Spoilers ahead for Book 1: Divergent | Book 2: Insurgent
(I did not review Insurgent so that’s a link to the Recaptains review by the always amazing Asti of A Bookish Heart)
No major spoilers ahead for Allegiant itself, but if you’re the type who doesn’t want to know anything at all about this book or even the barest hint about why people have been in a tizzy about it, maybe you should skip this.Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3
Release Date: 22 October 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Fiction, Young Adult (YA)
Goodreads | Amazon
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.
I think Allegiant may have broken me, and I’m not even mad about it.
On the whole, the book was a pretty good conclusion to the series. Allegiant explains more about the world-building and gives our characters new challenges.
Allegiant uses the dual-POVs of Tris and Four. I found this a little jarring for series consistency, because up until now, it has been Tris’ POV only. Lots of other people have said that it’s hard to tell between Tris and Four, and I agree. (I also think that’s a problem with nearly all dual-POV novels that don’t have a truly, spectacularly unique character whose mind is so immediately identifiable that you’d know them even if someone ripped the pages out of the book and played “guess the narrator” with you.) It wasn’t badly done though, and since Four did have separate experiences and opinions, getting the perspective of Tris from someone besides herself made me appreciate her strength even knowing that Four would be biased in her favor. <– yeah I keep calling him Four because I hate the name Tobias. I don’t know why and I don’t have a good reason. Just do.
Probably my biggest issue with this book was that the plot was EVERYWHERE. The style was very much “keep up or get left behind.” I wasn’t confused so much as overwhelmed by the sheer amount of new information, revelations about the city, and their latest round of plans. Part of the fault here lies with me: I read this too fast so I could get to the end, so as I was blitzing through the novel, the various schemes and plots and serums got all muddled in my brain. Unless the reader is careful and slow, the amount going on in Allegiant is overwhelming, and it’s hard to read slow because this is a “thriller” book that intentionally has you on edge.
Allegiant really highlighted how differently the characters have developed as well. Tris has become stronger, more self-assured, and more practical. I loved seeing Tris mature and grow even more as this book went on. She’s really embraced the “Abnegation” things about her personality that give her power. However, I find it it really unlikely that she is the only person capable of critically analyzing the motives of others. It’s been revealed that there are lots of Divergents from different factions, and just because she’s got aptitude for Abnegation, Dauntless and Erudite, it suddenly unlocks this part of the brain that everyone else can’t access? NO ONE else can look at someone and think, “I bet they’re doing x because of y or z”? Um … okay. This is carrying the premise a little too far.
Four … oh Four, what happened to you? In Divergent, Four was this badass, stoic trainer guy. He was tough, he wasn’t afraid, and he was confident without being a cruel piece of crap like Eric or Max. In Allegiant, the biggest word surrounding him is insecure. He keeps trying to fix things by joining in with Nita or taking the blame for Uriah’s death. Then someone tells him he’s damaged and he can’t shake it.
For someone so lethal, you’d think he would be less emotionally fragile. Plus, he and Tris are constantly fighting. I loved their relationship until now, and I was still rooting for them, but every time they argued, they just ended up walking away from each other or kissing. You can’t solve your differences by making out. (Like really, there was a LOT of kissing in this book, almost too much, which I didn’t think I’d ever say.) That said, Tris fights back. She doesn’t just stand there like a little girl and take it. At one point when Four yells at her, she puts him in his place so effectively that he’s stunned into silence and I mentally fist-bumped her.
Now, all this talk about the end. (Spoilers on GoodReads.) From the start, I was really hoping for a crazy, non-standard ending. I like a happily ever after (HEA) as much as the next reader, but that’s why I read contemporaries and fantasy and other stuff. I do not read dystopian with the expectation that I’ll get a HEA. It’s nice when that happens, but this genre is mature enough now that if every single novel ends that way, they’ll start to blend into one another. I liked that Roth took chances even though she had to know that a lot of readers would hate it and I liked what she did with the story even though it wasn’t a happy ending.
This book was ridiculously hard to rate. I’ve spent a couple of days considering it and for once, I need to explain my rating more clearly. On the whole, the book had some problems that I feel could have been addressed. Perhaps it’s the uproar and my own love for the ending, but this is a 3.5 star book that I’m kicking up to 4 stars because I applaud brave choices that are well done, even if they make me feel like the book just broke me.