Series: Divergent #3
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books on October 22nd 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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One choice will define you.
What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
So, this book happened.
(Nathan Fillion sums up my feelings exactly)
You know the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for?’ It should have been the tagline, but I don’t mean that in the way you might think. I imagine you have questions, so I am going to pretend I know what they are and answer them. ONWARD!
Dual POV! How could it not be awesome with dual Tris/Four* POV?
Yes, technically it was dual POV, but Four’s voice is basically identical to Tris’. Without the chapter headers, I don’t think I would’ve been able to tell them apart. As far as I can see, the only point to having dual POV is so you can see what’s going on when Tris isn’t in the room. Supposedly (according to Veronica Roth) Four’s more of a sharer but I didn’t really see it.
*I continue to think of Tobias as Four because the name Tobias makes me picture furry bald men in denim short shorts (thank you Arrested Development.)
But you’re in Four’s head, how can that not be magically delicious? Don’t you fall even more in love with him?
Um, no. Quite the opposite, in fact. You know how in Insurgent Tris was all mopey and suicidal, running around making dumb, impulsive decisions? Four’s kind of like that. His character seems to do a complete 180 from the tough, insightful, bad ass guy he was initially presented as in Divergent and it was incredibly disappointing because I don’t understand why. Remember how his whole thing was that he didn’t want to be defined by the faction system? He wanted the freedom to be who he was and not force himself into someone else’s definition of who that should be? Turns out all you have to do is tell him he’s damaged and back it up with official looking paperwork and he folds like a soggy napkin and spends half the book running around like a moron. It seemed completely out of character in the worst way.
That’s disappointing. What about Tris? She’s back to kicking ass right? That whole mopey thing wasn’t working for her either.
This is true, and mopey Tris is a thing of the past. However, it’s kind of like in her rush to portray Tris as awesomesauce on toast, Veronica Roth forgot to back it up with reasons. At some point Tris apparently picked up this super human level of intuition and is now incapable of being wrong for more than half a page. At one point she gets in this huge fight with Four because she thinks they should do one thing (with no kind of factual reasoning, just gut instinct and the surety that she’s always right) and he disagrees. Then things blow up and Tris was right all along and basically throws a fit of ‘I told you so’ using ‘you should have listened to me because you didn’t before and I was right then just like I was right now’ as her cornerstone argument. Here’s the thing about being right in the past, by itself all it means is that you were right in the past. Yes, maybe this should give people a reason to listen to you, but if you can’t support your arguments with any kind of evidence beyond ‘I’m right, dammit’ and a foot stomp then you can’t blame them for not listening to you. She backs everything up with the equivalent of ‘because I just know’ and it gets old, quick.
But she’s divergent, that’s more or less superpowers. Isn’t that enough to make her a worthy leader?
Hahahaha. Yeah, about that, it turns out Divergent doesn’t really mean what we thought it meant and I’ll leave you to decide how you feel about the reality of it. Personally, I thought it ended up being pretty pointless.
Ok, well, what about the other characters? The remaining gang’s all there right? Christina, Zeke, Uriah, Cara, Peter, etc?
Ummmmm, yes, they are, in fact, characters present in the book. But, much like Four’s POV, I can’t really see the point. It’s like the only purpose they serve is doing what they’re told and being there for Tris and Four to have conversations with so they (Tris and Four) can come to internal realizations. Peter is especially frustrating because, once again, he shows signs of having the potential to be an interesting character but it never amounts to anything. Christina is back to being Tris’ lackey (although I forgive her because she comes through at the end of the book,) Zeke is barely there and don’t even talk to me about Uriah. I like that Cara’s part of the group now, but again, why bother?
Right, so, characters are not a thing, but this is the third book, the characters have been developed, this is all about the action right?
Well, yes. There is a lot of action. So much action that it feels like you’re just being thrown from one calamity to the next with just enough pause in between for Tris and Four to fight and/or make out. It’s tiring.
Make outs! There are make outs! At least there’s that, gotta love some Four/Tris action!
Yes, there is a bunch of making out. I do appreciate the continued lack of triangles and that this trilogy is one of few series that shows couples working through their petty drama in a functional and semi-realistic way. I like that Veronica Roth takes the time to point out that relationships aren’t always easy and sometimes you have to choose to be with another person despite a whole bunch of crap, but, for me, Tris’ character assassination in Insurgent and then Four’s in Allegiant has taken some of the magic out of this ship.
*sigh* I’m getting discouraged. Let me guess, outside of the wall was a let down as well?
Yup! I didn’t think it would be possible for me to actually appreciate the faction world but good god, can we go back to that? Veronica Roth is making an important point about the stupid reasons people find to judge one another, but she’s making it by smacking you in the face repeatedly with the Shovel of Metaphor (read that as though Charlton Heston is saying it using his God voice.) It manages to be overdone and somehow still unclear all at the same time. The outside world is filled with the same, narrow-minded people making the same short-sighted decisions, attempting to correct complex problems. If you hoped that leaving the city would add something to the story, let go of that hope now, it only serves as a change of scenery while our intrepid heroes deal with more of the same.
What about the end? I’ve heard rumblings around the fandom and I’m nervous.
From what I can tell, I am one of few that are actually good with the end. If you look back, you can clearly see that the whole trilogy was building up to this and I appreciate that sort of thoughtful, deliberate plot weaving. Veronica Roth did a hard thing and I admire her bravery because she had to know going in people were going to be mad as all hell. Truthfully, the ending was my favorite part of the book (if you know what happens, feel free to tell me how masochistic this makes me in the comments but NO SPOILERS. That’s just rude.)
So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth reading?
If you liked the first two, this is absolutely worth reading (or, alternatively, if you hated them and want to do a hate read, you will find plenty of fodder.) I think part of my problem is Divergent was one of the first books I read when getting back into YA and at the time I thought it was the bee’s knees. Since then I have read a whole bunch of YA and come to realize that there are many books out there that I like a lot more. Up until the end I was considering giving Allegiant two stars (I was so fed up you guys, you don’t even know) but the last couple chapters made me reconsider. Veronica Roth did a brave thing and (IMO) it was the right thing and that’s completely worth an extra star.
So there you have it.
Can’t say it better than that.