Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Book Review: Book 3 of the divergent trilogy - Allegiant

By Veronica Roth

So here it is! Allegiant is finally published and available for us all to pour over. After our lovely Zuzana placed her Amazon order and the book landed on our door-step, i was itching to get into it. I had been book-less for a few days and my anticipation was peaking!

I was thrown right back into the thick of the action, right from where i was left us teetering on the edge of the cliff at the end of Insurgent. Although the introducing chapter is well set and background is provided, this is only for the benefit for those who have waited for this this final installment. A refresher as such. New-comers, i'm sorry, but there is no 'Que-jumping' opportunities for you here, get to the beginning and read the Divergent trilogy from the start. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

As noted in my previous posts, I loved the style of writing Roth adopted where the first chapter of the book follows directly from the last chapter of the previous. It pulled me right into the book and avoided the dreadfully boring omnibus style catch-up drawl sometimes found at the start of novels. If i wanted to bore myself with catch-up scene setting, id watch the 8-hour long Emmerdale omnibus on a Sunday. 

One aspect which i forgot to mention in my previous posts for Divergent, but more-so Insurgent, was the dialogue between Tris and Tobias. I would often get confused as to who was saying what or who's perspective we were reading from as these changed regularly. I was therefore over-the-moon to see that this had been well and fully addressed in Allegiant. Heading each chapter with the character of focus was a massive improvement in following and understanding the story.  

When the Twilight saga mania was is full-motion, rumors spread of Stephanie Myer writing a book set from Edward Cullen's point of view. The fans went crazy over this and a snippet was leaked on the internet. When my Gran found out, she was hot on the web and had it downloaded in no time. At 68 years of age, i think i have found Robert Paterson's biggest 'mature' fan (she even has Twilight flip-flops and hair-dryer!). The decision then to write from the perspective of both main characters, really made this book what it is! It gave us insight into the minds of Tris and Tobias. As Divergent and Insurgent were mainly orientated around Tris, this was also a brilliant way for us to fully understand Tobias, his insecurities and his way of thinking. It reveals many doubts, shadows and flaws in his projected strength and certainty. Not only does this act to re-enforce the 'broken-ness' aspect withing Allegiant, but really allowed me to bond with Tobias's character and satisfy that "what is he really thinking?" side of my curiosity over their relationship. This style of writing obviously allowed the story to develop the way it did in a clear and concise way. For what a twisting story it came to be!

I have mentioned before my doubts over the character of Evelyn (See Book Review: Insurgent). This, unfortunately became a further issue in this book. For the strong and important woman she was supposed to be, i found her weak and insignificant compared to others. Despite the plot taking a wild turn away from the city, the war (and thus Evelyn) was still the underlying story.
As a result of this, Evelyn's character was a little disappointing. She didn't really do much in this book when so much about her was built up in the previously. To say she waged a war and over-threw the entire political system and the majority of its leaders, she gives up far too easily and for what seems, a pretty insignificant alternative. After you've lived the way she did, brewing in your own hatred and negativity to the world for so long, she gives it all up at the first opportunity of being a mother to her son again. This was a little disappointing, i have to admit. Alternatively, I think it would have been quite interesting to have had Tobias try to persuade her to back-down, her relent and he have to kill her. After all, her hatred lead her to over-throw her entire government, murder hundreds of people and be willing to force a new system on the remaining survivors and forever live in chaos and destruction. 

A character i was surprised not to see more often was Johanna. She was cleverly constructed and written though. She was built up in Insurgent to be a promising and, i thought, dominant character in Allegiant. But this was not the case. Her part in Allegiant was very quiet and under-stated until the end. I was very happy to see her strength, will and fight pay-off for her. She was one of the more inspiring characters

The story developed well, was action-packed and fast-paced. I have to say though, in my review of Insurgent, i said:

"The other idea i had [for the ending] 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."

Well! It turns out i was spot on! I was very impressed with this slant on the story. The reasons behind why they had been sectioned and the state of what humanity had inflicted upon itself. It was an interesting and good theory. The corruptness of it added extra the extra spice to the story and re-enforced the reality of human nature

I was so happy that Veronica didn't fall into the typical cliche trap for the end of the book. The final turn in the events made this book even better for me. I was very happy with it, but i shan't spoil it for those of you yet to read it!
The scene itself  did not evoke the emotion probably intended but this is because this character was not my favorite at any point of this book. The phrase 'pansycake' comes to mind.

Overall, i thought Allegiant was a great read and a good conclusion to the trilogy. It was easy to read and easy to get through quickly. There were many twists and turns and it was quite the action-filled cream cake!

The Divergent trilogy is a credit to teen-fiction and I would recommend it to all those with an interest in sci-fi fantasy fiction. 

Quotes from the book:

'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.'

'There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or someone else. 
Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever know nor everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. 
But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of everyday, the slow walk towards a better life.'

'My memories, some of the most powerful memories i have, have dulled with time, as memories do. Sometimes i actually enjoy going over them in my mind, though not often.'

'Yeah, sometimes life really sucks... But you know what I'm holding on for? The moments that don't suck... The trick is to notice them when they come around.'

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