When zombie start to rise from battlefields and from graves during the Civil War, it causes a bit of a problem for everyone involved: the War Between the States becomes the War Between the Living and the Dead. The walking dead, called shamblers, are decimating cities as they hunt for more living food to eat. Jane McKeene, a young Negro woman born into this new and brutal conflict, is training at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore to fight the shamblers to keep people safe. When families in the Baltimore area start to go missing, Jane finds herself pulled into a political conspiracy that puts her, and her friend Katherine, in mortal danger. Using her skills learned at Miss Preston’s School and her own sharp wits, Jane must find a way to save herself and her friends before all of them are turned into shamblers themselves.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland is a wonderful alternate history story, and Jane and Katherine are fantastic characters. Both are strong women fighting against what seem impossible odds. The premise of the book is highly original, and pacing of the book kept the pages turning. Highly recommended.