scenes.
...more
Jane
Wow! Wow! Wow! So much fun! 5 very enthusiastic stars for the audiobook as narrated by Bahni Turpin.

I'd been putting this book off for quite a while and boy, do I regret that! This is the second book I've read in as many months that follows a tough chick in an alternate timeline where something supernatural has altered American history. I'm not sure what that genre is called, but gimme more -- I love it!

In Dread Nation, we're introduced to a world in which the Civil War was interrupted when the
...more
Justine
I absolutely loved this book. Of course the alt-history post-civil war era setting tells you that the story will be harsh. It's a zombie book, yes, but the walking dead are just part of the larger landscape of horror that non-whites have to live in.

The relationship between the two main characters, Jane and Katherine, is incredibly well done. They start out barely tolerating each other, but over time they become friends. How that relationship comes about and grows is integral to the story, and t
...more
Montzalee Wittmann
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dread Nation #1 by Justina Ireland is a book I found from the library. I got the audible version. Now, I don't normally read historical fiction even if it is altered and I hate reading books those that have slaves or racism but this book has both! Why I started it I will never know but once I started I couldn't stop. Our main character is a gal born from a rich white plantation last while the Lord of the major had been gone fighting in the Civil War. Our gal came out black and was almost killed ...more
Gary
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
8.1 out of 10 @ https://1000yearplan.com/2018/05/03/c...

Dystopias are popular settings for YA novels; while most imagine a future where a class of people is oppressed by a system of authoritarian social control, Justina Ireland’s canny new horror western Dread Nation locates its dystopic vision in America’s past. History diverges when the dead start returning en masse, hungry for human flesh, bringing an early end to the Civil War and the institution of slavery – but only in the barest sense. No
...more
Krista Regester
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Just wow. I am so impressed with this novel. Dread Nation is a mosh posh of all the best things in life: zombies, hardcore heroines, BISEXUALS, and some superb snarkiness. Can I get an amen? Seriously. I couldn’t put this down. I didn’t want it to end. Every single character matters. Every single line is important. Jane McKeene is a badass lady. She is relatable, smart, strong, and somehow kept her shit together when everything went down.

Something that is worth pointing out is how the chapters
...more
Laura
2.5 stars
It’s a cruel, cruel world. And the people are the worst part.

Now I really liked this book up to a point and the concept is original. It also explores racism in an original way. And damn, did it outrage me at certain points. But it also inspired me to learn more. (Mainly about what the author's note refers to at the end - the real life boarding schools Native American children were sent to to learn to be "civilized").

Here we have an alternate history America where the Civil War ended w
...more
Tatiana
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: Starred reviews
2.5 stars (an extra 0.5 star for Katherine)

Strong elements outweighed by weak plot.

I wasn’t even going to read it (zombies are so 5 years ago and I am so over them!), but then I saw 6 starred reviews - and succumbed to my curiosity.

Actually, zombies do add an interesting dimension to this post-Civil War alternative history. In this novel, they shift power dynamics away from white supremacy (anyone can fall prey to shamblers, even and especially abusive slave owners, which can level the playing
...more
Shaun Hutchinson
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning. This will absolutely be one of my top 5 favorite books of the year.
enqi ☁️✨ [joon's]
Aug 26, 2018 marked it as will-never-touch
honestly, i was beyond excited about this book because queer black girls who fight zombies? i'd be throwing my money at the author by now

but i literally cannot support someone who implies that asian women like myself... are not women of color. it's 2018 and i'm tired of hearing this because believe me it's been said a lot before. you don't get to invalidate me or take a slight against my community or my heritage or even my skin. the fact that justina ireland actually thinks that asians are
...more
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
4.5 shamblers

This was one of my most anticipated books for spring from the moment I heard of it and laid eyes on that cover. I have no idea what struck this chord other then I love history and figured this alternate derailment (from the current one) will be epic. A dystopian setting in the past versus the future as in most YA novels. BAM…a dystopian, YA, alternate historical fiction genre has been created. And I am all for it!

The setting for Dread Nation begins during the Civil War years. Jane M
...more
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Brilliant. Dying for book two, and I didn't even know there was going to be a sequel when I picked this up. I loved Jane and Katherine (enemies-to-friends is a trope I'm fond of). They had some major personality differences but still had common ground and appreciated each other's skills. Still not sure how I feel about Jackson -- can I get a novella on his backstory and/or his and Jane's past... thing? The supporting characters were amazing too. The Duchess, Gideon, Auntie Aggie, Ida, even the l ...more
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
The cover! The cover! The cover! #representationmatters and this cover had me doing all kinds of happy dances when I first saw it. As is my usual, I own both the physical copy of Dread Nation, which goes on my steadily growing diverse bookshelf, and an ebook copy which has all my highlighted quotes.

Dread Nation receives a full five stars for several reasons. The biggest one is the rare author - regardless of color - who can get me to read a novel set during the Civil War and not want to throw m
...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/04/14/...

Dread Nation was my kind of YA. It explores history, politics, social issues, and racial relations. It features strong diverse characters, and a protagonist with one of the most powerful voices and charismatic personalities I’ve ever met. Oh, and it’s also got zombies. But leaving all that aside, I just loved this book, because at the end of the day it was a damn good story.

Set during American Reconstruction Era, Dread Nat
...more
Josh
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zombie and survival horror in general has long be a staple in horror novels and young adult novels where post apocalyptic themes run rampant. While some books can be same-same, Dread Nation introduces a historical element to its tale of woe by virtue of the period it is set in; the dark days of American History - the civil war.

On the battlefield the dead rise to feast on the living, bringing an end to the war but peace remains elusive. Slavery is gone but the echoes of those darker times remain
...more
rachel
• bloody brilliant
• adored the characters so much
• literally crying because there's an incredible aroace character!! and a bi female protagonist. in a histfic 🙌😭
• just adored it
K.
Trigger warnings: racism, slavery, violence, death, zombies, gore, seriously there's so much racism, death of a friend, I'm not kidding about the racism you guys, racial slurs.

9/3/2019
On reread I'm bumping this up to 5 stars. It's compelling as hell and there are so many layers to the story and it was freaking great.

15/4/2018
I've been excited about reading this book basically from the second I heard about it. I mean...it's a zombie story set in the 1880s with a smart af African-American, zombi
...more
Gemma ♕ Books_McCoy
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Other books in the series

Dread Nation (2 books)
  • Untitled (Dread Nation #2)
“See, the problem in this world ain’t sinners, or even the dead. It is men who will step on anyone who stands in the way of their pursuit of power.” 31 likes
“It’s a cruel, cruel world. And the people are the worst part.” 27 likes
More quotes…