Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Allegiant: A Review

Allegiant
Written by: Veronica Roth
Hardcover: 526 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Language: English
October 2013
Genre: YA/Dystopia/Divergent #3

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.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.


+++++++++++++

I started reading this series after our YA Book Club was searching for a Hunger Games replacement. Post apocalypse was our new little niche and I thought we would give it a go. Divergent was decent, Insurgent not that great and finally we have the closer with Allegiant. I am glad I kept reading though I must admit I cringe every single time I see a trailer for Divergent. Really cringe. Did they read the same book? Could Tris be wearing any heavier mascara? Though I know that I will go and see it anyway. Maybe for once the trailer will not be a good representation of the overall film.

Things I loved: I enjoyed life beyond the walls. Granted more lies and conflict because that is what human beings do, but similar to Katniss once you escape the walls you sadly discover that the “heroes” are just as bad as the villains sometimes. People are broken and you try to mend the best you can. So while Chicago 2.0 may not have the factions, it is still divided by genetics and whether you are damaged or not.

I am rather a fan of unhappy endings or rather truthful endings. Life isn’t always fair or predictable as that would be incredibly boring. War is rough. Fighting for Freedom is rough. People also make tough choices out of love, fear, hatred, etc and they do so at a moment’s notice. I can understand why some may have been upset by the ending, but the series has been about mending what has been lost or damaged. Tris did that and Tobias will continue to do that. That is a great story.

I liked Natalie Prior’s backstory. It was interesting and though I didn’t necessarily need the love triangle angle, it didn’t bother me too much.

I love Four and Tris, really I do, but something was missing in Allegiant. They weren’t a team anymore despite the lovey dovey scenes that were haphazardly thrown in. I love that they are different characters with different personalities and different views of how things should be done. That is what made them such a great team. But something was missing here. Tris is a know it all and Four becomes reckless (really you just go along with Nina’s plan? When have you ever just blindly gone along with anything Tobias?!). This hurt their relationship and ultimately made sacrifices have less of an impact. I felt like they weren’t themselves. I realize that I love them both because of their flaws and sometimes we break ourselves, but…I don’t know, it just didn’t ring true.

Things I didn’t love so much: While I have said I liked it when not everyone makes it out alive, I did feel as if some of the deaths were pointless. They did not further the story, they provided no character development and were a bit contrived just to prove a point that no one is safe when it comes to war. Which yes, no one is safe but I expected more considering how much loss we had in Insurgent. There is no real need to go on the warpath and kill off all of your secondary characters that we have journeyed along with.

Yet at the same time I love the ideas trying to be told, but it was so rushed. I loved that Tris is trying to mend herself to trust and forgive those who have taken so much from her. Tobias is trying to mend his family in the only way he knows how and that is by making peace with who they are and what they have done. You cannot go backward, you can only go forward.

While sometimes dual narration works, other times it not only gives away a plot just due to its inclusion, but when the characters do not have strong individual voices it becomes problematic. Both are the case for Allegiant. I often found myself trying to figure out who was the narrator and Tobias lost a lot of the strength that he had in the other two books (I think even more frustrating is at times his character’s viewpoint was very strong and we had a lot of character development on just how much he has had to go through and then the next chapter that strength disappeared and so did his unique voice). Normally I dig the dual viewpoints, but I knew instantly why we would get be getting Tobias’s viewpoint for Allegiant when we had not had his voice before. Granted I was guessing hardcore, but then again I did the same thing with the film Identity just based off of the opening credits and the images that were shown so….shrug. But Urgh the repetitive backstory, reliving the scene just with two different viewpoints instead of moving the story along was annoying at times and did not help with the overall pacing of the book.

And what was with Tris suddenly being a know it all. Grr. That was frustrating because she suddenly had no depth and I have felt like I have seen her grow and become this great heroine over the span of three books. Tris isn’t supposed to be perfect. It’s her flaws that make her so likable.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. While not the strongest of the trilogy, a worthy end to a decent saga.

Part of: A Series
Divergent
Insurgent

Also Recommended: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

3 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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