October 2021 Review: Too Close to Home Apocalyptic Future
The Divided Nation
Author: Angela R. Watts
Publisher: Revelation Way Publishing
Before I get into my usual comments about the novel and praise for the author’s storytelling, I must stop and recognize that The Divided Nation hit close to home. Our nation is suffering from deep divisions made worse by politics on both sides that wish to use division for advantage and gain. Upon reading Watts’ take on a second American civil war, I couldn’t help but shudder at how real this could be. She presents a near-future world in which the United States has politically divided, particularly over the issue of abortion, to the point that war breaks out. I simultaneously applaud Watts for being willing to ‘go there’ and pray that her words are not prophetic for the future of our children.
Now, on to my thoughts.
The 2024 election was the proverbial straw to break the back of the nation. Civil War II has broken out. Brother is killing brother. Worse, the true victors will not be the Union or Confederacy, but the gang lords who play the game behind the scenes and will ultimately come out on top. But…what if one of the gang lords’ sons has no interest in playing that game? Especially when it involves the kidnapping of a young girl?
As a dystopian author, I could not resist picking up a copy of the first of Watts’ Infidel Books series. I have always been fascinated by the post-apocalyptic genre and the exploration of what would happen if everything went wrong. When we met at a conference, I knew I’d be leaving with a copy of Watts’ story (signed of course by the author). My read was not a disappointment.
As already stated, one of the strongest pieces of this book is its real-ness. The fact that our country could tip the scales in to violent division made this story feel believable. Scary even. While I have a lot of books in my list to read before I can enjoy the rest of the Infidel Books, I look forward to seeing where Watts takes this story. Starting with broad strokes to introduce the reader to this world, the author zooms in on the story of a kidnapping and a town on the brink of invasion that truly draws the reader in.
Admittedly, I struggled at times with the number of characters. I couldn’t always keep the storylines straight in my head as the point-of-view changes often, and I had to refer to the character descriptions Watts thankfully provided at the opening of the book. However, I will also admit this may have more to do with my reading ability than Watts’ writing. Other readers may have little issue with this, and it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.
Watts admits at the opening of her book that this story is dark. Necessarily dark. War is ugly, and Watts allows the ugliness to show. Sensitive readers should be aware that violence, assault, and torture are part of this story. Watts handles these topics carefully, but they still may upset some readers.
Faith also plays a large role in this story. Characters regularly pray and talk about their faith. However, it is not preachy. In some ways, faith is its own character as each person in the story must wrestle with how their beliefs affect their experience participating in a Civil War.
No language or sex. Romance is hinted at, but not fully present.
While I would not recommend this to younger readers due to some of the dark pieces, I would recommend The Divided Nation to anyone who has their hand on the pulse of our present national circumstances. Watts has done a great job injecting a possible future into our present time.
Available on Amazon or your local bookstore (support local business!).
No disclaimer. I did not receive anything from the author, nor was I requested to write this review.