Tor.com: In Justina Ireland’s fantastic new young adult novel, Dread Nation, the world is upended when the dead rise from their graves at Gettysburg. In order to salvage what’s left of the US, the Civil War ends in a compromise that frees the enslaved but forces them into combat schools that train them to slay the undead shamblers.
Ireland tapped into our collective knowledge of the past and dreams for the future and poured it into Dread Nation. She revealed the truth of the real America by rewriting the fictional one.
When I think of using young adult fantasy fiction to explore systemic racial oppression, a nineteenth century zombie apocalypse isn’t the first thing to come to mind. Yet in Justina Ireland’s more than capable hands, it works.