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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Allegiant: Divergent 3" by Veronica Roth (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

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OVERVIEW:   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

FORMAT: Allegiant is the third book in the Divergent series. It is a dystopian YA novel with hints of romance, action, adventure, and science. The novel stands at 526 pages and was published October 22, 2013 by Katherine Tegan Books.

ANALYSIS: I feel in love with Divergent when I read it almost a year and a half ago. I found the characters engaging, the world building 'unique' without being unbelievable, and the situations they were thrown into engaging and fun. Then Insurgent came out.

Insurgent was a bit of a struggle for me. I found the awe and fascination I had with Divergent just was not there. Something, maybe it was the focus upon the teenage angst and love, maybe it was the rather random almost unrealistic situations the characters faced, took my love for the series down a few notches, but not enough for me to stop the series completely.

Now, I am at the crossroads as Allegiant finishes the series. I am going to do my best to give the least amount of spoilers, as possible. However, I will give warning that if you want to be shocked, surprised, and such it is best to skip this review.

Allegiant was a disappointment. This series, which could have been so promising, just fizzled out and died. A small part of me is sad, not because the series ended, but because of how it all went down. I feel no sense of closure, I feel no satisfaction. In fact, I feel misled, let down, and just disappointed.

Allegiant picks up right where Insurgent left off and there was so much that could happen. So many different ways this book could have gone, but it didn't. Why? No one will ever really know, but I have my suspicions.

I believe that Veronica Roth had a wonderful idea. I believe she is a talented writer. Unfortunately, this whole series had no direction and if there was a direction – it got lost somewhere around book 2. This leaves readers with a feeling of that things are being thrown at that right and left, with no true direction. And then the book ends.

I could list multiple sections and events I had a problem with, but I realize that every reader will feel differently. I also, do not want to take away from anyone who is going to read this series on their own and do not want to spoil it for people. However, I will highlight a few 'non' spoiler parts that I had issues with.

The biggest part of the novel I had a problem with was the whole DNA/experiment/Damaged angle. Basically, what it boiled down to was that some people were 'pure' and some had damaged genes which they believed caused violence and other stuff, but didn't really. While I understood it, I felt it was extremely technical and extremely confusing. Maybe the confusing factor came about because it wasn't really thought out, maybe not.

Readers are bogged down with lengthy explanations of DNA testing, damage, etc. It all just seemed so random and silly. It really took away from the whole story. However, the explanations read more like fluff, as Roth didn't want to get too technical that she lost her audience. This leaves readers in an almost limbo between boring science and 'huh' science.

In addition to the rather pointless pure genes and damaged gene angle, there was a lot of senseless death - deaths that made no sense and really had no purpose other than to add a depressing angle to the whole story.

I am sure, given the popularity of the series, some people will love the ending. And I have to repeat – it was not how the book ended that made me so upset, it was the writing (character developments, plot twists, lack of direction, etc.) that made me upset.

Overall, Veronica Roth is an extremely talented writer and I look forward to future books. However, I think this series which had so much potential – fell short.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your review, but I also don't like the ending at all. Thought it was forced and a certain death at the end wasn't well executed IMO.

Cindy said...

I completely agree. I commend the author for going a 'different' direction with the ending (and it is so hard to not give specifics), but I felt the poor writing, distractions, and other things in the novel took away from the impact the ending COULD have had.

I just really feel the same ending could have been done differently and 'warmly' received had it been properly set-up.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! The whole DNA angle is scientifically flawed and makes no sense. Therefore, the story itself breaks down and becomes confusing. It felt like the author didn't research this topic enough. I was hoping divergent would mean something truly interesting and instead it was boring and just plain incorrect.

Betty said...

Was excited to read the last book but so disappointed when I read it. Agree with everything posted here. Was VERY disappointed with ending.

Anonymous said...

I quite frankly thought the whole books should have gone in a different direction because the direction it took, sort of killed all the awesomeness it had in the previous books. But even so this book wasn't written well and wasnt thought out properly.

Anonymous said...

I loved Allegiant a lot. I felt like it was the perfect ending to the whole story. But I can't really say that my reading experience would be the same as yours, because I had a little background about what gene silencing is and I guess that's why I understood quite well what the whole "pure" and "impure" meant.

To everyone who have not read Allegiant yet or have read but is still confused:

Basic genetics: So we all have this thing called DNA right and this DNA is called the blueprint of life because it contains the genetic code. Basically, this DNA is where the information of our being is written. Like the color of our hair, our eyes, complexion, but it's not all physical qualities, it also includes physiological and emotional behavioral traits. All are controlled by the genetic code.

Gene silencing or altering your gene or your DNA structure is not actually a new concept. In fact, there have been studies/experiments that already have done this. For now, scientist are silencing genes that carry HIV, cancer so that patients can't pass it on.

What happened in Allegiant is the same, but instead of just altering the genes that causes HIV, humans have gone too far to altering even our traits. (There's actually a lot of heated debate about this because this is one of the most interesting topics in genetic engineering.)

Katniss said...

I do not agree!!!!!!! If a book makes you cry, it means that it is written very well. I haven't even finished the third book yet, but (as usual) I skipped to the end and read the last part before going back and reading the rest. It was amazing! I think that killing Tris in the end was the right thing to do, because it was unpredictiple and full of emotion. Veronica Roth is very talented. She and suzzanne Collins are my inspiration!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with this review. this is exactly how I felt. Divergent started so amazing and i think that veronica roth did an amazing job but the books just went downhill from there

Liz Jackson said...

I agree, Divergent was so promising but the other two books were a huge disappointment--Allegiant goes back to the dark old days of YA fiction valorising male characters and devalouring females characters--the end defeats the entire ideological concept of the empowered female, a significant aspect of YA fiction--

Ivey Malone said...

I won't deny that I cried at the end of Allegiant.... that being said it really felt much like I had been kept so occupied with physical action and the exploration of relationships that I didn't realize until I stumbled out the other side that nothing had in fact happened.... she basically slew many a beloved character senselessly and still did not manage to move her story along until about 500 pages in. At which time a great deal more disappointing and unbelievable wrap ups happen. Then the "shocker" which was supposed to be the crown jewel of this thing fell on deaf ears having lost much of the original meaning and punch because it was bite number 3 at the whole sacrafice apple. I just felt she wasted a lot of potential with the faction war and her ancestry even the serums which were genius didn't fully spread their wings.i felt like divergent would have been better as a stand alone piece of literature

Johanna said...

I finished Allegiant this morning, and to be honest - I cried the whole time while reading the last 70 pages.
I saw a video on Youtube where someone compared the series like this; in Divergent, things happen every second, and every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. In Insurgent, things happen every 10th second - and in Allegiant, every 30th second, a comparison I think is quite accurate and true.
However, I appreciated Allegiant a lot - the first half of the book was not as much of a page turner as I'd hoped for it to be, but the second part reminded me a lot of how the plot of both Divergent and Insurgent are built up. Also I believe that the Bureau of Genetic Welfare made sense, although the talk about GD's and GP's went over the border, since being a GD or GP didn't change anything, or matter.
On the whole, however, a really good book and end to an amazing series.

Anonymous said...

Well thanks for giving the ending away

Anonymous said...

the divergent series is by far my favorite books but the ending in Allegiant was so depressing, disipointing and made me regret reading it.

Anonymous said...

Of course most of us wanted to see Tris live...but I do not agree with your review on the science/DNA part of the book. That was the main idea behind this whole story!! That's what sets it apart from other teen novels. Maybe you just don't have that much of a grip on genetics. Trust me, she wrote that part out well, and it explained the entire issue going on in the series.

Daniela Norambuena said...

Oh! I was starting to think that I was the only one who felt this way about Divergent series.
The first book was amazing, I devour it in just one day because the story catched me completely.
When I started the second book, with high hopes considering what I just had read before, I found it...plane. The first part of Insurgent was boring to read for me, but in the end the events made it more interesting and more catchy, but nothing like Divergent.
When I get to Allegiant, it was a total disappointment. It was like reading another book with the same characters. This book was struggle for me because I finished it because I had to, not because I liked it.
I think Roth had an amazing idea, but it wasn't good enough for three books. Maybe less books (a larger one or two short ones) would have helped to make it more "readable".
Besides, I think there was a lot of characters that weren't developed enough (Marcus, Evelyn and Johanna are important characters in the story but we only see the shell of them).
And I have problems with Tris character, because I feel like she's just perfect. She's always right, she's the one with "supernatural" intuition, she's the most powerful divergent, she's the makes me hard to connect with her because her flaws are mentioned but Roth didn't work with them, just with the good/perfect side. It made me feel Tris was not human at all.

Sorry if there's some mistakes in the writing. I'm an spanish speaker, please be indulgent with me :)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved the first book - I read it only after I had watched the movie but regardlessly I devoured it relishing every page! I thought it had serious potential to become something amazing and I still thoroughly enjoyed the second book, not as much as the first but I still found it captivating and it was authentic without being unbelievable. The third instalment Allegiant was a disappointment. I feel Roth had a great idea with great skills but let the third book fall to pieces. It became irrelevant and gave the reader a sense that the first to books were pointless because they didn't even relate to the plot line. The characters whom we had grown the love didn't posses their normal characteristics, and many parts of the book were left unexplained causing confusion. The ending was unnecessary and abrupt and I can't help but feel sad and disappointed with it. A great idea left to shatter...


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