The Last Full Measure: Divided We Fall, Book 3

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Last Full Measure: Divided We Fall, Book 3 Book Poster Image
A rousing finale for saga of a second U.S. Civil War.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Last Full Measure poses tough questions about the freedoms most Americans take for granted. It examines the possible consequences of a second American Civil War and considers the issues from multiple viewpoints.

Positive Messages

Loyalty to country, friends, and family are extremely important, but war only leads to social and personal devastation.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Danny and his various allies are brave and resourceful when it comes to helping one another stay alive during a time of violence and chaos. Danny in particular always tries to do what's right, but he sometimes acts rashly, sometimes with devastating results.

Violence

Nuclear blasts in New York City and Washington, D.C., cause the deaths of millions. Danny and his allies are under the constant threat of death, and they meet any opposition with deadly force. The lead characters liberate a slave camp, where women and teen girls are held as sexual prisoners. Major characters are killed or injured.

Sex

Danny and his girlfriend, JoBell, clearly have a physically intimate relationship, but the details are withheld. They do flirt and cuddle.

Language

The language in The Last Full Measure seems realistic, given the setting and the intensity of the scenes: frequent use of "damn," "hell," "s--t," "bulls--t,"and "a--hole" and occasional use of "p---y," "d--k," "prick," "bitch," "bastard," and "pissed." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Danny and his underage friends pass around a bottle of whiskey during one moment of relaxation.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Full Measure is the final book in the series that began with Divided We Fall. It presents a hard-hitting, realistic depiction of what might happen in the event of a second American Civil War. The language is rough but realistic given the circumstances, with frequent use of "damn," "hell," "s--t," "bulls--t,"and "a--hole" and occasional use of "p---y," "d--k," "prick," "bitch," "bastard," and "pissed." Daniel and JoBell clearly have a sexually intimate relationship, but their time alone is not detailed. Violence plays a big part in the narrative. Friends and foes alike are killed by missiles, gunfire, swords, and a public hanging. Much of the Eastern Seaboard is destroyed in two nuclear attacks.

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What's the story?

Danny Wright started the Second American Civil War, but he thinks his fighting days are over now that the Feds have left Idaho. But the entire world is thrown into chaos again when nuclear blasts destroy New York City and Washington, D.C. Soon Danny and his friends are worrying about food shortages and the thugs who make up the Brotherhood of the White Eagle. The only way for Danny and his crew to live as free citizens may be to cross a ravaged Idaho and find a secluded place where they can build a society of their own.

Is it any good?

Many dystopian novels start well after civilization has collapsed, but this highly realistic tale of a second American Civil War demonstrates how quickly the social order might unravel in the U.S. Author Trent Reedy poses difficult questions about loyalty, patriotism, and citizenship, pitting his teen characters against an onslaught of obstacles. Although full of action and suspense, THE LAST FULL MEASURE de-glamorizes war and enumerates its awful costs. Having matured under fire, Danny and his friends must make some terrible sacrifices. Readers who persevere through all three volumes of the trilogy will find themselves amply rewarded.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how war is depicted in popular culture. How do people know whether they're fighting for a just cause?

  • What role does the media play in affecting the course of a war? Which tactics do media outlets use to sway public opinion during wartime? 

  • Danny and his friends must make decisions about whether to risk many lives to save a few. In war, what kinds of factors determine who will be protected and who will be forced to protect themselves?

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