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Review: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

A clever zombie novel that taps into the renaissance in Black horror stories where protagonists must fight the ugliness of white supremacy along with other monsters.

Jane McKeene is born two days before the dead start to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg. She’s drafted into one of many combat schools set up by the government for Black and indigenous children where they are prepared for a life as cannon fodder, ie trained fighters who will take on the undead. As she nears graduation Jane finds herself drawn into a conspiracy that might prove more deadly than the zombies vying for her blood.

The book is part one of a duology. Justina Ireland has sent up a fictional world which brilliantly mirrors our own. The action is non-stop, the characters are richly drawn and the lessons are real.

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