This is the sequel to Dread Nation, a historical fiction novel that takes place after the US Civil War and after the zombie apocalypse (called shambles in this duology) and follows our two main characters, Jane McKeene and Katherine Deveraux.
Interestingly, this book alternates between Jane’s and Katherine’s POV, whereas Dread Nation was told entirely from Jane’s POV. Given that these two characters are so different, I enjoyed getting the story from both their perspectives.
Like the first book, the narrative voices where we phenomenal. I listened to this in audiobook format and thought both of the narrators did an excellent job. Bahni Turpin narrated Jane’s voice, the same person who did so in the first book, and the POV of Katherine’s POV was expertly performed by Jordon Cobb.
The story picks up where the last book left off where a supposed “utopia” once again falls to a hoard, and our characters again embark on a desperate search for somewhere out of the reach of the shamblers. I can’t say too much without spoiling the first book, except that Jane is hell-bent on revenge, and it has nearly destroyed her. It’s undoubtedly lead her to do some pretty horrible things.
You know, it’s always tough to talk about the second book in a series as you really can’t discuss too much of the plot without spoiling book 1.
But I can say that similar to the first book, there were numerous setbacks, tragedies, triumphs, and plenty of shamblers, with Katherine & Jane’s friendship sorely tested through it all. There was also an especially heart-breaking event that completely blindsided me. And I was like What??????
The villain was also unexpected and took me totally by surprise.
But I thought this as a phenomenal conclusion to the series. I think it’s only a duology though I could be wrong. There’s definitely an opportunity here for another book, and if Ms. Ireland were to write it, I for sure would buy it.
I loved the storyline and character development of this novel and adored the friendship theme that ran throughout it. There were plenty of plot twists, leading the story off into several different compelling directions. The book also nicely portrayed how our characters had to deal with and overcome constant racism as well as misogynistic assholes. But Katherine and Jane did an excellent job of putting these types of people in their place.
Like the first one, this was another solid 5-star read, and I love, love, love this duology.