Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
What I drank: a little canned sparkling wine. A little white wine during real housewives of NY and God damn was that an ep but I KNOW I cant recap that here because sam will just delete it, a little beer my life roommate brought back from NC.
THE PLOT: Jane McKeene is a black/white teen girl in the wake of the US Civil war, training to protect wealthy white ppl from zombies–oh so during the war, zombies happened, so that changed a few things? but some things stayed suuuuuuper the same. Like major systemic racism and the Reconstruction period in a very different way.
You know that series of books that’s supposed to be girls’ diaries throughout diff parts of american history? And they’re super well researched so it feels really realistic? This is like that, but with zombies and also the afrementioned exploration of racism.
I’m already waitlists for book 2. THINGS ARE SET UP SO WELL FOR BOOK 2. I’m jumping the gun.
I’m kinda drunk but also some migraine meds so I’m not entirely sure what’s a spoiler at this point? My b, homeys. Proced w caution.
I just REALLY like these super badass, layered lady characters. I like that there is a delightful frenemy in katherine. I like that women filled all these different roles despite narrow expectations set by society. I love that Ireland draws in and sets up the treatment of different minority groups in the US during this time. This is both a scifi novel and a historical fiction and it’s delightfully balanced and well written. I LIKE THAT THIS IS A ZOMBIE NOVEL BUT NOT WHAT A TWIST THAT ISNT SARCASTIC IM JUST EXCITED.
I do not like that in an attempt to deceive characters, Jane tries to affect an uneducated accent/demenaor FREQUENTLY, WAIT, WAIT BECAUSE i get what the point is, BUT a lot of ppl have already heard her talk the way she normally talks, wouldn’t they realize she doesnt always talk that way? So in the end IT IS VERY DISTRACTING LIKE ME TYPING IN CAPS. The use of letters between Jane and her mother at the start of each chapter I didnt like at first, but the payoff was huuuuuuuuge.
Goddamn are there a lot of questions left unanswered and I was very stressed bc when I started reading I didnt know if this was a standalone or a series
It was an intesting choice to make jane and katherine biracial, and one that plays out really well. Weird how a story set-ish in antebellum Baltimore is relavant these days.
How Ireland created the zombie killer training schools out of the real Native American schools, wow. Just, amazing interpretation.
Is jane bi? I think shes bi. And katherine is maybe asexual? It’s not a big deal, and you know it’s not bc Ireland wasnt beating you over the head with it, and I like that.
OU MY GOD THOSE PLOT TWISTS
What I gave it: 4 stars
What i pair it w: I just bought a bottle of bourbon from a Maryland distillery, and that feels just right