REVIEW: The Division: Broken Dawn by Alexander C. Irving

The Division: Broken Dawn by Alexander C. Irving is a volume in the Ubisoft post-apocalypse action series, The Division. It is an intequel set between the events of the first two games. The premise of The Division games are that the world has been ravaged by a virus called the Dollar Flu. The exact number of people that have died is unknown but it is enough that cities are now largely abandoned as well as filled with roving bands of humans fighting for survival. Pretty much like The Walking Dead but without zombies. It is also under the Tom Clancy label, which means that it is vaguely spy themed and makes a very bare bones pretense at realism.

The Division: Broken DawnThe premise for Broken Dawn is that we follow the perspectives of four survivors as they deal with an interlocked story, Quentin Tarantino style. The primary star is April Kelleher, a widow whose husband was a biologist that may have created the cure for the Dollar Flu. Violet is a child who lives in the Smithsonian Castle that has been turned into a colony for survivors of Washington D.C. Aurelio Diaz is a Division agent who has begun pursuing another agent, Ike Ronson, for abandoning his duty. Ike is the final perspective as he’s betrayed his oaths as a Division agent to work for a mysterious new employer.

Unlike Hearts of Fire, Broken Dawn decides to tell a much more continuity-heavy story that doesn’t deal with the personal elements of being trapped in a post-apocalyptic world. There, the story was about a pair of sisters finding themselves on opposing sides while the world fell apart around them. Here, we have lots of allusions to the quest for the broad spectrum anti-virus, the Black Tusk conspiracy, and the rogue agent network.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the kind of people who are going to pick up this book are the kind of people who, presumably, are ones who are fans of the Division world. Unfortunately, it does make this a poor entry for people who are first getting into the Division and want to try to do so with the novels rather than the games. The story still holds up without the knowledge of the games but you lose a lot of the context with April Kelleher from the first game’s side quests as well as who Ike’s mysterious employer is.

The biggest boon of the novel is definitely the fact that it actually takes us outside of New York and Washington D.C. for a time. We get to see what’s happening in other states like Pittsburgh, Michigan, and rural America. While this is the basis for the upcoming The Division: Heartand, this is right now the biggest indication of how the rest of the world is dealing with the Dollar Flu. The rest of America is actually doing a bit better than the two major cities but not without their own problems. Much of America is returning to 19th century levels of technology to deal with the disruption to supply lines.

Unfortunately, the book does have a few flaws. Violet and the other children just aren’t that interesting as they are fairly normal adolescents in the apocalypse. Which means useless. They also don’t have much of a major effect on the plot as well. The book also just sort of ends with very little resolution of the major plots. This wouldn’t be a problem if we were going to have a sequel planned or this was part one of a trilogy but Broken Dawn feels very much like the author was telling us to buy The Division 2. Still, I overall enjoyed it as a Division fan.

Read The Division: Broken Dawn by Alexander C. Irving

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CT Phipps

CT Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He's the author of Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, Straight Outta Fangton, and The Supervillainy Saga. He is also a frequent contributor to Grimdark Magazine.