❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy is a brilliant and also incredibly timely pre-dystopian novel. I listened to the audiobook available for free last week through YA Sync.
In the not too distant future, Danny Wright joins the National Guard to serve his country in the way his father did. Then, the Idaho governor sends the Guard to a seemingly routine crowd control mission at a protest in Boise. However, Danny's gun misfires, spooking the highly divided crowd and soldiers, and by the time the smoke clears, twelve people are dead.
The President wants the soldiers to face justice for the "Battle of Boise," while the governor of Idaho swears to protect Danny and the rest of the Guard. As tensions build on both sides of the political divide, conflict begins to escalate potentially leading to another civil war.
The political questions and themes explored in Divided We Fall, such as states rights vs. federal rights, are popular in contemporary American culture, I mean, just turn on the news, Glenn Beck (which I try not to), or any political commentator/ sensational journalist for that matter. That being said you don't see a whole lot of it in YA fiction, or not quite like this. I would call this sort of a pre-dystopia; although, this is set a few years in the future, it feels frighteningly plausible in a right around the corner way.
Trent Reedy does an excellent job of presenting both sides of the arguments (states rights vs. federal rights and conservative America vs. liberal America, among others) in captivating and engaging ways. Primarily, this is done through the fantastic cast of characters, but Danny does the most heavy lifting when he's placed right smack dab in the middle of everything.
Divided We Fall is an exciting, action-packed, thrill ride that also packs a pretty heavy emotional punch. War is not glorified as Danny physically and emotionally struggles through the decisions he will inevitably be forced to make.
I also really enjoyed the production of the audiobook. Primarily, we have Andrew Eiden narrating, but we also have an ensemble of voice actors providing the media presence in the story. It's a refreshing audio production which makes the most of its format.
Finally, I highly, highly, highly recommend this fantastic novel by Trent Reedy and I can't wait for book two, Burning Nation!
This book was read between August 5 - 8, 2014 and this review is also available on Goodreads.