by Justina Ireland
Series: Dread Nation #2
Narrator: Bahni Turpin, Jordon Cobb
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups Speed: 1.3x
The sequel to Dread Nation is a journey of revenge and salvation across a divided America.
After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother.
But nothing is easy when you're a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodermus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880's America.
What's more, this safe haven is not what it appears - as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her.
But she won't be in it alone.
Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, she knows friends are hard to come by - and that Jane needs her, too, whether Jane wants to admit it or not.
Watching Jane's back, however, is more than she bargained for, and when they both reach a breaking point, it's up to Katherine to keep hope alive - even as she begins to fear that there is no happily-ever-after for girls like her.
Deathless Divide is the second installment in the Dread Nation duology by Justina Ireland. It’s an alternate history where a zombie apocalypse derails the civil war. A kick-ass heroine and her friends make the most of difficult times in this second installment.
In 1863, the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville. This derailed the War Between the States forever changing the Americas. The government enacted the Native and Negro Reeducation Act requiring certain children to attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. Our heroine Jane McKeene studied at Miss Preston’s School of Combat for Negro Girls. Here she learned proper etiquette, decorum and the fine art of taking out a shambler. It is also where she met Katherine Devereaux and others.
Justin Ireland is brilliant. The story unfolds, giving us perspectives from Jane and Katherine. It was fascinating, terrifying and addictive.
Ireland brought this character-driven story to life and pulled me in. Summerland falls but Jane along with Katherine and others survive and make their way west. Before they reach Nicodemus, the next settlement, they will lose some in their party and discover that the horde of zombies is following. I was biting my nails and loved Jane’s inner dialogue.
Jane is bitter, set on revenge and positively kickass. Katherine is kickass but determined to protect those in her group. I loved the different threads and places we traveled, but when the two come together and work side by side, well, it’s awesome. Ireland gave us a villain you’ll love to hate. I wanted to throttle him on more than one occasion.
While I was satisfied with the ending, the author left enough open-ended threads for a third audiobook. Let me assure the publishers and author that I am OK with this! ?I need more Jane and Katherine. Bring out your dead!
Some books & authors demand to be listened to on audio. The Deathless Divide and Dread Nation did exactly that. Bahni Turpin, who is absolutely brilliant as the voice of Jane narrated the first. In this installment, the POV of Katherine was introduced and narrator, Jordon Cobb stepped into her role. She delightfully captured Katherine from her personality to her upbringing and enhanced my enjoyment.
Ireland’s writing style from conversations to prose translated beautifully on audio. Dialogue between character was smooth and engaging. I should mention that Netflix needs to option this series post haste.
While labeled young adult, Deathless Divide was dark and gritty. It’s perfect for fans of alternate history, and zombies regardless of their age. While there are zombie attacks this is really character focused, so dare I say, even if zombies aren’t your thing… give it a go. Grab it from your library. Then come tell me what you thought.
If you are a fan of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, you’ll this alternate history.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: