Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland

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June 5, 2020


The sequel to the New York Times bestselling epic Dread Nation is an unforgettable 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 Nicodemus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880s 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.

This is the sequel to Dread Nation and follows Jane and Kate as they escape the horde of shamblers overrunning Summerland. In their party they have the Duchess, two of her girls, Jackson, his little sister Lily, and her adopted brother Thomas.

As they escape we get bombshells of truth dropped and secrets revealed and hard decisions being made. If Dread Nation was the introduction to this reality of zombies in the late 1800s, then Deathless Divide is the meat and potatoes of surviving in this land. You get a lot more insight into how Jane and Kate keeps themselves alive and I enjoyed it.

It was a near-perfect follow up to the first book, in my opinion.

I’m still a huge fan of Jane and Kate and their dynamic. I liked that in this book you get more insight into who Jane is when there are no rules to constrict her and you get to learn more about Kate since half the book is told in her perspective — the shifting perspectives painted their personalities in a clear way you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

I really appreciate that this book tied up all the loose ends left over from the first book, but it didn’t feel like a cop-out. The story came full circle and the ending felt right — it’s the type of ending that leaves you feeling content.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. My praise for this book falls into much the same vein as what I loved about Dread Nation: I think it’s written extremely well. It has great characters — an intriguing plot — raises some interesting “what would you do?” questions — has plenty of action with the shamblers and brings everything that started in Dread Nation full circle.

I will say though, that I think Dread Nation ranks a little higher for me. I love both books, but Dread Nation felt more like an adventure that still had a bit of optimism to it, whereas Deathless Divide felt like a survival — Jane and Kate go through a lot in this book, so it felt heavier in comparison.

You can grab a copy of it from Bookshop or Amazon.

But, that’s my two cents on this book — spend it how you like!

Until next time, may your days be lovely and your books interesting.

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