ARC review, book review, young adult

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (ARC Review)

Title: Dread Nation
Author: Justina Ireland
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Historical, Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Published: April 3, 2018

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

– My Review –

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I had a good feeling about this book, and I’m glad that my instincts were correct, because … I absolutely loved Dread Nation! Initially, I thought that this book would be a standalone, but about halfway through, I decided to check Goodreads and was so happy to see that it’ll actually be a series! I absolutely love Justina Ireland’s writing and storytelling style, as well as the manner in which this book was organized! I don’t even know what else to say about that, because it was just so well-done! The story progressed at a perfect pace for me, and kept me interested throughout. And I also really enjoyed the twists and turns. The way in which the action was written in this book was also amazingly-done (I mean, I could picture all of the movements in my mind as if I were watching a movie!). And the way in which the zombies (or shamblers) were handled was also interesting (and this is coming from someone who does not generally enjoy reading about or watching zombies. Dread Nation‘s characters were also great!

Some of you who are more familiar with my reviews and tastes, will know that it’s rare for me to like the heroines in most books, especially if they’re narrating the story in the first person. But I loved Jane. Absolutely. Loved. Her. I love the way she thought, the way she spoke, and the way she handled things throughout the book. I just really clicked with her, and I would read the rest of the series just for her, even if I had disliked the plot (which is not the case)! I also loved some of the supporting character, and can’t wait to see how the story will progress for Jane and all of them. Overall, I absolutely loved this book and am recommending it to those who enjoy historical fiction, great action, some violence, and a heroine who is easy to love and for one to look up to!

– About the Author –


Justina Ireland enjoys dark chocolate, dark humor, and is not too proud to admit that she’s still afraid of the dark. She lives with her husband, kid, and dog in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows.

– Purchase Links –

amazon-canada chapters-indigo amazon-usa
amazon-uk book-depository amazon-australia


8 thoughts on “Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (ARC Review)

    1. Oooo for some reason I didn’t categorize it as a dystopia in my head because it’s not futuristic hahaha. I really do recommend this one thoughh

    1. Ahhh how can others not mention Jane?! Jk jk hehe. I’m glad I’m not alone when it comes to connected with MCs though 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

  1. I ‘Liked’ this post the other day but was unable to leave a comment but I’m so glad that’s fixed now cause your blog is one of my top faves! <3 <3 <3 I gotta come back to this review though just as soon as I write mine lol, I'm sure you slayyyyyyed it! 😉

    1. Ahhh I’m so glad that it’s fixed too and that you and others can comment again! There is an issue with one of the widget updates, where it had an issue in translating the like and comment section into Canadian English…hahaha. So silly. I hope that you’ll love this one!

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