TOME THURSDAY: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

5 stars for Dread Nation!

Five Things I Loved

  • – parallel thoughts between characters with letter writing at the top of chapters
  • – enemies to friends (always a great trope when well written!)
  • – black main and supporting character who are BAMFs
  • – surprises with characters unfolding their plans and ambitions like layers of onions
  • – historical atrocities/events sprinkled within the book, such as boarding “schools” for indigenous children that forced them to assimilate into white or European cultural norms.


1 Sparked Star – The cover of this book drew me in with the positioning main character Jane McKeene in front of the flag,  long black braids down her back and a golden sickle (dripping blood) held in her left hand. She’s poised, in complete command of herself, and the beautiful font reminds me of embroidery. Place the setting at the (abrupt) end of the Civil War and sprinkle in zombies = this is a book that grabs my history & zombie-loving heart. Full star! 


1 Characterization Star – Jane and Kate (sorry, Kathrine – I’m pretty sure she gave me a look from the book) are a great pair of characters to follow. They’re fleshed out, show strong character growth over the book as they are forced to depend on each other, and meet a cast of other characters that bring laughter, grins, frowns, and boos. I honestly didn’t like Kathrine at the beginning, but I sure loved her at the end!


1 Plot Star – The conclusion was very satisfying (I immediately ran to my computer to buy the next book, Deathless Divide). All the plot twists that exploded in the book were backed up with details and information, which had me groaning aloud and eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next. This was a unique idea that was well written and I absolutely loved the book!


1 Flow Star – Cliffhangers kept me reading into the dark of the early morning and I most certainly didn’t want to stop. The pacing flowed very well; I found neither places that went too fast nor places that went too slow, everything had its time and place. The reveal of villains and the little actions that added up to big problems were dripped in through small pieces at a time which allowed me to make my own (wrong) conclusions and be surpised at the plot.


1 Evoked Star – My partner kept laughing at me because I’ve been hissing, sucking in breath, cursing characters, and pretty much chanting “no-no-no-no” at a few parts as well. I will most certainly be recommending this book to anyone who’ll listen, and I hope that there will be more books in the series (if not, I’m am content with how the second book, Deathless Divide, ended).

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