Publisher: Harper Collins
Release: 22nd October 2013
Genre: Dystopian, YA, Sci-Fi
Rating: 3/5 stars
"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."
This is the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy and WILL contain spoilers not only from the first two books but Allegiant itself. I usually don’t write spoiler reviews but could not review this book any other way and I found it therapeutic to get my feelings on what happened out there. If you haven’t yet read Allegiant I wouldn’t recommend reading this review unless you want to be spoiled on pretty much everything that happened. Go read the book and come back and share your thoughts.
Firstly, I want to get it out there that my overall rating (3 stars - which is fairly low for this series considering both Divergent and Insurgent got a 5 star rating from me) is not purely because I was upset about the ending for this book. One thing that is irking me is that some people who loved the book are assuming that everybody who didn’t like it didn’t like it purely because of the ending and whilst that may be true for some readers that wasn’t the case for me. I simply didn’t feel that Allegiant was as good of a book as the first two in the series and found it to be a weak ending. So this review isn’t a rambling mess of emotions I’m going to split my thoughts into four subheadings talking about specific aspects of this book.
Beyond Chicago, Experiments and Genes:
After Edith Prior’s big revelation at the end of Insurgent I had a good idea as to where Allegiant might be heading with Chicago being an experiment city and the Divergents having genetically “pure genes.” My theories were confirmed in this book and all Allegiant really did for me was colour in the shades of grey in between that I hadn’t already figured out. In short I guess I was expecting something more. Divergent and Insurgent were full of twists and turns and revelations and so I kept waiting for there to be some crazy twist that would take this book to a whole other level that sadly never arrived.
Whilst I loved finally getting those missing links to connect the dots I felt like the information was pretty much dumped on us all in one go and although I loved all the science and corruption to begin with about half way through the book I was waiting for somebody to actually step up and do something about what was going on.
With no twists, little action and a slower pace I didn’t find Allegiant’s plot to be as exciting as Divergent or Insurgent and I guess I was just expecting more. To me it felt like the plot was very weak and Roth knew it so to leave a lasting impression she’d create the most shocking and brave ending ever. I’d rather have had a stronger plot to be honest.
Tris and Tobias:
My first thought when I found out that Allegiant would be from both Tris and Four’s point of view was “She is going to kill Tris!” To me it was clear because why else would you suddenly on the last book introduce a whole new narrative? Unless that original protagonist was going to die and the new narrator would lead readers to those closing chapters. I had this awful suspicion and I didn’t want to believe it so I pushed it to the back of my mind hoping I wasn’t right and that Roth simply wanted to give readers a glimpse into Four’s head.
I started off really enjoying having Four’s point of view; I loved getting to know Tobias in this new way. However again at about half way through I felt that Veronica lost that distinctiveness and Tris and Tobias’ chapters would start to merge together for me. I’d have to flick back to the start of the chapter to figure out who I was supposed to be reading from. When Tris and Tobias were separate it wasn’t too bad and I liked getting to see the different things going on at one time but when they were together whose chapter I was on would get completely lost to me despite making a conscious effort to keep track. I’m not sure if the dual narrative didn’t work for me because the voices weren’t distinctive enough or if I was just used to reading from solely Tris’ perspective. Either way I had mixed feelings on the way this story was told.
What did I think of Tris dying? I still honestly don’t know myself. Part of me feels like her story came full circle. She was both selfless and brave and it was a powerful and fitting end to this wonderful character. A lot of people are saying that her death was pointless and without meaning and whilst a part of me suspects that Veronica Roth killed Tris because this book wasn’t great and she needed to do something to make it memorable I have to admit that the way her death was handled fit with Tris’ character and didn’t feel forced.
The other part of me was mad. Devastated, actually. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind sad endings. I actually loved Mockingjay and Clockwork Princess and The Fault in Our Stars (a book well known for being heartbreakingly sad) is one of my all-time favourite books. But what I didn’t like about this book was how hopeless it was. It was actually bleak and depressing to read. In stories about corrupt societies I want there to be justice, I want good to defeat evil, and I know there will be sacrifices along the way - I’m okay with that. In Allegiant Tris dies, Tobias is left a shell of his former self, and the bad guys go on living. “But it’s okay readers because the world is better and it’s all because of Tris!” Is the silver lining Roth offers us. I don’t care. I couldn’t care less what the world is like now because the characters I loved and wanted this safe and fair world for are gone. They’re not here to see the outcome of everything they fought for. Yes I’m including Tobias in this because I feel like a huge part of him died when Tris died, in the end we are left with a person so different from the Four we met and loved in Divergent. What are we left with? As a reader who has loved and cherished this series and has cheered the characters on? An empty body. An Uriah of a story. The people I loved were gone. The newly reformed society worthless to me as a reader. Turn off the damn machine.
Tris’ death aside let’s talk about the other things that went down in that ending. I HATED how easily everything was resolved with Tobias and Evelyn in the end. I actually got to the end of that chapter and said “seriously?” I wasn’t buying it. After all this build up there was no war, no battle, no argument, no honesty, no communication, no passion. After everything Evelyn put Tobias through and after how hard Evelyn fought for her beliefs they just hugged it out and everything was peachy. No! I refuse to accept this as a conclusion to all these years of planning and built up anger and pain. Just, no. Although I was ever so slightly happy that Four had somebody in his life again what with Tris dying and everything. Really convenient the timing of that actually *rolls eyes.*
My Favourite Parts:
I really enjoyed learning about Tris’ Mom through her journal. And although I didn’t like that Tris died what she died for and how she went with her mother coming for her was well done. I also loved how they chose to spread Tris’ ashes – she really would have loved that. And I loved those last few moments of happiness between Tris and Four and how I got to see one of my favourite Divergent memories through Four’s eyes. That was devastating but beautiful – I sobbed my way through that short but moving chapter.
Overall I guess you could say that I have mixed feelings over Allegiant. There was some good and some bad and a whole lot of stuff that I’m still muddling over in my head. Although it was definitely my least favourite book in the series it wasn’t a bad book and I both loved and hated it all at once. I’d love for you to share with me your thoughts on this book and to vent your feelings in the comments, whether you loved it or hated it. I just ask that if you do decide to comment lets please keep this drama free and respect both the author and one another’s opinions.