Sunday, March 16, 2014

Allegiant Review (Divergent Series #3)

Title: Allegiant 

Author: Veronica Roth

Price: $19.99 ($11.29-Amazon)

Rating: 2 out of 5/ The Mole

I've been pretty excited to write this review ever since I became aware of all the drama surrounding it. I have never been the biggest fan of the Divergent series but even I'll admit it's a pretty decent story idea. When this last installment premiered it immediately caused an uproar on the blog circuits. Teenage girls everywhere began boycotting the book, and its review on Amazon was dismal until a fans started coming to its defense and a war of almost 8000 comments broke out over review posts. One of my favorite pastimes has always been watching teenagers lose their minds over anything so, as you can imagine, this finale in particular has been very enjoyable. I will attempt to give an overview of the story and a comprehensive review without giving away any spoilers but it may not be completely possible. The best path of action is to read the book for yourself and come back to see if our opinions line up but if not than read on at your own risk. 

Tris and Tobias have helped to topple one tyrant only to find a new one has taken the throne. With the factions in chaos and the faction-less taking over, their choices of action are dwindling. In a last ditch effort for real freedom they have decided to be smuggled outside the fence and to start again in the unknown.  But destiny isn't ready to let them leave and the truths they find outside the walls and within each other will shatter both worlds. 

First lets address the biggest flaw found in the book, the duel perspective dialog. I checked in with some other readers to see if they were struggling with it as much as I was. What I found was a consensus that there was no way other than the chapter headline to tell from which character perspective you are reading. Tris and Tobias sound, think, and talk exactly in the same manner. This is not only confusing but incredibly boring as well, and many times I found myself double checking the beginning of the chapter to make sure I knew who was talking (most times I guessed wrong). To make matters worse the personalities of the two main characters undergo a drastic unexplained change, and many times their thoughts and actions are unrecognizable. When you combine all this with the epicly disappointing big reveal of what lies beyond the fence, the book becomes a struggle to complete. 

Ok 14 year olds get your angry emails ready because my favorite part of this book was... the ending. I'm not trying to be cynical or sarcastic or simply bashing the book more. It's just that I wasn't really engaged or paying attention until Veronica Roth deviated from the standard YA formula. When I came to the ending I was forced to sit up, pay attention and really think about what was happening. As undesired as the ending was, it is an ending that I will remember long after I forget hundreds more. Hopefully this story will make young readers stop and think about what they have read, and I believe that this is one of the greatest achievements a book can claim. I'm sure with a movie deal in the works, Veronica Roth was pressured to change her story to fit a more financially advantageous ending. I highly respect that she didn't cave from what she truly believed her characters would do and how she wanted to tell her story. 

It's disappointing that the momentum built up from Divergent and Insurgent derailed and crashed so badly in Allegiant. The confusing dialog and the strange unfamiliar way the characters seemed to act caused Allegiant to be the worst installment of the series with a score of 2. If you have read the first two books than I suggest that you go ahead and finish the series. Just don't let the fans make you feel guilty if you decided to pass it by. 

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1 comment:

  1. Great review. I think Roth had to write in the two voices, because she needed to tell the whole story, not just Tris'. It's not a great device, and it totally telegraphed Tris's future. For me, these books are less about Tris (with whom I often found it very difficult to sympathize and even like) and more about the ways in which people could try to solve their societal problems. Of course, Allegiant makes it clear that what they are dealing with is people bent on what amounts to genocide. Very creepy and I find myself poring over the concepts well after I finished the last book in the trilogy.