The Captain’s Log – dread nation (Justina Ireland)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So this book be an alternative history set in the Reconstruction era with young black adult zombie killers.  Cool, right?  And a lot of it takes place in Baltimore which be a port I called home once upon a time.  So I just had to read this one.  And I can say that it is certainly a very fun story.

I genuinely loved the main character, Jane McKeene.  She be me kinda gal.  She is intelligent, gusty, smart-mouthed, a fierce fighter, and just plain fun.  I would totally want her as part of me crew.  Actually I rather liked all the characters in this book and even loved to dislike the bad guys and gals as well.

I am in the minority though when it comes to the plot.  I absolutely adored the set-up of the novel, the introduction of the major characters, the reimaging of the civil war’s ending due to zombie apocalypse, the combat schools, the politics, and the world-building in general.

However, the author chose to make a rather abrupt decision half-way through the book and changed locations.  The focus and pacing shifted.  The action decreased.  I didn’t really care for the new direction the author took it.  But I adored the characters and did need to know how the book ended.  Which also wasn’t to me taste.  The ending was very, very convenient.

That being said because I love the world and the characters that overall I very much enjoyed meself.  I will likely read more of the further adventures of Jane McKeene.  Me quibbles were small and the crew heartily seems to be giving this one 5 stars all around.  So check it out.  Ye might be one of them.  Arrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

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.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Justina Ireland – Author

To buy the book go to:

dread nation – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

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12 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – dread nation (Justina Ireland)

  1. YES! 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed it too. I didn’t mind the change much. It didn’t stick out to me, but the new town did perk my curiosity and made me wonder what’s really going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, you are the first to mention the sudden shift halfway and the convenient ending. It sounds like a fun read, but I am not a fan of those “convenient” endings personally. So that concerns me a tad. I am very curious about this and may pick it up at some point, but also have to be honest that some of the author’s past online behavior had kind of deterred me. Won’t go into here though 😊 Maybe a library check out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to admit I know nothing about the author’s online behavior (and won’t go looking). I just have issues with her plotting. The world building is so lovely that I am glad I read it just for that reason. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve read lots of 5 star reviews, but it’s nice to see a different opinion😁 I need to read this to see where I fall on the scales. But no doubt, it’s a great idea for a story!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The idea was fantastic. I think the problem I had with it stems from the fact that I be currently listenin’ to The Passage by Justin Cronin. While not zombies (it’s vampires), it is so well written that in comparison the plot of Dread Nation seems laughable. It doesn’t seem fair to Ms. Ireland’s work but I couldn’t help it. And the shift in the story further annoys me the more I think on it. But again. I be in the minority by far. I am glad it be making the crew happy enough to be giving out 5 star ratings. Kinda like The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I be one of the few that dislike that one. Though I love the review I wrote for it! So there is that.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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