Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Page #: 526
Name and # in Series: Book #3 in Divergent Trilogy

Book Blurb: 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.


That was quite the summary right, well how about we get to the realities of the book and why I actually decided to rate it a half star higher than Insurgent. I'd like to take a moment to say that this review will be spoiler free for all those who haven't managed to finish the trilogy yet.

For starters I'm glad again that I picked up this trilogy after all of the books were released because there is still a lack of recap at the beginning of the book to inform readers about the past events. This is just me being super picky, but its one of the details that is a must in a series book.

I've also consistently pointed out that one of the strong suits of this trilogy is the fast paced plotline that keeps readers interested and this book is no different. In fact I thought Allegiant was the best at keeping the plot stream lined (it would have to considering it's the last book in the trilogy). There was hardly a moment where I found myself bored with the characters actions or conversations.

The only problem as I mentioned in my last review is that all of the world building happens in this book. I get that Roth wanted to withhold some information to shock her readers, but it was so hard to imagine the setting and the social situation without those important details. I'm always hesitant to bring up other books in the same genre, but The Hunger Games managed to do this successfully without taking away any of the shock value. That being said, the new information you do learn was so intriguing and does make you think about where our own society is headed.

Speaking of the "riveting dual perspective" I found that I really didn't think Four's added point of view was executed properly. While it occurred only a few times there was some plot overlap between the perspectives that gets really repetitive. As a reader if I have already experienced an event through one character's pov, it is annoying to have to go through the same events all over again. This repetition is only intensified by the fact that there is virtually no difference between Tris and Four's narrative voices. A successful dual perspective novel doesn't necessarily need to label each chapter with the character's name because you can recognize the mind of the character through the writing. Numerous times I've found out about halfway through a chapter that I'd been reading through the wrong character's perspective. By the middle of the book I was heavily reliant on the character labels to keep myself from getting confused.

There were just a few picky little details about the writing that I couldn't leave uncritiqued, so bear with me for a couple of lines. First, there was an overuse of the word "things." As a mostly academic writer, this word makes me cringe inwardly. "Things" is one of the most vague and empty words in the English language.You can always find a specific word to replace it that will instantly improve the sentence. Additionally, I was so annoyed that whenever Tris has any physical contact with Four she spends at least three sentences detailing how he smells. Today, Tobias smells like rainbows and sunshine and anything else that a 14 year old girl loves to write in her diary. I'd also like to know how Four/Tobias can smell like air all the time. Is it mountain air, smoggy air near a factory, or the smell of air when your sewage tank breaks?
My sentiments exactly

  Aside from those incessantly vague scent descriptions, I felt like Tris and Four's relationship was more authentic compared to the previous book. Roth cut out all of those petty, worthless fights and incorporated some discussions that were thoughtful and had some actual bearing on the stability of their relationship.

I also couldn't end this review without commenting on the ending (in a non-spoiler way like I promised). While I successfully managed to avoid spoilers myself, I knew that something shocking was going to happen at the end. That still didn't stop me from being surprised by the choice of ending.

As you can probably tell over the course of these reviews I've had a like/hate relationship with these books. On one hand they managed to keep my attention and on the other the writing style kept me from enjoying this trilogy as much as I wanted to. What really counts is at the end of the day I don't regret reading the Divergent trilogy and I'm looking forward to watching the film adaption when it comes out on dvd.