Thursday, May 10, 2018

Dread Nation Buddy Read Update #4

So my chats with Maria are coming to a close because next week we will be giving you our final reviews.  I have successfully finished this book and I can say that it didn't all pan out the way I imagined.  And read on to find out why I'm pretty sure Maria may think I'm a horrible person!

WARNING:  This may contain SPOILERS so if you have't read the book and plan to, you might want to skip this post.

Maria:  What's your opinion of Gideon? I really liked him! He was not condescending AT ALL to Jane, and he always treated her with as much respect as he did the white ladies. I really wanted him and Jane to be romantically involved....Two such BRILLIANT minds.....Sigh.....

Barb:  I like Gideon as well.  I do think there is hope for him and Jane as a couple eventually and do think they would both be able to teach each other some things.  Gideon has done some questionable things toward the end of the book but I don't think he is a malicious person, and I still can't believe who is father is - they are nothing alike (at least in this point of the series).

Maria: So now my next question is, of course, related to Gideon and Jane. Do you think Justina will have them in a romantic relationship in the sequel? Or do you think Gideon is gone from the series for good.

Barb:  I guess I kind of already answered this but I do think there is probably a plan for these two to end up together in the long run.  At least I hope he isn't gone!

Maria:  I did think that Justina's treatment of the preacher was a bit stereotypical, but then, I guess we must take the times into consideration, even though this is alternate history. His "sermons" kept referring to "God's natural order", which meant that, in his interpretation of the Bible, African-Americans were "divinely ordained" to serve whites. I gritted my teeth in anger every single time I came across these comments by the preacher!! He was such a HYPOCRITE!! What's your take on this? Do you think Justina portrayed him realistically, or do you think that maybe she overgeneralized all Christians as being racists?

Barb:  Hmmm..well I really hate to talk religion and politics on the blog but here goes....  I'm sure there were lots of people who thought like the preachers, and some who didn't at all.  I think the author was trying to make  A LOT of statements through this book, I just don't know what all of them were.  I hate it when anyone is thrown into one lump group with everyone else so I would like to think she never meant to generalize that all Christians back then were racists because there is no way that could be true.

Maria:  Were you shocked and surprised when you found out just WHO was helping to provide the nice part of Summerland with electricity? Did finding this out change your opinion of Gideon at all?

Barb:  I wasn't really shocked Gideon was involved because clearly, he was one of the smarter men in town.  I also think he meant well (see I told you no one can convince me he was malicious).  And you know, it didn't really change my opinion of him because I still think he was a good person which came out in the way he treated others around him.  

Maria:  I LOVED how Katherine came to Jane's rescue when she (Jane) was being whipped. It was SO great that she and Jane had FINALLY become true friends!! 

Barb:  Yep, I called that from the beginning!

Maria:  What did you think of Lily, even though she doesn't appear much in the novel? Do you see her as pretty similar to her brother, or perhaps to Jane?

Barb:  I think Lily was more level-headed than her brother and if given the chance, I think she could totally learn to be a lot like Jane.

Maria:  I must say that I was shocked and disappointed by Jane's revelation of what she had done regarding the Major, years before. Without giving anything away, did this revelation make Jane less of a hero and wonderful character, in your opinion?

Barb:  Maria said I could leave this question out because I pretty much gave away the spoiler in my question to her.  Hey, if you're still reading and haven't read the book - I warned you - look up!!!!  This is pretty much where I'm sure Maria may be questioning my values (just kidding Maria).  I think the Major deserved everything that happened and she felt Jane might have went too far.  Must be the horror lover in me - takes a lot to shock me nowadays. 

Maria:  If you have read other books with African-American heroes/heroines, would you classify "Dread Nation" as being right up there with them? (I'm thinking mainly of "The Color Purple" and "Beloved".) And could you give the titles, if you've read such books?

Barb:  I haven't read any of the ones you mentioned but I did read "Dear Martin" over the holidays and would highly recommend it.  I also own "The Hate You Give" but am waiting for some of the hype to die down before I read that one.

I have really enjoyed doing this buddy read with Maria.  Make sure you go check out her thoughts Friday HERE.  Keep an eye open for our reviews and wrap up next week!!!


  1. Can't wait to read your full review, and no I haven't read this yet but I do have a copy, so soon😁

    1. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this one!

  2. I'm still not sure if I'll like it but it is on my ereader.

  3. To tell the truth that shocking revelation about what Jane did, I kind of expected. The way it was written, I knew there had to be more there involving the Major's death.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  4. I'm looking forward to your review of this one. I've heard good things so far.
    Lynn :D

  5. oh I'm so happy to see you posted your review! BUT I'm reading it now so I'll be back later to comment :)

  6. Glad you enjoyed this one and got Maria to read a horror novel even if it was light on the horror! :)

    1. Yeah, I'm SO HAPPY it was light on the horror!! LOL. No more zombies for me from now on!! Hee, hee!!! :) :) :)

  7. You know, I'm a little sad that our "chats" about this book are coming to an end....:( We really MUST do this again, Barb!! It was SO much fun!! (Well, we're on for the sequel, but I was thinking of other books, too, in the meantime.) And I can't believe that I ACTUALLY got through a HORROR novel, and pretty fast, too! (Although this was really "horror lite", lol.) :) :)

    YAAAAY!!! You like Gideon, too!! And you're rooting for him and Jane!! I do hope he'll be back. After all, look at what happened with Jackson. I have a VERY strong feeling that he and Jane are going to be an item in the future!

    As for Gideon's method of providing electricity for the nice part of the town, I know he meant well. And it really was a brilliant solution, if a rather risky one. This didn't change my opinion of him, either. I just wanted to know what your take was on this. :)

    As for the preacher and any possible generalizations, I did think Justina's depiction of this particular preacher fit into the plot and was realistic for the times. Still, I would have preferred it if there had been at least one other Christian in Summerland who opposed this preacher's racist views. As you have stated, it's not right to make sweeping generalizations of any group. And, in the real history of the time, there were Christians involved in the Abolitionist movement. So not all Christians in the real historical period were racists. I think that the novel needed some balance in this area.

    You were DEFINITELY right about Jane and Katherine really being friends, but not willing to admit it! That was a GREAT scene where Katherine saved Jane's life!! And it made me dislike Jane to some extent later, for expecting Katherine to "cozy up to the Sheriff", as you put it. :)

    Lily is a strong character, for sure! And yes, she's more levelheaded than her brother. I do hope she gets a bigger part in the sequel, and joins forces with Jane. I kinda think this will happen!

    Now, Barb, I would NEVER think you were a horrible person!! Lol. Yes, I know the Major deserved what he got. I just wish that Justina had created different circumstances for his demise....circumstances that would have added to Jane's heroic stature, instead of taking from it, in my honest opinion.

    I haven't read those novels, either. I want to read "The Color Purple". As for "Beloved", I can't read it. I saw the movie, back in 1999, and it was a VERY shocking, horrible experience for me. I realize that the author and filmmaker were making some very strong and important statements regarding slavery, but the movie was just too much for me. I think it traumatized me....I cried and cried and cried.... It was brilliant, though!

    Oh, you've read "Dear Martin"! GREAT! I want to read that one, too! As for the "Hate U Give", we really should do a buddy read of it! I know it will be a pretty traumatic read for me, as well, but I still think I should read it.

    Well, now I'm looking forward to your review of "Dread Nation", Barb! And I'm also looking forward to buddy reading the sequel!!

    Thanks for all your thoughts and insights into this novel! As you stated on my own post, we were pretty much on the same page regarding this novel!

    HUGS TO YOU AND THE PUPS, AND WOOF, WOOF TO THEM!! <3 <3 <3 :) :_) :)