Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Review: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
Release Date: 23rd October 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 536
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 ODY and 2013 BSR

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"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."

** Spoiler Alert: Read at your own risk**
**Like seriously, SPOILERS**

I don't really know where to start with this one. Because, whilst this was a good wrap up to the series and explained everything well, there were some glaring problems.

Let's start with the characters. The character's are the same character's you still know and love. With the dual perspective split between Tris and Tobias, we get a new insight into Tobias, even if he sounds exactly the same as Tris. There's problem number one - when reading Tobias' chapters, I usually forgot it wasn't Tris, then got super confused and had to refer back to the beginning of the chapter to see that I wasn't actually reading from Tris' perspective. I understand why the dual perspective is there, but I think it could have been done better. Back to the characters - what I appreciate is that Tris stays true to herself, to her character that has been established in the previous books. Roth was very brave to write the ending as she did, and I appreciate the guts it took to go through with that, even though it was obvious that some people would be annoyed. But, honestly, that ending couldn't have gone any other way. Tris is the brave, self sacrificing girl who would die for her loved ones - she would not let her brother Caleb, no matter what he did to her, do to his death - she just wouldn't. So props to Roth for staying true to the characters and writing the ending the way you did. However, I didn't like how Tris' big plan to save everyone was to wipe everyone's memories - Tris is supposed to be the moral compass, I don't see her ever thinking that this is a good idea. 

Moving on, something that obviously needed to be addressed in this novel was all the mysteries surrounding Divergence, and the factions system, and Edith Prior's video at the end of Insurgent. And, we did get those answers, although they were a bit lacklustre. The whole explanation and reasoning made sense, but I think we were all hoping that it was going to be something more, something less obvious maybe? I'm not entirely sure, I just know that when I read the explanation, I was like..Yeah no that makes sense. I wasn't like...OH MY LORD THAT'S WHY!?! Which is kinda how I wanted to be. Also, something else that irked me...we never got a full, detailed explanation as to why Caleb sold Tris out to Jeanine. I was so pumped for a explanation for that, and I read in an article that Roth said we'd be getting some answers, but we actually didn't get anything. I wanted that explained, and considering how long the novel was, a paragraph or two to explain Caleb's actions could have been thrown in (of could have even replaced something else).

Now let's get to the plot and the writing. This is where the most glaring issues were. The timing of this novel wasn't right. We begin quite strong, our little group ventures out beyond the fence, they reach their destination quite quickly, and then we get an info dump. The explanation for pretty much everything (Divergence, the factions set-up, what it's aiming to correct, etc etc) is thrown at us in one big dump, and within the space of a chapter or two. And then, for about 300 pages or so, next to nothing happens. Between the first couple of chapters and the big finale, it's just dead space. There are scenes in there that serve no purpose, and the action that's been present in Divergent and Insurgent is lacking. People are making stupid decisions and doing things that serve no purpose to the main plot. And then, at around the 400 page mark, with Tris' declaration to erase everyone's memories, everything picks up. We get the action, we get some movement, things are happening, and then Tris dies, we slow down a bit, everything gets resolved, and the book is over. And then we have the beautiful epilogue that makes you wonder if it can save the entire book. But it can't, it just can't.

That 300 page dead space could have been condensed to under 100 pages and then the book would have been the perfect length, and the story would be progressing along at pretty much the perfect speed. Considering that Roth has had the book planned since the very beginning, I'm surprised that she wasn't able to completely pull it off. However, it did give me the answers that I wanted, and beginning and ending of the book were strong. So, should you read this? If you've been reading the series, then how could you not give this a go after the ending of Insurgent? If you're wondering whether to start the series, I'm almost tempted to tell you not to, but if you think you can push through some bad writing in the final book, then give it a go. 

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