Review: Deathless Divide (Dread Nation #2)
Title: Deathless Divide (Dread Nation #2)
Author: Justina Ireland
Published: 4 February 2020
Format: Hardback library book and read on Overdrive
“He is trying to protect me, in the simple way men are always trying to protect women: by stealing away their freedom.”
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
First of all I have to say that I love, love, love the cover art for this novel. The art for Dread Nation was spectacular, and Deathless Divide‘s cover is even more stunning.
-The first book left on a real cliff hanger, and I was happy to find Deathless Divide picked up right where Dread Nation left off, with the wonderful addition of a dual POV (Jane and Katherine) which added a great deal to the story, and made me appreciate both characters even more. I have to say that I think my favorite character is Katherine. I really enjoy how she is an amazing fighter, who also likes to dress nicely and stay up to date on fashion. Of course, there is a great deal more to her than that, and I think she deserves more credit as the voice of reason. Jane is well-written too. She’s conflicted, but follows her own sense of justice, even when it frightens the people she cares about. The amount of tragedy she has to overcome is overwhelming, and I felt that the best and worst parts of her were believable and that Ireland put a a great deal of thought into who Jane was and who she had the potential to be – good and bad.
I really feel that the world building has improved since the first book. I had a much better idea of what things looked like and where the characters were. The descriptions of the towns were thoughtful, creative, and based in historical research, which I enjoyed. As it was in the first book, Ireland’s writing is honest and unafraid. She uses her historical research to remind readers that, with or without zombies, the world has not been a kind or fair place to POC.
My issues with the story was that it really felt like Ireland didn’t know where she wanted to go in this book. It felt like things just happened for the sake of trying to add something to the plot, which was not as strong as it was in the first book. Character’s pulled a James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series level of personality changes. While Jane and Katherine were well written, the other characters were not consistent and their motivations seemed a bit more scattered. I feel like the cast of characters was too big, so it was easier to just write people off or change who they were.
Finally, it felt like the pacing was off. There’s a bit of a time jump that seems to happen so that certain events and issues can be skipped over and vaguely explained later on. It felt like two separate books loosely tied together, and it truly felt like the plot was constantly changing.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I just felt like something was missing.
Thanks for reading!