Parents' Guide to

Deathless Divide: Dread Nation, Book 2

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Engaging, occasionally uneven finale to a great story.

Deathless Divide: Dread Nation, Book 2 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Full circle on Zombie Apocalypse

The follow up to the amazing Dread Nation. Again, a great story where POC teen girls save the world. In some ways slower paced than the first book, characters get to darker places inside themselves. Sequel is still dealing with complex themes and character development around good vs. evil, protecting society vs. participating in it, identity and self-determination.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

It's difficult to follow up a magnificent epic with a sequel that's equally worthy, but Justina Ireland's second installment is still an entertaining and thought-provoking read. Jane's and Katherine's dual points of view are distinct and easy to distinguish (something that stumps even talented writers), and each has a riveting character arc full of loss, grief, adventure, romance (for Jane, anyway), and lasting friendship. Characterization of the main protagonists is fabulous, as is the expansion of the world-building of this alternate-universe late-19th-century America. Jane continues to be a complicated, unconventional heroine who is stubborn and overconfident and even ruthless. Katherine, meanwhile, is thoughtful, no-nonsense, rational, and passionately devoted to a fault.

There are some niggling issues that keep the sequel from measuring up to the first book, however. The pacing is uneven, feeling rushed in parts that deserve more explanation and attention. Several characters (in a huge cast) and plot points are described in detail and assumed to be interesting or important, but they're never given closure or addressed in a satisfying manner. The villain of the sequel is problematic and wrong-minded but not quite nefarious enough to merit the same Big Bad status as the monsters of the first book. In a world where so many morally corrupt characters are afforded their humanity and time for redemption, it was hard to see the capital-e Evil of the antagonist until the very end. And then there's the issue of a plot device that's fairly common in sci-fi/fantasy but falls sort of flat here, providing even more unanswered questions and shoehorning in a romance that happens off the page. Despite all of these complaints, Ireland is a skilled writer who weaves in powerful themes of race and representation, white supremacy, and justice. As a whole, this two-book series is an unputdownable must-read from one of YA's boldest authors.

Book Details

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