Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, imprint of HarperCollins
Date Published: 2013
In this final instalment in the Divergent series the world we’ve learned about, the restricted world in which Tris has grown up, suddenly expands and what the characters believed to be true about their lives crumbles around them. As the factions fall apart, a group called the Allegiant forms in order to seek freedom and to discover what lies beyond the fence. What they find beyond the fence is no better than what lies within and Tris and Four are now faced with decisions that will alter their lives tremendously.
What I Liked:
This book was most definitely an improvement from Insurgent. There was purpose to the characters’ actions. It resolved the conflict that Roth establishes throughout the series (although this resolution is quite frustrating at times). I think that Roth sets up her story really well for what lies beyond the fence and she constructs quite an intriguing post-war world wherein the remnants of humanity are fighting an ongoing battle of survival. The story here is an in-depth observation of the flaws of human nature and ideas of nature versus nurture.
Tris in this book was much better than she was in the last book. She was proactive, strong, and a whole lot smarter. For once I was less bothered by her and more annoyed with Four.
The structure of the book alternates chapters from Tris and Four’s perspectives. I thought this was a really smart way to frame the story. It provides variety of perspective and kept me interested. I really liked getting into Tobias’ head and getting to know his character a little more intimately.
What I Disliked:
Oh so many things. Where to begin? Fair warning, there may be some spoilers in this section but I’ll try to avoid going too into it.
First of all, Four (Tobias) displays a complete change of character in this book and I found this extremely frustrating to read. In the first two books in the series, he is strong and determined. He’s one of the most consistently unwavering characters. I think with him, Roth was attempting to demonstrate great character development with him, but it really did flop. He does a complete 180 in this book, becoming weak, insecure, and self-doubting and this made him very annoying. He becomes a whole other person. This may be harsh, but I found him to be pretty whiney which is not in keeping with his character as established in the rest of the series.
Again, I’m going to talk about Tris and Four’s relationship. I was really rooting for their relationship to grow a little more, and it did in some ways. They finally sit down and talk to one another instead of assuming what the other is thinking. There’s growth in their relationship as they agree to be open with one another. But they don’t really communicate very well and they generally seem to smooth things over by making out with one another rather than talking things through. They make out A LOT. I began to doubt if there was really anything of substance to their relationship beyond their hormones. Ugh.
And lastly, for those of you who’ve read it, the ending just killed me. The conclusion to the series (I’ll try not to give too much away) was so unnecessary. Roth’s overly dramatic ending seems like it was added for shock value rather than being essential to the plot. There was no reason for it. I don’t know how other readers feel about the ending, but after everything that’s occurred in the series, all the violence and near-death experiences, it seemed so pointless to end in such an abrupt way. I personally read Y.A. fiction to enjoy a thrilling story with a relatively satisfying ending and I didn’t get that with Allegiant.
Insurgent was a completely unnecessary book in this series. I would have enjoyed this whole story so much more if the second book hadn’t existed. Books 1 and 3 are both decent and there’s the potential for them to be excellent stories. But they fall a little short for me in terms of dialogue and character development. Because of this, I found myself walking away from this series with a lot of disappointment. I read Allegiant mostly out of curiosity and because I’d invested so much time in the first two books. I had to finish the series. If you haven’t read it, I don’t know if I’d recommend it.