Book Review: Three For the Road by Justina Ireland

Three For the Road: Stories from the World of Dream Nation   

Authors: Justina Ireland

Publisher: Kindle

American release date: September 20, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Kindle/Historical Fantasy/69 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Dread South Ever since the dead began to rise from the earth, during the Battle of Gettysburg, life in the South has been less than pleasant, but it goes on. At seventeen, Louisa Aiken knows it is her duty to marry, but she doesn’t want just anyone, and finds her mother’s suggestions somewhat questionable. But she is attracted to the good-looking Everett Hayes. And, if she isn’t mistaken, he is attracted to her himself. But the shambler situation is getting worse. What’s a girl to do? Everyone knows that the girls trained at the Schools for Colored Girls have the knowledge and the training to deal with the undead, which is why people buy them as attendants. Hire them, that is. So when Everett offers to purchase such protection for Louisa, she is flattered, of course. Which is how she meets Juliet. And suddenly, nothing is the same….

Dread Quarter The people of the French Quarter consider themselves safe from the chaos taking place outside their secure walls. But Katherine Deveraux knows nothing of life outside the Quarter, so of course it’s what she wishes, more than anything. Maman has plans for her, plans that involve going to the Full Moon Ball and finding a rich white man to protect her and her family. Such men like to have wives in New Orleans to keep them busy whilst they are there on business. That is how Maman met her first and second protectors, at the ball. But Fate has other plans for Katherine, and her pretty features have just caused her to be kidnapped, and this is not quite how she wanted to leave the French Quarter….

Letters from Home Although Sue can’t read herself, she does appreciate the value in a letter. She swiped this one from Miss Preston’s desk for reasons not entirely clear to her, but its mere presence is comforting to her.  Jane McKeene used to read to her, but she’s gone now, and Katharine Deveraux along with her. They’re working at the Mayor’s house and she misses them. The sounding of the alarm bells indicate the presence of shamblers at the school. Miss Preston attempts to lead Sue and the other girls to safety. But it isn’t going to be that easy, and suddenly heading to Baltimore doesn’t seem like a great idea either. What are they to do?

This is a trio of short stories all from the world of Dread Nation. I would definitely read those two books first before reading this one. The stories add depth to some of the characters, and fill in some back story. I enjoyed each and every one of them. They are a must read for anyone who loves Justina Ireland’s worldbuilding and Dread Nation. I sincerely hope there will be a Dread Nation 3, and more of these not-to-be-missed side stories.

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