Divided We Fall

Divided We Fall Trilogy: Book 1Sometime in the future, when nearly everyone uses a “comm” to watch shows, read books, and communicate, Danny Wright drives a badass truck he has named the Beast.  The torque of the 340 horsepower 350 V8 shakes his body, and she growls “like a chained animal waiting to be released, with the power to claw through anything” (7).  Danny, who plays football and dates the darling JoBell, seems to live an idyllic life as a senior in Freedom Lake, Idaho, but his life is anything but typical.

At seventeen, he joins the Army National Guard, mostly because the Guard will pay for all the auto tech classes he needs to buy out his business partner, Schmidty, and to expand the garage business his father left him when he died defending the United States of America.  For Danny, Guard duty is about more than the money; he considers it “an honor to be a soldier and serve [his] country like [his] father had” (13).  In the Guard, he feels part of something important; his love for his country and his patriotism make him willing and ready to fight to defend his freedom and to protect the people he loves.

When his Unit is called up for crowd control in Boise, the protestors resist, and the mission turns sour.  “The Battle of Boise” makes him second guess his patriotism, and soon Danny is trapped in a political tangle between the Governor of Idaho and the President of the United States.  Governor Montaine has taken a stance against the Federal Identification Card Act, an action that makes him a target and Idaho a rebel state: “It is time we moved past the idea that only the federal government gets to decide whether or not its own actions are constitutional” (103).  This position initiates a firefight between the governor and the president, and Danny’s home turns into a war zone, with Americans fighting against Americans.

As part of the madness, Danny helps to build “Fortress Idaho,” blockading all roads entering and exiting the state to prevent the Feds from trespassing.   While he is trapped in the “Idaho Crisis,” he grows jealous of his friends, whose biggest concerns are homework, sports, partying, and having fun.  Still, he has faith in his country: “This is America.  We’ve worked things out before.  We will this time” (201).  Schmidty, who is fifty-seven years old, is quick to disagree: “If they’re so committed to peace, but have failed so miserably the last fifty years . . . , what makes you think they’re going to figure a way out of this mess without fighting?” (201).

 When the Feds retaliate, Danny is caught in the middle, and he learns some important lessons about friendship and trust.  As his pride gives way to betrayal and danger, he also learns that there’s more to life than duty, and he begins to wonder whether doing something important means doing something violent.

The first book in a trilogy, “Divided We Fall” by Trent Reedy is a fast-paced, action-packed novel that asks thought provoking questions.  Whether you possess incredible confidence, faith, deeply held hope, courage, and a love so great that you would put yourself in harm’s way to benefit others or whether you curse the patriotism party line with its promises of gallantry and heroism, its talk of just causes and of proudly bearing loss, this book makes its readers think.  When fanatics on both sides prevent unity, fighting for what they believe in, I am left wondering, why must peace be purchased by blood?  Reedy makes his readers wonder how close this future might be.

  • Posted by Donna

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.