Sunday, 20 October 2013

Book Review: Insurgent

By Veronica Roth

First things first, i loved how the first chapter of this book followed seamlessly from the last chapter of the previous book. Having pounced on Insurgent as soon as i finished the review of Divergent, i felt like i hadn't missed a thing. It also kept the action at a high and made the story hit the ground running and in the thick of the action. 

I liked the way the story progressed with the Dauntless seeking asylum with Amity. Their faction was well constructed, thought through and impressed me with the thought that went into their eco-systems and technological advancements. The fact that they made and kept every one high by spiking the bread was comical!!! Especially when they injected Tris with a serum making her wired out of her face. This was brilliant. Her senses, her thought processes, everything being wonderful, sparkly and having love for everything and everyone with the desire to express it all. Brilliant, i enjoyed reading this.  

Throughout the story, there were little details and aspects that eventually come to be a major aspect of the plot. I picked up on these quite easily and thus had a good idea of what was coming next. Maybe a younger reader may have not been as perceptible  but this would not be a bad thing. It would only heighten the element of surprise.

I did get to a point where the levels of action within the progressing story seemed to reach a plateau. Nothing massive seemed to be happening. As with most sequels,  they are the medium to deal with the after effects of the previous, to set-up and prepare the reader for the finale of the third book, yet still demand a high-action scene so the reader doesn't die of boredom. They also tend to be long-winded. In some parts, this almost happened, but since i read this book in four days, it would be unfair to say i became bored. I didn't.  I still think Divergent was better than Insurgent and i expect Allegiance will also outmatch it.  After all, Allegiance will conclude the trilogy! 

The last chapter gave me mixed emotions. With the relationship between Tris and Tobias being so volatile and turbulent throughout the entire book, i constantly wondered how and when they would 'have it out' to put things right between them. (Spoiler Alert!) The story was cleverly constructed this way in order for Tris to ally with Marcus in the end, and defy Tobias. However, the lies, secrets and feelings they held from each other covered a good 95% of the book! They drove a huge wedge between themselves and their relationship, all in the name of stubbornness. The distance between them was palpable and the argument needed to 'bridge this chasm' was a scene i was looking forward to reading. Things being thrown around, screaming, shouting, to the bone comments etc, but this did not happen. In fact the only effort that occurred to bring their relationship back together again was done in five lines. 

"You were right. I do know who you are. I just needed to be reminded." Followed by a nauseating scene where 'he holds my face in both hands and kisses me back.' and they press their bodies against each other 'crushing the secrets we have kept and the suspicions we have harboured-for good'...

...Excuse me while i go and put my fingers down my throat!

I thought this was heavily insufficient to carry the weight of what the scene was probably actually supposed to. It was a poor attempt to try and translate to the reader the total forgiveness that was implied? 500 pages of their frustrations towards each other, attempted to be righted in five lines? No, in no way does this balance. So many questions are left unanswered throughout the whole book and especially in the final scene between the two of them. His behavior towards her in Janine's lab. His 'hard and critical' rage he has toward her. Refusal to react and respond to her words. He doesn't even contradict her when she says he never loved her, that whatever feelings he had towards her merely crumbled under the slightest test of them?! Was he acting all along?

Another question left unanswered is Tobias's access to the computer. Sure, what Tris said prompted him to look and find out. He obviously listened to her venemous last words to him. But i find it hard to believe this would have happened when he and Tori alike were all for the destruction of Erudite and all things related. Correct me if i'm wrong, but wasn't the book about the factionless having no interest in the data being held? Or knowledge of the secret data for that matter? Just the destruction of Erudite, all it's knowledge and the faction system?

Another niggle, throughout the attack, it does not mention the whereabouts of Evelyn. Surely she would have been in the party that stormed Janine's lobby? But there was no mention. In fact her presence during the storming was unheard of, until her important speech after the fighting. Surely such an important figure in the story should have had a stronger input and contribution to the fight scene, especially since she was the brains behind the attack? No? 

Despite Johanna's part at the end of the book being quite small, her wise words made me believe she will be a big character in the final instalment of this trilogy. I think she could be a great character and her story could be well developed and exploited. She has proven her strength-of-character and keen observational eye for human behaviors and their consequences. 

I had been guessing at the ending for some while, so it did not come as a surprise to me as such. The other idea i had was more of 'A Trueman Show' where they were experiments sectioned in a compound to see how long they would last before they wiped one-another out. Obviously this was not the case. Despite saying that, i was not disappointed by the ending of Insurgent what-so-ever. It has psyched me up ready and eager for the final installment of the trilogy, 'Allegiant', which comes out on Tuesday!!! I am ready to be launched back into the thick of the action with the first chapter following directly from the last. A style i quite like!

For a sequel  i was relatively happy with the way Insurgent turned out. Divergent was left at a point where Insurgent could aptly take the events, wrap them up and progress forwards towards what is ultimately going to be Allegiance. It had several scenes that kept me gripped and the story-line turning. The build up to the invasion was abit long winded. But it wasn't devoid of action. The relationship between Tris and Tobias was at extremes. They were either having nauseating love moments or ripping each other apart emotionally. :-/

Overall, i enjoyed reading Insurgent. For a sequel i was not disappointed, as can often happen. I am looking forward to see what will happen in Allegience


"People, i have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you,  buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them."

The truth has a way of changing people's plans.” 

“I asked you not to do this. You made your decision. These are the repercussions.”

“Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” 

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