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/

Continuing the exciting pace from the first story

‘Insurgent’ – Veronica Roth

5-star-rating

Image courtesy of onceuponabookcase.co.uk

Insurgent – Veronica Roth

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes even more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

I found this book even more exciting than the first and this time we are able to find out more about the different factions that have come to exist in society. Throughout the book Roth does give hints about the history of this new society and it wasn’t until the end of the novel does it become clear that this is going to be elaborated on in the final novel of the trilogy.

The book continues straight on from the last novel, so I recommend not leaving it too long to start this after finishing ‘Divergent’. We continue to follow Tris in her quest and there seems to be more of a focus on her thoughts and attitudes towards events and others. This is quite interesting although sometimes does get a little too much – at these points I wanted to see Tris just “getting on” with things. Indeed, quite a lot of time is spent on Tris and dealing with her grief from the first novel, and I don’t think it is until the end of ‘Insurgent’ that she has fully done so.

The plot has some surprising twist and turns and although at times it was a little predictable, the fantastical environment that has been created was a pleasure to read about. Indeed, the reader learns a bit more about what it is to be “divergent” and the exposure to the other factions gave the plot more depth and enjoyment. The whole idea of social control is still seen throughout the story and I like the perspective that Roth gives the different characters.

For a teenage fantasy novel, I found this really enjoyable. The novel finishes on a cliff hanger and I can’t wait to read on – once I have got my hands on the last in the series, that is. If you enjoyed the first book, then I would recommend definitely giving this your time to see what happens next to Tris.

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/

Not quite another typical teenage fantasy novel

‘Divergent’ – Veronica Roth

4-star-rating

Image courtesy of onceuponabookcase.co.uk

Divergent – Veronica Roth

Sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit.

So, she ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs. Shocked by her brutal new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.

The hardest choice lies ahead.

My first impression of ‘Divergent’ was that this would be another typical teenage fantasy novel with the expected love interest. I was right about one part and not quite so with the other. In fact, whilst the love interest was quite predictable from the beginning (literally, you can see from the start who Tris will fall in love with), Roth successfully adds a little more essence to this plot which makes her story a little bit different from the rest.

The five factions that society is now divided in to is an interesting concept and Roth focuses on the Dauntless faction over everything else. I found this a little frustrating as I wanted to know more about the history of society – what made the world change and create these factions? I also felt Roth could have spent a little more time on what the other factions (and factionless) were about, because I felt this would have enriched the story just that little bit more.

However, the whole idea of control and mindless actions is really seen through Tris’s experience. The faction training demonstrates the control that society has over individual thought and this leads to the novel’s climax, which seems vaguely familiar of films that have similar story lines. Indeed, I think it is the last part where the novel really picks up pace from being quite “ploddy” and trying to develop a story.

Whilst there are some typical characters in this novel: the misunderstood protagonist, the dark and mysterious male, the bully, the dangerously-ambitious leader, this is definitely worth giving your time to read. It is one of three and I hope that Roth will give readers more information about this world she has not fully depicted in the first instalment.