Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Allegiant

Author: Veronica Roth
Published: October 22, 2013
Hardcover, 526 pages
4 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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. 

Veronica Roth is a brilliant storyteller. She knows just which words to use to lure you in and just what plot points to keep you there. Divergent blew me away. It took me into a world that seemed so plausible yet scary as hell. A world divided and ready to fight. Tris made the hard decision to leave her family for the faction she belonged in and soon found herself a Divergent, hunted and dangerous. The second novel, Insurgent, explored the world around her, helped her fall in love with Four, and revealed secrets we never saw coming. Together in the final book, Tris and Four step out beyond the fence in hopes of getting answers, but only find more secrets, more rebellion and answers they may never be ready for. 

I anticipated this book since I finished Insurgent. Talk of the world beyond the faction made my mind go wild with possiblities. When they finally left the city, I had no idea what they would find, and I wish I could say I was just as excited when I found out what they did. Unfortunately, none of what played out was what I thought it would be, but that doesn't mean I wasn't drawn into the story just as well. Final books are hard to live up to the first ones. We expect a lot, we expect resolution, lots of fights and lots of love (at least I do). This novel opened up a whole new world of possibilities that I found  weren't explored. We stayed in the new compound, we barely got to know about the fringes and everyone ended up back in the city in the end. Nonetheless, Roth took some brave moves and took the story in a direction that we would not soon forget.

Told through the alternate views of Tris and Four, we finally have a real chance at getting into Four's head. At first, the chapters were confusing as I couldn't remember who was talking because I was so used to only hearing from Tris's head, but eventually I got the hang out it. Four wasn't as unique as I thought his voice would be, nor did he feel as strong as he did in the earlier books. It seemed like he almost lost himself while Tris was becoming everything she knew she could be. Their relationship had a few bumps, jealously rearing its ugly head, but there was no denying their love for the other. They are the type that would do anything for the other and that backfired a few times. Tris is still the bravest girl out there, willing to do whatever it takes to save those she loves, even if they've betrayed her in the past. She is strong enough to forgive her brother, Caleb, as well as earning the forgiveness from those she's betrayed in the past. Her story arc has been heartbreaking. She's had to do a lot to survive and endure death after death. Somehow though, even i the end, she never falters, especially since she knows what she has to lose. Four may only have four fears, but I think Tris is the one who has overcome her fears and continued being brave. Tris and Four were separated for most of the book, which made the two points of view nice so we could follow them both. A lot happened to them outside that fence as they tried to turn their city back into what they thought worked before. Enemies sprang up from everywhere and unlikely heroes fought against them. 

This book was nothing short of epic, though there were some scenes that could have been deleted or sped up, and Roth went out with a bang. Bravery and sacrifice have been following Tris since the beginning and if anything, her character had the hardest decisions to make. The other characters I loved made sure they had their say in this book and helped every way they could to get through the final task. Tris and Four's relationship took some hits, but their love kept them strong. Even when they were apart, the other was always on their mind. This series could have finished stronger, but I'm still impressed with everything Roth has done. This will easily become a hit with a lot of fans, even more so after the movie comes out. I can't wait to see what else Roth has in store for us.

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.

But sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.

That is the sort of bravery I must have now.” 

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