Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
Goodreads Summary: 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.
Genre: Young adult, dystopia
Pages: 526
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Source: Purchased copy

First Line: "I pace our cell in Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind: My name will be Edith Prior, and there is much I am happy to forget."

Favorite Quote: "And he's right to say that every faction loses something when it gains a virtue; the Dauntless, brave but cruel; the Erudite, intelligent but vain; the Amity, peaceful but passive; the Candor, honest but inconsiderate; the Abnegation, selfless but stifling."

WARNING: Spoilers are present in this review 


The release of the last installment in the Divergent trilogy was what motivated me to finish the series. I wouldn't say it's as hyped up as say, The Hunger Games, but it's been pretty popular lately. And then I started hearing everyone talking about this big shocking surprise ending, which got me very curious. I didn't like the sequel as much as the first one, so I'd say I had pretty average expectations for Allegiant. It wasn't incredible or anything, but I think it delivered what it promised so in that way I have no complaints. Roth wrote a very solid ending, and I applaud her for coming up with such an interesting concept. The water symbol on the cover makes a little more sense than the Amity tree on Insurgent; plus the orange tone of the cover makes the book really pop. It's a little on the long-ish side (in fact I think it could have been two books), but hey, at least it didn't get a hideous re-design like a lot of series have been getting lately.

Honestly, the first hundred pages of Allegiant were kind of annoying to me. Basically it picks up right after Insurgent ended, which the factionless ruling over everyone, Evelyn being the leader. Tris and the gang come to the conclusion that they don't like the way things are going so they decide to leave the city to see what's out there. That whole section could have been condensed down a little bit because that's all that happened. I appreciated the fact that they had a hard time getting out of the city at first; it would have made no sense if they were able to leave easily with no problems. Over the course of these three books, a lot of people die. It reminded me a little bit of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, just because of all the death. Every five pages someone would drop like a fly. Of course, that's not really a complaint because the people in Allegiant were in a sense in a war, so obviously bad stuff would happen. Still, by the time I got to the end, only a few familiar faces were left standing.

My favorite thing about Allegiant was the explanation we finally got about the factions, and how they came to be. No matter how much I've enjoyed this series, in the back of my mind I always kind of thought that the world itself was sort of ridiculous. I mean - in my opinion - realistically this would never take place because people are diverse and you just can't restrain yourself to one line of thinking. I was also reminded of The Maze Runner a little because we find out that the factions are just one big giant experiment controlled by onlooking scientists. I'm not sure how I feel about the genetically damaged. Roth was kind of portraying prejudice, because the GDs are generally looked down upon by the genetically pure. I guess it would kind of bother me to know I wasn't put together quite right, but I don't think I would have cared to the extent that these people did. On the other hand, though, the whole first half of Allegiant was a lot less action-packed than I've come to expect from these books. So that was a little disappointing, because I was just a little bit bored. I enjoyed the second half a lot more because things started picking up.

I've seen a lot of complaints that Tobias and Tris' point of views sounded extremely similar. Sadly, I have to agree with that as there were multiple times I had to go back to see who was talking. Tobias is a lot less himself in Allegiant - he spends a lot of time moping and feeling sorry for himself when he finds out that he is not truly Divergent. It was actually hard to recognize him compared to who I first met. But I guess it made the moments where he was acting like Tobias a lot more precious. I will always reflect on his character fondly. Tris was much easier to connect with here. She was sad all the time and practically throwing herself at death in Insurgent, and though she still had a lot of issues here, she had her head on straight and rooting for her became a lot easier. She's just a really good person, with a lot of beautiful traits, and having a heroine like that really makes a book better. I had a lot of so-so feelings towards their romance in Allegiant, though. They fought almost constantly and their opinions were drastically different almost one hundred percent of the time. Somehow, though, it was still better than a love triangle. I was glad that they reconciled towards the end.

And, of course, there's the surprise ending that everyone is so excited about. Personally, I feel really conflicted about it. Obviously, I did not want Tris to die. I cried a little bit when it happened, but thankfully I was spoiled ahead of time so I knew what to expect. I also don't really think there was a good enough reason for it to happen. Maybe I'm just selfish, but I don't think Tris should have died for her brother after what he did to her. I understand that they were family and everything, but the betrayal was pretty horrible on his part. Caleb had practically zero character development because I feel like he never really learned anything or made any sacrifices on his own. I'm left feeling very angry at him and I think he should have at least tried harder to save his sister. Still, I have to admit that it was a very bold move on Roth's part and I don't think a lot of authors would have had the courage to end their stories that way, knowing that they would probably get a lot of negative feedback. So I kind of admire her for that even though I'm fairly put out. Tris and Tobias both went through a lot, and they deserved a happily ever after together. But I guess that doesn't always happen.

I was kind of irritated by how easily Evelyn gave up ruling the city so she could have a relationship with her son. It was a very noble decision, but also kind of confusing since she sent armed men after him when he was trying to leave the city. That aside, the scene was very touching. I never really got that attached to any of the side characters, but I did like Christina and I was saddened by what happened to Uriah. I think I was the most intrigued by Peter's character because obviously he was kind of evil but he wanted to fix that badly enough about himself to take a memory serum. I'm not really sure how to feel about him, but mostly I think I just feel pity. Not a lot is said about him after he forgets everything, but who knows, maybe he made a better life for himself and was a nicer person. I was also angry that the dude who killed Tris got to live just because his brain was wiped. Seriously, something bad should have happened to him. Overall, Allegiant was kind of a mixed bag for me. There were parts of it I really liked, and bits that were boring or annoying. Though it's not one of my all-time favorites, the series is very entertaining and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something to read after The Hunger Games.

3.5 stars

Books in this series:
1. Divergent
2. Insurgent 
3. Allegiant 

Other Opinions: 

Veronica Roth addresses Allegiant ending backlash 
The Book Smugglers
Nose Graze

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