Burning Nation picks up where Divided We Fall left off: following Danny Wright into the thick of the conflict in the quickly dissolving United States of America. Based in the near future, a Civil War has broken out and there seems to be no easy answers for the Fed or the States.
Things I love about Trent Reedy’s writing:
The Micro and the Macro. The story revolves around Daniel and his friends. The emotional resonance and interest in the personal story hyper-engaged in this second installment. Yet, Reedy doesn’t ignore the big picture. Interspersed between each chapter are segments of media footage that show the conflict and opinions on both sides.
The characters: As with any trilogy, you really get to know the characters after awhile, but Reedy gives a lot of attention to their personal quirks and mannerisms, doing a wonderful job of fleshing out both his male and female characters to make them real and authentic.
The intensity: It amps up in a big way in this one! You start in the war, and Reedy doesn’t pull any punches. Staying in Danny’s perspective through torture was specifically harrowing and realistic. In other words, it gets gritty, dark and sad in places in a big way. It also has plenty of action, which I really loved, especially the chase through the snowy wilderness(on horseback and snowmobiles!).
Emotional conflict: Danny longs for better days, especially at the end when things get even muddier. Instead of getting out of the conflict and running off with JoBell, Danny fulfills his duty to the newly formed Brotherhood–but risks becoming a pawn in their bigger vision.
Which leads to the ending and the major conundrum leading into book 3. The new government might have different values, but is it better than the old one? Was any of this worth it?
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