3.71 (273 ratings by Goodreads)
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Welcome to the Deadlands, where life is a lottery. Since the apocalypse, Cape Town's suburbs have become zombie-infested Deadlands. Human survivors are protected from the living dead by sinister, shrouded figures - the Guardians. In return, five teenagers are 'chosen' and handed over to them for a mysterious purpose: this year, Lele de la Fontein's name is picked. But Lele will not stick around and face whatever shady fate the Guardians have in store for her. She escapes, willing to take her chances in the Deadlands. Alone, exiled and unable to return home, she runs into a misfit gang of renegade teens: Saint, a tough Batswana girl; Ginger, a wise-cracking Brit; and handsome Ash, a former child soldier. Under their tutelage, Lele learns how to seriously destroy zombies and together they uncover the corruption endemic in Cape Town, and come to learn the sickening truth about the Guardians more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 28mm | 280g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Much-In-Little
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1472100905
  • 9781472100900
  • 247,665

Review quote

Herne has masterfully created a fictional war-torn South Africa that is slowly being reclaimed by nature... The real story lies in the lives of the teen exiles, told with meticulous detail... Worthy to be ranked among the likes of Twilight and The Hunger Games. The Times (South Africa) Fantastic! Teen-fighting-zombie fun, The Hunger Games meets The Walking Dead! Lauren Beukes Enjoyably fresh... A good natured anti-capitalist message, pacey prose packed with cliffhangers, and an ensemble of diverse and likeable characters elevates Deadlands from generic teen mush to digestible political satire via a pop-culture plot. SFX Magazineshow more

About Lily Herne

Lily Herne (@Herne13) divides her time between Cape Town and Norwich, UK, and can sometimes be found in both places at once. Her interests include chainsaws, Steampunk and cake. The second book in the Deadlands trilogy, Death of a Saint, is published in October more

Rating details

273 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 23% (64)
4 37% (101)
3 29% (79)
2 9% (24)
1 2% (5)

Our customer reviews

I loved that this was a zombie novel set in South Africa. It immediately gave it a unique quality. I was also incredibly intrigued by the idea of The Guardians and there ability to control the zombies. Ultimately however I think this novel suffered because the author kept setting up the twists (example "Little did we know things were about to get worse") taking away much of the tension. I also thought the world building was lacking and was left with a lot of questions. Maybe they'll be answered in book 2?show more
by ChristaJLS
In a tradition of zombie books where world-building is usually secondary  to the action, Deadlands by Lily Herne manages to incorporate both zombie threat, a dystopian government and wonderful word-building into one readable book. Lele is a wilful young girl that has to live with her dad and new stepmother after the death of her grandmother, and things in the city are very different from the Agrocultures where she used to live. She soon notices that she doesn't fit in, and through a cruel twist of fate her life is turned more
by Celine
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