Book Reviews Reviews and Recommendations

#FridayReads Justina Ireland’s Deathless Divide

Talk about a rollercoaster.

I sure did go read the sequel and give y’all a second #FridayReads post.

In Deathless Divide, we found our heroes fleeing one overrun town after another. The new world is never quite what it talks itself up to be, and now Jane and Kate must make their way through a number of hard truths before they can find peace in Haven, California. 

I don’t like that summary, but I can’t be bothered to rewrite it. 

Deathless Divide had a number of things to say without completely closing the door to a sequel. We take a deep dive into Jackson’s personal life, Jane’s terrible history with romance, and Katherine’s experience with race and passing. It is a relatively satisfying to what has been a very exciting alternate history (with zombies) experience.

All cards on the table, the arc of the main story ends with Deathless Divide, but Ireland leaves a few things out. Like Kate, Sue, and Lily’s adventure in Fort Riley, Jackson’s wife and child, and however Jane’s momma made it to Haven. You leave the story mostly fulfilled, but partially wanting to ask a few more questions. 

I, personally, still want to know who the second husband was. 

Deathless Divide also more intimately dives into Jane’s bisexuality, in that there was a romance, but it dies very quickly. Kate is still basically an asexual, but I appreciate that fierce love that Kate and Jane have for each other remains platonic. You get the idea that what Jane and Kate have is basically a great love story, but it’s a different kind of love that fits them perfectly. 

I like that the villain in this story was someone that we thought could be a friend. To be fair, I always thought that something was up with that Gideon Carr, but I was also of the belief that he was interested in Katherine and not Jane. Imagine my shock when Gideon turns out to be the crazy scientist, except he’s not crazy, but is very good at unintentional mass destruction. It’s a shame that the answer was always right in his face. 

Back in Dread Nation, I noted that the author introduced us to a few characters that seemed to have great backstories, but we never actually get to hear them. Most of these characters go away during the first half. Ireland is really good about dispatching extra characters in ways that wouldn’t annoy the readers, but, in hindsight, it’s obvious that that’s exactly what was happening. I’m beginning to feel like these omissions are not all intentional. 

Ultimately, I enjoyed this sequel. Jane and Kate were great, Red Jack was great, and even the excerpts at the beginning of each chapter were great. I think that my biggest complaint was how much extra story we didn’t get. 

Like we never actually get to know Katelyn before Miss Preston’s. It’s hinted at, but she doesn’t really have any flashbacks like Jane does. It’s like Ireland wants to say that there’s no story there, but I know that there is a story there, and I need her to write it. 

However, I’ll stand by my five-star rating, and I’ll be quick to recommend this to the same people I recommended the first to, as well as: asexuals because they rarely get love. 

Until next time. 


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