Farmer Fiction: ‘Dread Nation’ shocks readers

The dead rises, fans are excited


Edna Hernandez

Justina Ireland’s “Dread Nation” was published April 3, 2018.

Justina Ireland impresses her fans once again in her latest book, “Dread Nation.” “Dread Nation” is a historical novel with a twist when zombies rise from the grave in Gettysburg and attack during the end of the Civil War. The book is filled with violence as the main characters kill the dead. This book is more suitable for young adults.

On April 3, 2018 “Dread Nation” was published. Ireland has a total of 13 books, including “Vengeance Bound” and “Three Sides of a Heart.” In an interview for Goodreads, Ireland revealed she had to do more research about the 1800s to write “Dread Nation.” Ireland also says her main inspiration was “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

In the story, slaves of America are forced to go to combat school training to protect the wealthy. The main character, Jane Mckeene, was born two days before the dead rose from the grave. Jane faces tough challenges when her friend, Red Jack, asked her for help. He tells Jane his sister, Lily, is nowhere to be found along with Mrs. Spencer. Readers predict what happened, suggesting a herd attacked at night. Readers were hooked in.

While Jane snoops around the mayor’s office along with Red Jack and her classmate Katherine Deveraux, they try to find evidence of the disappearance of Lily. The three are caught and sent to a place called Summerland to be punished; at this point, readers feel as if it is all over for them but Jane lies to the people and says Katherine is white. Everyone has been convinced by Jane. Jane played as Katherine’s servant while Red jack disappears after their separation. Readers assume Red Jack was killed and felt pity for Katherine to fake to be something she is not.

After the climax, Jane receives news about a location. After receiving the news, Jane decides to head to the location in hopes to find her mother along with Katherine and Red Jack. Readers feel disappointed in the end due to a high expectation on how it could’ve ended. Other than the ending, readers love “Dread Nation.”

“Dread Nation” reached the top five on the New York Times’ young adult hardcover on Sunday, April 22. The book was rated 5/5 stars on Common Sense Media. Overall, “Dread Nation” is a phenomenal book that deserves its top rating. Readers are satisfied by Ireland’s book, they even asked for a sequel, which has not yet been confirmed. To those who don’t enjoy horror, suspense and a little historical, “Dread Nation” may not be the right book to few readers.