Laurie Anderson's Reviews > Dread Nation

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
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it was amazing
bookshelves: best-of-the-best, fantasy, ya, racial-justice

I loved, loved, loved this book! Action-packed, but with strongly defined characters, terrific world-building, acid-drenched, laser-focused social commentary (just the way I like it), an alt-history setting, and.... zombies!

This review ( does a pretty good job summing up my feelings, except that The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (my favorite book of the last decade) should be mentioned whenever Dread Nation is discussed. Writing for slightly different audiences, both Ireland and Whitehead tell the history of the mid-19th century slant in such a brilliant way that readers will see both the realities of that time period and our own with new, horrifying clarity.

Now putting on my history nerd hat: I must admit that I struggled a little bit with a few instances of anachronistic language. Then I kicked my own butt; if I can accept the shamblers (zombies) and the rest of the alternative world of this book, I'm not going to fuss about modern phrases that occasionally pop up. This is not historical fiction - this is speculative fiction set in a historical time period. And it is a fantastic read.

Run, don't walk, to your independent book store or library and snag your copy today!

PS - I am still pondering Debbie Reese's criticism of how Native American peoples were handled in the story and in the back matter. You can read her thoughts here: https://americanindiansinchildrenslit...
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Reading Progress

April 28, 2018 – Started Reading
April 28, 2018 – Shelved
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: best-of-the-best
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: ya
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: racial-justice
May 2, 2018 – Finished Reading

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