Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland
DEATHLESS DIVIDE is the sequel to Justina Ireland’s best-selling novel, DREAD NATION. The zombies are back but this time, they are smarter and deadlier. After the fall of Summerland, Jane and Katherine journey to Nicodermus to seek refuge. But what they find instead is a repeat of Summerland and on top of that, the undead hoard from Summerland is closing in. Despite Jane and Katherine’s warnings, the town of Nicodermus refuses to believe a hoard could break through their walls. And sure enough, Nicodermus crumbles just as Summerland did.
Once more, Jane and Katherine are thrusted into the western frontier. But this time, they must go their separate ways. In DEATHLESS DIVIDE, Ireland incorporates Katherine’s POV while Jane sets off on her own quest. I truly loved the dual POVs because it offers a deeper insight into both character’s lives. While Jane and Katherine are alike in many ways, they each offer a different take on the challenges they face.
I felt like this sequel had a central theme of survival. Of course, there were other themes like sexuality, sexism, race, pretty privilege, disability, justice etc. But that at the end of the day, Jane and Katherine’s constant conflict with these themes ultimately enforced the argument that these women did A LOT just to survive. Their challenges offer insight as to what privileges non-Blacks had in the 1870s and still have today.
I enjoy sequels as authors tend to show the growth of their writing in book two! While that was true for DEATHLESS DIVIDE, my favorite thing about this story was the inclusion of Katherine’s POV. Not only did her perspective offer insight into asexuality and the social construct of marriage, but there were so many powerful quotes from her views that are still felt to this day.
Stefany Valentine Ramirez is a Taiwanese-Texan from San Antonio. She graduated from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi where she studied creative writing and technical/professional writing. Since then, she has worked as a social media marketer to promote books written by Zoraida Cordova, Farah Naz Rishi, Nina Varela and others. When not reading a book, Stefany can be found taking pictures for her bookstagram, camping in the wilderness, or working on her debut novel. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter.