Allegiant by Veronica Roth
|Allegiant by Veronica Roth|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: We really wanted to tell you that this was a fantastic finale to an incredibly popular series. But, try as we might, we can't. Alleigant feels as though it were written by numbers. So sorry.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 544||Date: October 2013|
|Publisher: Harper Collins|
|External links: Author's website|
Tris and Tobias's world has been shattered. Their city, whose faction-based society had once been so stable and organised, has collapsed into civil war. Tris's parents are dead. Tobias's mother has become a de facto dictator. His father is awaiting trial for capital offences. So when they are given the chance to see the world outside described in Edith Prior's shocking video, they take it in the hopes of finding a better life.
But the world outside is also fraught with danger and moral conundrums. Here, to be Divergent - lacking a clear personality type - is to be superior, not inferior. Here, it's the factionless in control. Tris and Tobias have a new set of challenges to overcome and the choices are as impossible as ever...
Oh noes. I really wanted to tell you that Alleigant was a fantastic finale to an incredibly popular series. But I can't. It feels rushed. And it also feels like a box-ticking exercise. I don't usually say this about a series, but I think perhaps we could have done with an extra book - or even two extra books - because the world outside the city is not satisfyingly described and the new characters feel like ciphers - some there to advance the plot and some to insert more pointless misunderstandings and jealousies between Tris and Tobias. Nobody new felt real or credible. I'm trying to avoid spoilers but even the ending felt flat. When I think about the idea of the final section, I love it. But when I read it, I felt flat. What should have been shocking trickled out into numbness. And while I'm happy for numbness to be something felt by characters in a dystopian story, I don't want to feel numb as a reader.
I really don't know what else to tell you. I was disappointed. In the book's favour is its easy style and its rapid action. Disappointed I may be, but Alleigant is still a real page-turner. And this time, the story is told from the perspective of Tris and Tobias, in an alternating narrative. I liked getting inside Tobias's head but even then there was some slight disappointment. All his mystery vanished and Roth left us with a crazy mixed up kid who felt more whiney than damaged-but-courageous.
As a standalone novel, I can't recommend Alleigant. But I am going to say you should read it, particularly if you have already read the first two books in the series. You really need to see how it all works out in the end. And the first book in particular is a great read, so even if you haven't got on the Divergent bandwagon next, you shouldn't miss out altogether.
I'm sorry, guys. I wanted to say much nicer things here. But I can feel this review creaking to an unsatisfying halt. Which is pretty much how I felt about the book. I'll go now.
The Inferior by Peadar o Guilin is another dystopian story in which the participants find there is a world outside their own. And if you're looking for a dystopian read with more thematic depth, then you'll love The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.
A box set of books one to four in the Divergent series is available.
You can read more book reviews or buy Allegiant by Veronica Roth at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Allegiant by Veronica Roth at Amazon.com.
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