logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Justina-Ireland
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-11 07:09
Dread Nation
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

Behold! The second ever zombie book I didn’t hate! Well, I still hated the zombies themselves, but it turns out when you throw them in a story full of interesting characters, a snarky not-so-reliable narrator, a rich historical setting, and skillful applications of critical race theory, I don’t mind them so much. The real monsters in this book are the living. The undead are just victims of circumstance.

 

Today in Darth Pony’s Pendant Corner: I’ll never love present tense and I occasionally found it jarring here, but it wasn’t too obnoxious. That and a teensy bit of repetition were the only drawbacks for me. When the sequel comes out (which I think has been pushed back to 2020), I’ll be ignoring my zombie dislike once again and buying a copy.

 

I read this for the Halloween Bingo 2018 New Release square.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-02 03:44
Dread Nation: Started off loving it... ended up only liking it.
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

I enjoyed and admired a lot of things about Dread Nation, but for some reason it didn't gel into a book that I would rave about the way all the positive professional reviews do. I found myself getting sidetracked with other books until I finally made up my mind to finish it, and when I did, I found the ending a little lacking. Strengths of the book include its core premise, backstory, setting, world-building, and protagonist. A Reconstruction-era, zombie-fighting, sickle-wielding WOC and her friends from combat school is an idea that I haven't seen before in any medium, and I was on board after the first few pages. Jane is fiery and clever and doesn't fit into the subservient little role that polite society wants ("society" being a long parade of authority figures). The antagonists are pretty convincing evil racists, who long for the "good old days" of slavery that are still in living memory and blaming the zombies on man's "mistake," the Civil War and emancipation. The humans are worse than the shamblers, and I'm still fine with that as a theme.

But when I got to the ending, it felt a little flat. Let me see if I can critique this without spoilers. The big emotional punch is a revelation about backstory. That's nice to tie together the ongoing correspondence we see that begins every chapter, but I feel like it's got to break some kind of writing rule. Why? I cared about what Jane was going to do in the present *because* of her backstory a lot more than new information about something she did long ago. On top of that, the protagonists get out of the mess they've been getting into in the last third of the book pretty easily, and within a few pages, shoop, there's setup for a sequel. I realize pretty much every genre fiction book these days sells with franchises in mind, no shame there, but I felt like it came at the expense of a satisfying climax. I might be interested in sequels, but unfortunately, it's a "might" for me instead of a "hoo-rah, yes." I hope the narratives of the series improve with the author's skill, because she's definitely got some, and I want to see where these characters and their world go. So... 3 out of 5.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-06 00:17
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

As a black girl born in July of 1863, in the South no less, Jane McKeene did not have a promising future ahead of her. Her birth just so happened to coincide with the dead rising from the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville. The dead have plagued the United States ever since. A divided nation agreed on re-education acts that required black and native American children to be trained to put down the dead. Jane is in training to be an Attendant, a young woman set as a personal bodyguard for wealthy women.

I love this, because of course white people would make minorities do the dirty work. It makes a sick amount of sense. Ireland's vision of how 19th century society re-arranges itself around the constant threat of attacks from the dead was entertaining and sobering. This novel works as an action and adventure story, raises issues of social justice, and provides a few key perspectives on life in the 19th century.

'Dread Nation' is the first zombie book since 'World War Z' that kept my attention. Don't even get me started on films and television. My fellow readers who have become numb to anything zombie related, I ask that you check this out. Jane and Co.'s struggle to save themselves and others from the undead as well as other humans is a great teen read full of humor and adventure, may wake you up to the possibilities of the zombie genre again.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-05-30 15:01
3 Out Of 5 "feeling meh..." STARS
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

Dread Nation

Justina Ireland

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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 QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

If wanting to like a book is enough, then I would have loved this…but, in reality, I just found it rather dull.  The zombies or "shamblers", were the dullest of them and the story just fell flat for me.  Although, if they had been more kill-y than I probably wouldn't have finished it due to the nightmares I would have had. {{{shrugs shoulders}}}

 

The plot didn't play out the way I envisioned it.  I thought it would center around the civil war and how the walking dead changed how it ended.  But after rereading the synopsis, I realized I shouldn't have thought that…but even knowing that it didn't change my disappointment. (This is why reading the synopsis doesn't spoil the book for me, I don't really pay attention to what it says...)  Overall the story wasn't all bad, but it's likely that I won't read the next book. 

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 3/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 2/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3/5 Cliffhanger~  sort of…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ Awesome, it drew me in…I feel like the cover promised more than I was given…

Narration~ 3 -Bahni Turpin…it's not that she was bad, only that I think they were too many characters for her take on by herself.

Setting~ Alternate United States

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-05-17 02:14
Review: Dread Nation
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

Finished this one a while back, but somehow dropped the ball on writing a review. 

 

This is excellent, but a case where I liked the first half more than the second. An entire book set during the lead's time in zombie hunter training school would have worked for me.

 

At the same time, though, I appreciate Ireland not lingering on any one place to long. This book moves. The protagonist is clever, quick, and good with a range of weapons, but has a lot to learn about the world. And a lot to reveal to the reader. The long, slow lead up to her back story really worked for me. And the world is almost as openly racist as our current administration. A world where people openly believe that the dead started walking all over the world because of the civil war - now there's some delightful American exceptionalism.

 

I didn't love some of the side characters. The scientist, for example, I wouldn't trust further than I could throw.

 

It ends in a place that both works as an ending, and is in no way the end of a story. I hope there's a sequel in the not too distant future.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?