“One choice will define you.” Warning: if you haven’t read Divergent and Insurgent yet, do not read. There are spoilers from those books in this review.
The Divergent trilogy wraps up with Allegiant. As with the other two books, I sped through this one as well. When I decided to purchase the trilogy, I was surprised at the vehemence of many of the reviews aimed at this book. I think about half of the reviews I read were just blasting it left and right. Here’s the truth though, they only seemed upset about one thing. The first two books in the trilogy were written in first person narrative from the perspective of Tris. The final book in the series is different. Half the book is from Tris, as usual, and the other half is from Four’s perspective. This apparently made people lose their minds. I personally find it very refreshing to get another perspective, especially with all of the crazy new things happening in this final book. I also was very glad to know what was actually going on in Four’s head. In my opinion, the negative reviewers were actually upset about something that happens in the book and were just filled with misplaced rage that they could not express any other way without giving out major spoilers.
Allegiant opens with Tris in “jail” after going to great lengths to make sure that everyone saw the video from Edith Prior. Since the video tells everyone that Divergents are a good thing and asks them to help out people outside their world, all of the crazy people left in charge are pretty upset about it. Tris has pretty well pissed off her boyfriend at this point as well. Although apparently Tris has some kind of magic voodoo girly bits because he can’t stay mad at her no matter how many times she lies to him and goes off half cocked on her own. They make up after Tris talks her way out of trouble.
Through a series of spoiler-able events that I won’t get into, a group of the characters decide to sneak out of the town and go find the other people that Edith Prior talked about in the video. One very short and uneventful (once they were past the city gates) walk later, they find other people who have been sent out to meet them. The Divergent world is suddenly blown wide open. As the group struggles with the new information that they have been given, they are suddenly knee deep in intrigue, politics and prejudices that they do not fully understand.
I am sure that this world Veronica Roth imagined as the world outside of Chicago did not live up to a lot of reader’s expectations. I’m sure everyone had their own ideas of what would be outside the fence. Obviously it could only be written one way (as this is not a “choose your own adventure” novel) and Roth had her own vision of this world. The explanations that she created are probably more plausible than any that I had come up with in my head. While I felt that there could have been more explanation, more delving into the politics and everything of this new world, I also felt like that is maybe for another book series. For the story of Tris and Four, everything was said that needed to be said and there were no heinously loose threads left dangling at the end of the books.
My sister put into words how I felt after finishing this series. She sent me a text message after she had finished reading the books that said, "I don't know what to do with my life now that I have finished that". I definitely recommend having something that you have previously read, or something that I woud consider to be a "fluff" novel, as kind of a brain scrubbing buffer to read before reading any other books that you may need to think about.
I have no idea if Roth has any immediate plans to write anything else again right now. I assume she is incredibly busy with the movies for all three books. I would love to see more books set in this same world. Even just a sort of companion novel that gets more into the history of this new world and why everything started would be great. I do hope to see more from this author in the future. For her to be such an amazing writer at such a young age, I look forward to seeing how her works expands and develops.
Veronica Roth was born in 1988 and wrote Divergent while she was on Winter break from her senior year at Northwestern University. That is roughly 3 weeks, I looked it up. So she wrote a huge blockbuster of a book when she was 23 years old in three weeks. Crazy, right? The movie rights to Divergent were sold before she graduated college. Several short stories from Tobias/Four’s point of view throughout the Divergent time-line are up to be released within the next year.
Read my Divergent review here
Read my Insurgent review here