A dual-narrative with lots of answers

‘Allegiant’ – Veronica Roth

4-star-rating

Image courtesy of olmclibrary.global2.vic.edu.au

Allegiant – Veronica Roth

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.

My reviews of the other two books, ‘Divergent’ and ‘Insurgent’, kept coming back to the fact that Roth does not go into much detail on the past: what lead to this dystopian city being created and what had happened to the outside world. ‘Allegiant’ answers all of those questions that I had running through my mind and I found the novel a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.

‘Allegiant’ is dual-narrative and the story is told from Tris and Tobias’ perspectives. Eager as I was to consume this book, I did find myself getting confused as to who was narrating the chapter, so I definitely advise you to take note of this at the start of each chapter. Nonetheless, I liked the different perspectives that are offered and the turmoil that both Tris and Tobias go through personally and with their relationship.

As I read this book I became distrustful of everyone and their motives, and I couldn’t dispel this feeling of unease until the final few chapters. The reality that Tris and Tobias know is turned on its head and the new alternative is revealed to have been based on a web of lies as a form of control. The decisions that Tris and Tobias make in this story show their determination to be free from control, and it is never fully clear until the end that they have actually achieved this.

I did enjoy reading this book but don’t think it had the same exciting pace as the second novel, ‘Insurgent’, and on reflection, wonder if it is because Roth is using the same formula as before. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly does work and makes this an enjoyable read, but I think it is right that the book finishes as a trilogy. (I have learnt that there are spin-offs to this series: events told from Tobias’ perspective but again, I fear that Roth might be doing what Stephanie Meyer did with the spin-off novella from ‘Twilight’, so think that in this case I won’t actively seek to read them unless they do land on my ‘to read’ pile.)

The new city that Tris and Tobias experience is well described and the contrasts that exist between the different social groups really come through. Like when Roth described the ways of the Dauntless, I felt really involved and could easily picture it in my head. It was these descriptions and the “history lessons” that I have been after throughout this trilogy.

If you have enjoyed the other two books in this series, then ‘Divergent’ fans will not be disappointed. Roth cleverly concludes this tale and there are still plenty of surprises along the way. I have read online that there is a film coming next year and this is one adaptation I am keen to see.

For my review on the second novel in this series, ‘Insurgent’, click here: https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/continuing-the-exciting-pace-from-the-first-story/

For my review on the first novel of this series, ‘Divergent’, click here: https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/not-quite-another-typical-teenage-fantasy-novel/

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