2014 Book Review #2 – Allegiant by Veronica Roth
As a fan of dystopian literature, I ‘m always looking for new books to read. A little over a year ago, I was on Pinterest and discovered a link to 25 series to Read if You Love the Hunger Games. I’d already read The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield (thanks to the recommendation of a student), Cinder, Matched and The Maze Runner (all good..) and so I decided to try the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. (FYI – Divergent is about to be released in theaters).
The world of Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant (the 3 books in the series) is one that is fractured into five factions. The factions each focus on cultivating a specific virtue the society has deemed important – Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent). Each member of the society grows up in the faction of their parents, but must choose which faction they will join for life at the age of 16. The series focuses on Beatrice Prior (Tris) and the choices that she makes that help to transform her life and world, destroy the society she has always know and define who she is as a person.
Personally, I found Divergent the superior book in the trilogy. I loved the idea of the factions and the choosing ceremony. I thought the characters were well developed and the plot was well paced. As I moved on to reading Insurgent, I was still drawn in by the characters and action. Sometimes I feel like when authors are planning a trilogy, the second book often gets “hurried” (I also found the same to hold true for Back to the Future Part II, but that is a different post). Luckily, I did see Insurgent this way. I thought it really developed the story and made me want to read more. However, with Allegiant, I found I was somewhat disappointed. Roth’s strong main characters (Tris and Four) were still there, but I felt like she had simply run out of steam for what I had hoped to be the best of the three books.
For those who haven’t read the series, I don’t want to give too much away…but as a fan of the series, I was somewhat disappointed in this final piece to the story. I posted the other day on twitter “When you finish a book series and don’t know what to do with your life.” I had been so looking forward to reading this book for such a long time – and I was left feeling somewhat empty when I read the final page. Maybe that’s what Roth was going for – her dystopian society is not one that necessarily has happy endings…
Divergent Rating: 5/5 stars; Insurgent Rating: 5/5; Allegiant Rating 3/5; Overall series: 4/5 stars