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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Divided Nation is a work of thriller fiction penned for young adults by author Angela R. Watts. Forming the opening novel to The Infidel Books series, this novel would suit older teen readers due to its graphic violence, though it features no extreme sexual content and only mild language usage. Set in a future world where the United States is no longer a united nation of people, gang wars and individual leaders in smaller towns have the say on who does what. West Johnson is the heir to a powerful gang that has risen up in the new country, but he doesn’t want the dark legacy his father promises.
It is unusual to see a gritty gangster-style futuristic tale for young adults, and author Angela R. Watts balances the thematic concept and the high drama well for her teenaged audience. There’s a brotherhood concept which smacks of Peaky Blinders, Sons of Anarchy and The Godfather all at once, but taken into a dangerous new setting where young men like West, Nate, and Simon have heavy responsibilities thrust upon their shoulders. The work is rich with teen culture and highly relatable in that way, whilst also using accomplished narrative and descriptive techniques to bring to life the gritty and complex new world in which the divided nation of people lives. As a series opener, it holds a great deal more conceptual promise, and I would certainly recommend The Divided Nation to all YA fans looking for a new and emerging genre to explore.