Militaristic Science Fiction

Review: Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

Divided We Fall
Image from Thinking About Books

Title: Divided We Fall (Divided We Fall #1)

Author: Trent Reedy

Genre: Militaristic Science Fiction

Danny Wright never thought he’d be the man to bring down the United States of America. In fact, he enlisted in the National Guard because he wanted to serve his country. When the Guard is called up on the Idaho governor’s orders to police a protest in Boise, it seems like a routine crowd-control mission. But Danny’s gun misfires, spooking the other soldiers and the already fractious crowd, and by the time the smoke clears, twelve people are dead. The president wants the soldiers arrested. The governor swears to protect them. And as tensions build on both sides, the conflict slowly escalates toward the unthinkable: a second American civil war.

I saw this book featured in an Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing post, and thought, “that might be good.” Then I passed over it a couple times in the library. Eventually, I thought I might take up the elliptical again, so I would need an elliptical book. The elliptical resolution lasted about 1 day, but I still felt like I had to give this book 100 pages.

Usually I discuss the characters and their personalities and stuff. But with Divided We Fall, I felt like the plot was the main thing, and the characters were there to move it along. They didn’t really seem like cardboard characters, but they also didn’t feel like real people, if that makes sense.

Like I said, the plot felt like the main thing, and Divided We Fall was brilliantly plotted. There was an I-can-totally-see-this-happening vibe that gave it a creepy-awesome feel, and it’s one of those books where no matter how bad things get, you turn the page and it gets worse. Everything seemed to slide inevitably towards civil war.

And that was my biggest problem with it. There didn’t seem to be any hope at all that civil war could be avoided. The question wasn’t if civil war would break out, but when. (And the political commentary at the end of each chapter reminded me of everything I don’t like about how people handle controversy.)

I’m sure there are people who will love this story. People who love military fiction, for instance, or those who want a futuristic story that doesn’t require a mega-disaster or huge advances in technology. It was just too much of a downer for me – even though I love it when everything that can go wrong does, I like there to at least be a bit of hope that things could go right.

The Divided We Fall series:

  1. Divided We Fall
  2. Burning Nation (2015)

Report Card

For more on my grading system, please see my About page.

DIVIDED WE FALL scored a 3.3 (B)