I just finished “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth, the final book in her “Divergent” trilogy. I’m underwhelmed, but I’m reviewing it because the first two books had me waiting for the third one. Two out of three good books is pretty darn good for any author. And if you a start a trilogy, you have to finish it to find out how it all turns out.
I am a “Hunger Games” fan and that is what led me to this series. Young adult science fiction is huge right now – in books and movies. “Allegiant” sold half a million copies on its first day of being published. Like the “Hunger Games,” the “Divergent” trilogy is being made into a movie, and of course, I’ll be watching it:
In two sentences, here is what the “Divergent” trilogy is about: The main character, Tris Prior, lives in a future version of Chicago where (almost) every person is a part of a faction (Dauntless, Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, and Candor) determined by their strongest traits. Tris falls in love with Tobias and together they start a revolution that uncovers the truth about their fenced in city.
The book offers a believable, bleak future. Tris is no Katniss, but she is a tough, brave woman who refuses to accept the status quo. The series explores themes like the nature of evil, eugenics, knowledge vs. ignorance, what is worth fighting and dying for, and growing up. Roth explores common ideologies: “What if my parents’ God, their whole belief system, is just something concocted by a bunch of scientists to keep us under control? And not just their belief about God and whatever else is out there, but about right and wrong, about selflessness? Do all those things have to change because we know how our world was made?”
I don’t like reading books that I think I could write. I kinda thought I could have come up with a better storyline in the third book. Parts of “Allegiant” were not written well, I cringed as I read several parts of it. For instance, during an intimate scene with Tris and Four, Roth writes, “But now I know I am like the blade and he is like the whetstone-” Ugh. The only reason I continued reading after that horrific line is because there were only a few chapters left of the book.
The ending of the series upset a lot of fans. In fact, Roth addresses fans of the series directly on her blog to discuss the end of the series. I actually think the plot works out okay, but the pacing of it, character development, and the overall writing were unsatisfactory.
I think Veronica Roth has more good stories in her, and she will keep getting better. She is ONLY 24!! So even though “Allegiant” did not live up to my expectations, I am excited to read what she writes next.