Dread Nation

Rise Up

451 pages

English language

Published Sept. 10, 2018 by Balzer & Bray.

Copied ISBN!

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (17 reviews)

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Civil War era America derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation 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 to 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.

5 editions

Skillfully Written with a Well-Chosen Premise, but Doesn't Elevate Much Beyond It

3 stars

The central premise here was great, but the plot meandered at times and it felt like the author had come up with a great concept, then had trouble with what to do with it.

Skillfully written and likeable characters, although I feel like I'd be more of a Katherine than a Jane. I enjoyed that the author trusted the reader enough to reveal the backstory of Jane and the world generally slowly, rather than infodumping it all at once.

The plot twists and secrets weren't very surprising and didn't all make sense.

The letter excerpts at the end of each chapter were clever and moved the plot.

I have a long reading list at the moment, but will probably read the sequel. This was clearly written with a sequel in mind, so I'd like to see how things conclude. Would be interesting if parts of the sequel are told from …

Review of 'Dread Nation' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

You might expect the dead are rising from the battlefields of the American Civil War to change everything, but Justina Ireland uses Dread Nation to explore how minorities continue to be exploited. Jane is a pupil at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, receiving tuition in both scrambler killing and etiquette. If she graduates with flying colours, she will be able to take employment as an Attendant, protecting rich white women from unwanted attention, both from the undead and suitors.

Yes, despite the war between the living ending, black people are still don't have their freedom. The Native and Negro Reeducation Act is based on a very real programme where America forcibly sent Native American children to special schools in order to be "civilised".

I loved Dread Nation, so much. I have no idea why a UK publisher hasn't picked it up. It transplants the horrors of the slave …

Review of 'Dread Nation' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

When  the bodies of the dead come back and attack people, the fighting in the Civil War stops. What doesn't stop is the racism that was inherent in the United States. Now, 20 years after the shamblers first appeared, black children are taken and trained for combat duty.The system replicates the hierarchy of slavery.  "Better" girls are trained in elite schools to be bodyguards to wealthy white women. They guard them from shamblers and serve as chaperones as the white ladies socialize.  Other girls end up working in the fields clearing shamblers as they approach towns.  Those people don't have a long life span.For me the story got most interesting when Jane and some companions are sent west to a planned community run by a pastor and his son, the sheriff.  Everything is set up for the safety and protection of white families but it is all run …


  • African Americans
  • Conspiracies
  • Zombies
  • Fiction