Author: Justina Ireland
Rating: 5 Stars
FRIENDS - I have hit it! My FIRST FIVE STAR BOOK OF 2023!
Words cannot describe how much I loved this book. From the first page to the falling of Summerland, this book was everything I could have hoped it would be and more. I loved the character development, the intrigue, the way that there were so many people in this book willing to stand up for what was right in the face of severe racism and prejudice.
Jane, the fierce and independent MC and narrator of this book, is, hands down, my favorite character. She is so strong and always willing to make her voice heard, even when she knows she's in a place where it could end very badly. The story takes a look at "post slavery" United States, which, of course, meant nothing during those times, and Jane knew that black people like her were still treated so badly and were seen as people who couldn't be susceptible to the zombie virus because they were black. That's crap, of course. Watching Jane and Kathryn stand up for what's right, even in the face of other people who don't believe her, and people who don't want to fight is amazing. Jane uses her fierce belief in what's right lead her, and helps her help Kathryn stay safe when they are shipped of to Summerland.
When I first encountered Kathryn, I wasn't sure how I felt about her. She seemed spoiled and arrogant, and her unwillingness to be flexible in regards to what it took to help the people around her (TAKE OFF THE DAMN CORSET!!!) But she grew as a character, I feel, and she really showed that she had what it took to fight hard to keep people safe in an unsafe place.
There was not only excellent character development and growth in this book, there was wonderful foreshadowing and story building. The way the author develops the whole story and builds up what's happening from beginning to end is AMAZING.
It's so amazing, it deserves all the awesome Schitt's Creek memes and gifs (minus the ones where Moira and David are being, you know, Moira and David.)
This book also looks at the way black people were treated during that time and develops the story and characters around that so that they are fighting on the side of right, and that's great. They're going into this world knowing that they are being treated unfairly, and they are doing what they do to let people know that's not okay.
The whole book was so well written and I will absolutely be reading basically anything Justina Ireland writes from here on out. The way she develops everything and fills in her plot and characters so well is worth it. This is a book I'd recommend to everyone who loves good writing, a well developed plot, great characters, and zombies.