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. But will she be prepared to face impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love?
Allegiant picks up a few days after the ending of Insurgent. The story takes place in a future community in former Chicago that had previously been divided into four factions based on the primary strengths of the populace. The factions are called (in an unfortunately grammatically inconsistent way) Erudite, Abnegation, Amity, and Dauntless. Those who exhibited characteristics of more than one faction were called Divergent. Now the factions have been disbanded by a group of faction rejects called The Factionless. Those who want the factions back have come together under the name The Allegiant.
Our two heroes and alternating narrators are former Dauntless members Tris (Beatrice) and Tobias (also known as Four). Tobias struggles with the knowledge that he has a set of awful parents, who are not only divorced, but who head opposing political parties as well: Marcus Eaton is head of The Allegiant, and Evelyn Eaton heads the Factionless.
Tris struggles with the death of her parents during the recent uprising, when Erudite attacked Abnegation. Tris’s Abnegation parents died in acts of selflessness and sacrifice, in true Abnegation fashion. Tris is desperate for their deaths not to have been in vain, which means that she thinks she needs to figure out what they were trying to do and do it for them.
In the meanwhile, Tris, Tobias and a group of friends leave the city to meet up with the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, an agency of the U.S. Government presumably dedicated to enhancing the life of all the survivors of the Purity Wars. These were civil wars waged between those with and without genetic alterations, and the wars killed almost half of the country’s population. But all is not well at The Bureau. Upon their arrival the friends discover that there is also an emergence of an allegiance of insurgence there as well....
A Lot That Is Not So Good:
The characters in the book keep making outrageous and impulsive decisions that entail drastic options, rather than considering, say, negotiation and compromise (except under the threat of death). Yes, some of them are just kids, but many of them have been classified Erudite. That just seems contradictory.
Characters change hugely in this book. Tobias, in Book One, was a tough, tough guy: confident, courageous, and strong. In this book, he’s weak and weepy. And his mother? Her metamorphosis at the end was literally unbelievable, almost laughable. Even Tris, who supposedly “grows” at the end and finds her purpose and identity, is really, it seems to me, just finding a more acceptable way to rationalize her reckless and headstrong behavior. Same wine, new label. I wasn’t convinced of her new maturity, only of her new glibness. Her reasoning for her last choice at the end of the book was particularly absurd; like Tobias’s mother, she suddenly chucked all her former convictions and emotions, and went against her previous instincts. (This is especially ironic since Tris has spent the whole book excoriating Tobias for not just following along blindly with her instincts, since she is convinced they are always right.) As for Tris’s brother Caleb, who knows? His character flipped back and forth almost as often as Tris’s attitude toward him (but no, the two didn’t always correspond).
And then there is the narrator alternation. I don’t mind this at all, as long as one can see a distinction between the characters. In this book, with the strange morphing of their personas, I kept having to turn back to the chapter beginning to figure out who was talking, Tris or Tobias.
Meanwhile, the world-building also took a hit in this book. We got lots of new “world” elements added in, but hardly any disquisition about them. What we do get is overly simplistic, almost caricatured.
So Why Do I Still Rate It 3?
I liked the first book a great deal, so I was attached to the characters. It was like The Hunger Games for me: each book seemed a little less good than the one that preceded it, and yet, how could you not read it? There's also a nice bit at the end about figuring out what bravery really means, which is nothing like The Dauntless faction had presumed.
Evaluation: This is not a standalone, but definitely read this one if you are already invested in the series.
*No Spoilers Here*
I just finished and I'm dumbfounded. The elements I loved about this trilogy ran in reverse in Allegiant.
In the first two, I loved Tris' strength, her growth in her independence and resolve. Finding her limits and pushing, pushing, pushing beyond. Sacrifice but hope. Tobias/Four's leadership, fearlessness, and overall badassery. Their relationship based on trust regardless of when they acted independently causing events to go south. I wanted more of those characters. I wanted to see faith and hope in motion.
Allegiant was all over the place. Characters (as in several) didn't stay true to their earlier development in the previous two books or worse, flip floppy convictions and miraculous changes of heart from chapter one until the end.
There is character death and the ending. Guh. Life is imperfect and not all is warm and fuzzy in dystopia. I get this but the ending felt like it was written simply to be different and for shock value more than anything. It didnt fit or make any sense to me, let alone aiding to creating a beautiful whole story.
I had high hopes for the ending and getting answers. Answers to the whats and whys and the significance and driving force behind the factions, where they go from here, what is on the outside, how to make peace...but came to an ending with plot holes and hopelessness in this confusing mess of simplistic let-downs and contradictions that fell flat. Flatter than missing a towering platform while jumping off a train.
I read to the last page and said, "I cannot. What. was. that!?" I cant explain more without spoilers...but needless to say, this book felt rushed and confusing, like the author didn't know where to go either. Apparently, not so, as its been revealed that the author planned the end from the very beginning.
I loved the first two stories. Brilliantly done. But this one missed it by miles.
The story switches between Tris’s and Tobias's point of view. Tris is languishing in lockdown after releasing information that Tobias’s mother (and leader of the Factionless) didn’t want released. Tobias is walking a fine line; he doesn’t really support what his mother is doing but wants to be in the know and wants her to trust him. Tobias also wants Tris released. Then both characters learn about a faction called Allegiant which is against what the Factionless are doing. When Tris and Tobias get involved with the Allegiant they are asked to travel beyond the fence and see what’s out there. Both of them hope that beyond the fence will be a better place where they can start anew.
It honestly took me a while to figure out what I thought about this book. There are certain things that happen at the end that will piss off the reader big time. So I had to take some time and think the book through in order not to just have the “Oh, my God I hate this book” reaction. In the end I realized that there were a lot of things...not just the ending...that I was disappointed about.
I think a lot of these dystopian trilogies suffer from poor endings. I mean really, the first book is the big reveal of a cool new world and neat ideas. The second book is further development of those ideas. The third book has to resolve stuff, and that’s tough when honestly the resolution is usually a bit convoluted and boring. I mean ultimately you are looking at replacing a corrupt system with a better one...and that’s not all that exciting or easy to do in an entertaining way. I can’t think of one dystopian series I have read where the final book in the series is better than the earlier books.
I did like that Tris and Tobias actually tried to work through their relationship problems. However, even this got a bit old...they have the same problems over and over again. The chemistry between these two seems to have cooled off some in this book.
The book is very readable and well written, I am not sure I liked how convoluted the story got. I was a kind of disappointed when Tris and Tobias get out of the city and find very similar problems to what they faced in the city. There are multiple factions outside the city and people are not being treated fairly. The outside was just an echo of the inside of the city (or visa versa). The addition of more and more different factions just got old...and to be honest boring. No surprises, nothing all that interesting or groundshaking. I was having trouble staying awake as I read this book.
This is a long book...I feel like a lot of what is in here was unnecessary and just added complication. The whole thing ends up being a war between Tobias’s dad and Tobias’s mom...which is kind of dumb and disappointing. Not to mention the vast number of coincidences that happen in this story to lead the reader to that point. It just came of as convoluted and contrived.
Also, while I understand the ending of the book and why it was possibly the most realistic path forward, I also think it wouldn't have killed Roth to write an ending that was just a little bit more happy. It would have been nice to give the reader a bit more hope that things in this world were going to go the right way in the end. As mentioned above this is part of why I am getting sick of dystopia...they never end all that happy.
Overall definitely the weakest book of the trilogy. I still enjoy Roth’s writing style but I thought that what Tobias and Tris found Outside was disappointing, boring, and just added complication that didn’t need to be there. I didn’t enjoy the addition of yet more groups and factions and the fact that the whole thing ended up being more of a war between Tobias’s parents than anything else. I also didn’t like the ending, although I understand how it fit the story well. I really wasn’t a fan of this book, it felt more like a necessary evil I had to read to finish this series than anything else.
All that being said, the first two books in this series were absolutely excellent. So I still recommend the series as a whole; it is really really well done. Unfortunately this final book was probably my biggest disappointment of 2013.
I loved this series - up to this book.
I think the characters became too tunnel-visioned. They didn't look for the other ways to stop David, didnot play any other solutions or scenarios. And when it played out, things that would have been caught were glossed over, especially when those at the lab would have seen and heard the truce. And with Tris dying- it sort of left a bad taste in my mouth; her death seemed unnecessary in terms of context and resolution. The only resolution in the story was within Chicago and not the characters.
I think Four struggled with not knowing how to identify himself without the Divergent status. Being abused and abandoned in his childhood, then told he was "genetically damaged." (And I think Tris was not totally clued in even though she tried to explain he was no different than he was before) I can see where that would have screwed with his head. I do think this was well written. But how much is the man supposed to endure; suffering his childhood and know his adulthood, though he did get the acceptance from his mother he wanted.
Besides: I LOVE FOUR.
And I didn't hate it. (Ringing endorsement, right?) As many of you have observed, the alternating voices, from Tris to Tobias, made the book a little hard to read, especially since one character's thoughts, words, and actions could often be mistaken for the other's. But I found some of the secrets that were revealed to be quite interesting, and I thought that the characters generally responded to them the way I thought they would. (Trying hard for no spoilers here!) And perhaps that's why I didn't object as much to the ending as some readers did. Don't get me wrong - I didn't like it at all. But it seemed consistent with the characters that I had come to know. In the end, I'm glad that I read this one for closure, but Divergent still remains my favorite of the three.
As a small group leaves the previously gated area of what is soon identified as Chicago, Tris, Tobias, and others made their way to the “Bureau”, the nearest governing agency, where they learned of a new bias, Genetically Pure (GP) vs. Genetically Damaged (GD). The GDs are the results of previous generations attempting to correct flaws of human nature, which led to the Purity War, decimating half the population. The result is a division of GP vs. GD. Divergents are GDs who have healed themselves over the generations to become GPs. GDs are treated as second class citizens and relatively disposable. In fact, Chicago and several cities are experiments to correct the GD problem. The factions were designed to provide guidelines and structures on ‘how to live’, adding order to their living. The obvious flaws of the factions are identified as follows by Tris: “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 (and lacks self-preservation).” The key question becomes, “Do the GDs need correcting?” I won’t go further on the plot summary.
Overall, I like the ideas of these three books, but the layout and structure could have been better. Divergent made me think more and Insurgent was more action oriented, even though all 3 were easy, popcorn reads. The second book needed more hints of the future with seeds of doubt, questions, and curiosity about the outside and their identity. The third book needed to wrap with a bang (such as Mockingjay), and Allegiant was a disappointment in comparison. I think trilogies are becoming overrated as too many authors are jumping on the bandwagon without thoughtful pre-planning.
A few quotes:
On the strength and weakness in each of us:
Tris: “I relax, and I no longer feel like some kind of Divergent soldier, defying serums and government leaders alike. I feel softer, lighter, and like it is okay to laugh a little as his fingers brush over my hips and the small of my back, or to sigh into his ear when he pulls me against him, burying his face in the side of my neck so that he can kiss me there. I feel like myself, strong and weak at once – allowed, at least for a little while, to be both.”
On morning rituals – I laughed at this as I know quite a few morning coffee zombies:
Tobias: “It’s strange to see people you don’t know well in the morning, with sleepy eyes and pillow creases in their cheeks; to know that Christina is cheerful in the morning, and Peter wakes up with his hair perfectly flat, but Cara communicates only through a series of grunts, inching her way, limb by limb, toward coffee.”
On Inner Turmoil – the hurting inner self in many of us:
Tris on Tobias: “… I was right to say that he was desperate, desperate for a connection to Evelyn (=his mother), desperate not to be damaged (=GD), but I never thought about how those things were connected. I don’t know how it would feel, to hate your own history and to crave love from the people who gave that history to you at the same time. How have I never seen the schism inside his heart? How have I never realized before that for all the strong, kind parts of him, there are also hurting, broken parts?”
On being short – ok, this is me:
Tris: “Sometimes all I want is to be a few inches taller so the world does not look like a dense collection of torsos.”
The finale – I definitely believe the first part. I’m still working on the second part:
Tobias: “Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, everyone. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.”
Insurgent was harder for me to get through. It wasn't as enjoyable and the cracks in the logic of the story really started to show. To be honest, I barely remembered what happened. I knew the ending was a cliff-hanger...but I couldn't remember what the cliff-hanger was. I had to go back and look it up before I started on Allegiant. That is how little an impression the book left on me.
And now we get to Allegiant where it's all action, all the time. The action was fun in Divergent but gets tiring here. I would have liked to have seen some introspection from the characters but Tris and Tobias seem to have no interior life and spend no time really contemplating what's happening around them. The story just moves from plot point to convoluted plot point. Which is another problem: world-building logic really breaks down here. The Chicago experiment and the genetic wars make no sense. With good storytelling, these plot points wouldn't need to make perfect sense--but this is not good storytelling and I spent most of the book trying to work out exactly why any of this is happening because Roth doesn't give you anything else to think about. The characters become annoying and two-dimensional and the love story ultimately felt tacked on to just give the reader a small pause between action/arguing about rebellion/brief exposition scenes. If the romance between Tris and Four is supposed to humanize them, it doesn't work.
Veronica Roth created the structure of an interesting world but she needed a better editor to fix her clunky storytelling and to help her make sense of the plot.
Read/Listened for Fun (Hardcover/Audible)
Overall Rating: 3.00
Story Rating: 3.25
Character Rating: 2.75
Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: Allegiant kind of sealed the deal that YA Dystopian trilogies and my expectations hardly ever mesh.
Instead of a review I am going to explain my experience (to this point) with ending books in YA Dystopian trilogies.
Please Note: I don't read a lot of YA so having the same exact experience with two different series in one sub-genre denotes a pattern to me. Also, I believe the author should write the story they want to tell. This is not a bash against the author for choosing to tell their stories in a way they saw fit. This is my experience as a limited-YA reader.
The 2 Series: The Hunger Games and Divergent
Book 1 (in both series): I liked enough to make me want to read book 2
Book 2 (in both series): Was my absolute favorite! Made me excited for book 3
Book 3 (in both series): Was a total struggle to even finish and by the end I just didn't care.
What went wrong for me (examples will be given from Allegiant since I wrote a review of Mockingjay)....
The Characters (other than the leads): Through the course of both series I formed strong attachments to certain side characters (good, bad, borderline). They played strong parts in the first or second (or both) books but in the third book either acted out of character or was given a two second wrap-up that totally seemed to diminish their importance. This frustrated me to no end. I would argue that the side characters are what made both of these stories work so darn well in book 2 (the books I loved in both instances). Example: Four's (Tobias) mom doing what she did at the end of the story. While I "got' it. The choice (and reaction) were to neat for that storyline.
The Leads: In both series, the final book turned strong confident characters into unrecognizable whiners that had brief moments of the characters that I had grown to love. They made choices that made me go "huh" and went against what I would expect of them. Oddly enough, Tris' choice at the end is what made me rate Allegiant a 3 instead of a 2. That choice has most people in a uproar but to me it was one of the few times I saw the Tris that I had been rooting for. The reason I loved the beginning of both of these stories was the strong female protagonist. They were examples I thought fitting for strong young woman coming up in the world. The guys were not much better other than I think Peeta. I believe he was the most "in character" with all his decisions and reactions. Example from Allegiant: Four almost through out the whole entire last book where almost anything was concerned. He seemed unsure and angry at everything. He made choices that just had me shaking my head. Tris wasn't that much better but towards the end she seemed to snap out of it and forge ahead.
The Story: The endings left me wanting but I couldn't exactly tell you for what. The characters changed so much during the last books that by the end, I either didn't care or was hoping for something HUGE to bring out the inner fire that I loved in all the characters. That just didn't happen in Mockingjay and with Allegiant it happened with Tris but not Four. I just felt let down after investing so much into caring about these characters. For Example: In Allegiant after Tris makes her decision, Four's reaction left me a bit cold. I cried for Tris but Four just made me feel "meh". I know I should have had a stronger reaction but just couldn't muster it.
The Shock Value: Both stories had twists (several) that were supposed to make you squeek and go "oh my". Problem is that by the 3rd or 4th one I just didn't care. I was more like "oh I bet there will be another one before the end". At some point there were just too many. Example: By the time we got to Four and his mom (not giving away what happens there), I honestly didn't care. It was just one more twist that was supposed to have an emotional impact but by then the whole thing had just boiled down to "let's just get it done" for me.
The Different Ratings: I gave Mockingjay a 2.75 and Allegiant a 3.0--the difference was that I felt Tris in the end was true to her character. I didn't feel that with Katniss. I ended up rating both end books slightly higher than if they had been stand alone books because I felt like overall the series was a good read (especially book 2 in both).
I am still holding out hope for Horde by Ann Aguirre! Maybe this will break my YA Dystopian curse. If not, I may just forgo the trilogies in the future as they might not be a good fit for me as a reader.
The Audio for Allegiant was excellent! The only problem I had was the dual POV's overall and that made me read 60% of the story. This was not the fault of the narrators. It was just a story telling device that did not work for me.
But just because the ending isn't the way I wanted it to be, doesn't mean that it wasn't the right ending for the book or the character. Sometimes the arc of a character doesn't end up where you want it to, but that's still the journey that they need to go through.
Love the book. Love the series. Good work, Ms. Roth. Well done.
The good(ish): This book ripped out my heart, trampled on it, and cackled while it was doing it. There were moments where I had hope that the future might turn out bright and then I discovered the opposite. And then I bawled uncontrollably for about forty minutes. It's been a while since a book did that to me.
And that's why this book is getting four stars instead of three.
I felt that there was good character development and overall, the book was excellent. However, there were flaws.
The bad: This book is *very* repetitive. "An uprising! ANOTHER UPRISING! BY THE WAY, HERE'S A THIRD WHILE THE FIRST IS STILL GOING ON!" At one point, I was tempted to abandon the book and go look for something else. I'm not sure whether it was the repetition or something else that made it hard to get into this book as easily as the ones I've read in the past.
I also feel like maybe it could been parred down a little. But that's just me, probably.
One thing I want to know, still: what exactly made Peter who he is? Was it personality or something else? I guess we won't know unless she writes another short story and I seriously doubt that'll happen.
Okay, I'm going to gather my tattered heart and fling it into another book that I know will trample it again. Good luck, future readers of this book! TAKE TISSUES FOR THE LAST 60 PAGES.
One thing I loved about this book was the emphasis put on grief, both living with it and the guilt that can come with it. Grief affects everyone in different ways because we all cope differently. It makes some people hard, others weak. This book deals heavily with the cycle of abuse and how that affects both the abuser and the abused. I like that despite the chaos of a dystopian society, Roth still looked at the complicated family relationships of the main characters.
“I have only hazy memories of my own grief over my mother, just the feeling that I was separate from everything around me, and this constant sensation from everything around me, and this constant sensation of needing to swallow something. I don’t know what it’s like for other people.”
I also really appreciate how Tris and Tobias’ relationship matures through the series. Both of them start to realize that talking through things is important. You can’t keep secrets. You can’t take your love for granted. They start to understand that true self-sacrifice is not just running blindly into danger.
“I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.”
About the ending… I unfortunately had the ending spoiled for me by the stupid internet about half the way through the book. So I knew what was going to happen and I don’t think there’s any way to avoid having that affect the way I read the book. Knowing Tris was going to die at the end helped the event itself not be as shocking as it was for others. It didn’t feel wrong to me. People die in war and Tris had a tendency to gravitate towards dangerous situations. I really loved Tobias and Tris together, but to me the story was actually more powerful this way. Tris is the one who helped Tobias heal. She showed him that he deserved to be loved and between that and Evelyn’s decision to choose him I think he can possibly lead a healthier and happier life in the long run. I would have loved it if they ended up together, but I like that Tris didn’t rush into danger this time, she sacrificed herself for others out of love, it was the opposite of what she did in Insurgent.
BOTTOM LINE: The trilogy isn’t perfect and I know a lot of people are furious about the ending, but I’m not one of them. The story was interesting, the characters had chemistry and the writing was good. The whole series kept me hooked and I loved that it dealt with deeper issues. I’d recommend it if you enjoy dystopian books, but know going into it that it has got some flaws.
“I don’t belong to Abnegation, or Dauntless, or even the Divergent. I don’t belong to the Bureau or the experiment or the fringe. I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me—they, and the love and loyalty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to know how to take care of people.”
“He makes the acquisition of knowledge feel like a secret, beautiful thing, and an ancient thing. I feel like, if I read this book, I can reach backward through all the generations of humanity to the very first one, that I can participate in something many times larger and older than myself.”
“That’s what love does, when it’s right – it makes you more than you were, more than you thought you could be.”
Before I get to that, I should talk about the book first.
Allegiant is the final book in Veronica Roth’s best selling Divergent series. It’s been a long hard road for our heroine Tris Prior. She found out that she’s a Divergent. She left her former faction, Abnegation, and joined Dauntless. She became a tough fighter. She found love. She killed her friend. Her parents died. Her former faction was almost killed. An uprising happened. Her brother betrayed her. And she found out that her entire world was a lie.
And a bunch of other things have happened all in the span of a few months? I think? Maybe it’s actually been less. In any case, lots of things happen to our heroine and this book is no different.
After exposing the city to Edith Prior’s tape, the city now knows that there is an outside world. A world that is better than the lives they have here. Some want to go there, while others are still following Evelyn’s factionless rule. A new group emerges, the Allegiant, who want to go beyond the fence and to the outside world. Tris and her band of merry men/women soon follow and once out, they realize that the world outside isn’t all that it seems.
Unlike the previous novels that were told completely in Tris’ POV, here we get to see Tobias’ POV as well. At first, I welcomed the change because I don’t like Tris (the fact that she was always right in this novel annoyed me) and Tobias had a distant voice. On the outside, he may seem tough and sure of himself, but in reality he’s not like that. He’s scared. Some may find this to be a complete 180 to his character, but I don’t think it was.
After learning about his history, it wouldn’t make sense that he’d always be sure of himself. This is the same guy who constantly goes over his own fear simulations and has anger issues. For him to be perfect wouldn’t make sense. Plus, in the first novel when we first saw him, he seemed perfect because Tris didn’t really know him all that well. In Insurgent when they spend more time together, they fight and lie a lot and she starts to finally see him more clearly. In book three, I think Roth wanted us to get inside his head and see how damaged he really is. I haven’t read the short stories, so I don’t know if he’s always been like this, but judging from what I’ve seen from the previous books, his personality made perfect sense.
There’s a scene with Caleb that really highlights how Tobias’ past really affected him. He puts him down and was actually scary. He looked like a mini Marcus. I kind of wish he would have reflected on that and saw how his attraction to hurting people, might be the same attraction Marcus had. And if it was, then does he really want to continue going down on this path? We don’t really get that, but whatever.
So yea, I did enjoy reading his POV, until I didn’t. Not because of him, I did like getting into his mind, but because Tris and Tobias started to become one. I was a bit disappointed when that happened.
As for the other characters, I thought they kind of got the short end of the stick, especially Christina. Now, I’ve mentioned before that there seems to be a relationship curse in these novels. Whenever someone shows affection to someone, one of them will die or get severely injured. This novel, sadly, is no different. I won’t spoil what happens, but do expect a few deaths.
A lot of my questions were answered here, except one. I still don’t know why Caleb did what he did and I think that was the most frustrating thing about the book. I’m a Caleb fan. Even though he betrayed Tris, there had to be a reason behind it. Sadly, we’ll never know. When Tris confronts him, he mentions how she didn’t know just how persuasive Jeanine was and instead of hearing more about this, she just beats him up. Instead of listening to him and actually talking to him, he’s beat up, he’s punched, and he’s called a coward on more than one occasion and then some. But why? Why didn’t anyone bother to talk to him about it, especially Tris? She can think like an Erudite, so why didn’t her inquisitive nature come through and find out the reason? His entire purpose in this novel was to be the punching bag to everyone and I didn’t appreciate that or think it was fair to the character.
The actual plot in itself was interesting. I liked how the outside world seems shiny, but when you scratch the surface you realize that it has the exact same paint job as their old world. And I especially loved learning more about Nathalie, Tris’ mother. The history of the world, the genetic discussion and what it means to be a human were interesting to me.
However, the whole Allegiant thing was stupid though and the multiple uprisings, while making sense, didn't have smart planning behind it. They could have used Caleb here, you know, because he's suppose to be smart and stuff.
However, I do think that this book is actually the best book in the series, that still doesn't mean that this book is all that great. There are flaws here and some things are not explained properly. The romance aspect of these novels consists of Tris and Tobias fighting, making out, fighting, and then making out. Basically, it was repetitive and redundant. However, I did like the world that Roth created and seeing things from Tobias’ POV.
This is getting to be too long, so I’ll just go back to the ending. I won’t spoil it, but it doesn’t make sense. Not because of what happened, but why it happened. It’s not heartfelt. It’s not shocking. It’s just doesn’t make sense It makes sense for what happened to happen, especially if you’ve read Insurgent, but....okay, I’ll need spoilers here. Sorry!
He’s someone who values the cause and Tris’ genetic makeup is part of this. For him to shoot to kill instead of shooting to subdue doesn’t make sense. Why kill a value specimen with the best DNA ever? Nope. I don’t buy it. So when Tris dies, even though this part is well written, was just confusing.
Would I recommend this? Maybe? If you’ve read the first two novels, then you do owe it to yourself to read this one. But just like before, I feel like this series has a lot of potential, but it’s potential that’s never fully realized.
ps. I'm sorry for the length. I didn't intend to make the review this long.
You can also read this at my blog Booking Rehab
This book also pulled them outside the bubble, so to speak, and opened up whole new cans of worms, ideals & enemies. Since it took place outside their city, it had a different feel, and some of the freedoms the characters were given in their new setting seemed a bit unbelievable.
As far as the ending that everyone seems so up in arms about (I won't spoil it for you), I get it. It didn't bother me that there was no happily-ever-after ending. I did like that the conflict with Tris's brother Caleb was given some attention and resolution, though.
So, all in all, I feel like it still wasn't as great as Divergent, and lacked the depth of characters we found in Insurgent. I would rate it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
On the other hand, these books don't quite hang together if you squint at them. Actually, I thought this book did a really good job of explaining the ridiculous world of the first book - the society only has its bizarre shape because (spoilers) they're all in an experiment with external forces conditioning them into factions. But if, like me, you want to lose yourself in the sad ending, you have to suspend disbelief that instead of just, say, having a complicated lock, or an armed guard, obviously the Mcguffin is protected by a Death Serum that only Tris stands a chance of being immune to, and that lets anyone through to give out the Mcguffin to others so long as they're prepared to die.
One of my favourite bits of these books was the side-story of Christina. Christina transfers to Dauntless from Candor, makes friends with Tris, and falls in love with Will. Due to Plot, Tris ends up shooting and killing Will (and it's pretty clear that she doesn't _have_ to shoot to kill, although she's in a difficult and stressful situation). Christina never ends up centre stage in the books, but the story of her grieving and working out forgiveness is a fascinating one. More fanfic needed :-)
I agree with everyone else, the alternating view points is annoying, and the voices of Tobias and Tris aren't quite different enough to stop it being confusing. But given the point of this book is Tris's death, it would be hard to show our responses to it if we had no viewpoint characters left...
There's a nice paragraph about love and how you have to keep chosing each other.
That's not the reason I hated it though--the ending. In fact, I can rather see what my friend loved in this series, why she felt Tris had a stronger arc than Katniss of Hunger Games. (Even if I disagree.) There is something brave about where Roth took this. Like Joss Whedon of Buffy and G.R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones, Roth can be ruthless to her characters. When no one is safe, so much the better for suspense and the stakes are raised. Roth isn't scared to show the dark side of life or of human nature.
But part of my distaste for the series is that I disagree so strongly with her beliefs about human nature, so that when the reveal came about the foundation of the faction system, I lost all interest in her world, because I lost all interest in what she had to say: I was bored--with over 500 pages to go. I just didn't find her take credible. For one, no I do not believe you can tie bravery to cruelty or intelligence to a lack of compassion. But there was more to it than just philosophical disagreement--I just didn't believe in her story of how her future America came apart.
And the alternating points of view between Tris and Tobias... Well, I thought it cruelly exposed Roth's greatest weaknesses as a writer: voice, style, and characterization. I never really believed in Tris and Tobias as teenagers. OK, the world they were in, I get you grow up fast. Still, their relationship was both too innocent and too mature for me to believe this was a teenage romance, let alone first love. And the first person/present tense voices of Tobias and Tris were so droningly alike, they were impossible to tell apart, and I had to constantly refer back to the chapter heading to remind myself who was speaking. None of the minor characters ever came alive for me either. I just in the end--actually way, way, way before the end--found I didn't give a damn.
So a book that has this much hype surrounding it and the previous books in the trilogy has a lot to live up to. There was a lot I enjoyed about this book: Tris and Tobias talk to each other (I was getting annoyed with the non-communication throughout Insurgent, the pages turn fast, and we get to see into Tobias's head as well as Tris's as the first-person narration moves back and forth between them. Unfortunately, I found the reasoning behind the creation of the city and the factions overly simplistic and less than believable. It didn't quite live up to all I had hoped it would be. That being said, I found the ending fitting and would definitely read the series again as a whole; this one just isn't my favorite.
It's an interesting world, an interesting series and well done. Quite readable.
Allegiant picks up right where Insurgent leaves off though it seems like nothing much happens until after page 100. From there things do get more interesting. Tris and Tobias trade off POV perspectives at the start of most chapters. This particular literary device feels overdone, but I'm told it's common in YA romance novels. I do understand needing to get inside Tobias' head to drive this narrative along.
Overall, the book isn't boring as Big Things do happen, but I wasn't as invested this time around.
for the more sentimental, just make sure you keep tissues on hand...