fulfilling my 2022 vow to read more YA/finish series i have started and left unfinished
Don’t let San Francisco fool you. It might seem pretty, but it’s been built on the same volatile mixture of greed and exclusion as the rest of this country. Now, it’s a powder keg just waiting for a spark.
book two of this alt-history zombie western series finds us a long way from the relative safety of miss preston’s school of combat for negro girls. it picks up with our intrepid zombie-killing heroines jane mckeene and katherine deveraux directly after the horrific events occurring in Dread Nation‘s summerland.
here we find the pair westward ho-ing it to california; jane traveling with katherine and the rest of her found family towards what remains of her bio-family, with a pause in a fortified kansas town called nicodemus that turns out to be no better a sanctuary than summerland.
there are some familiar faces, some tragic turns, and while jane is determined to exact some sweet revenge for her losses, ever-levelheaded katherine frets about jane’s understandably nihilistic outlook and tries to draw her back into the good fight of protecting others and moving past her grief.
it’s a story of eager revenge and reluctant friendship, where katherine and jane find themselves surrounded on all sides by death and undeath, and where the living oftentimes prove themselves to be more dangerous than the zombie hordes.
as with most series, the first book is devoted to characters learning things, and the second is figuring out what to do with that knowledge, and here, the possibility of a vaccine established in Dread Nation backdrops the action, offering hope and false hope in equal measure.
like the first book, this one is very character-strong, and the POV shifts between jane and katherine, giving us insights into their world and their evolving relationship, and illuminating how their differences combine to make them a formidable team.
i would love to read more stories set in this world, weaving zombie-peril in with real historical events, but even if this ends here with just these two books, it would still be a satisfying experience.
i am now fully team katherine and her corsets. badass and bound.