Review & Discussion: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3
Published by: Harper Collins on 10/22/2013
Genres: Dystopian, YA
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
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.
It’s taken me ages to write this review. No, not because I’m a lazy procrastinator and seem to face the pathological need to be tardy (okay maybe that’s a part of the reason). But the real reason this review took so long was because I needed a moment to step back, forget the book (and the emotional roller-coaster it put me on), and look at it objectively a few months later.
Often, when I read a book, especially a particularly tragic one like Allegiant, I get so confused, mistaking the premeditated emotions associated with themes like death and forgiveness with good writing. And after waiting a month after reading Allegiant, I can firmly stay I stand behind my first impression; it’s a fantastic book.
The things I loved:
The character building. Well-paced, interesting and most importantly; realistic. I find the problem with most famous series’ today are the characters: they suffer from flaws, sure, and those flaws are expressed brilliantly. But they aren’t realistic flaws. Being too impulsive, too perfect, or the desire to ‘be the hero’, are character traits that are the luxury of extremely unconventional characters, and I feel as though Allegiant allowed the characters to react to their situations in the most realistic manner, the way I feel as though most of us would respond. Of course, I know this is probably something that a lot of you disagree with, but at least for me these flaws were relatable, well explained and developed brilliantly.
This was seen particularly in Four’s character: he was painted as this unattainable, confident character in Tris’ eyes in both Divergent and Insurgent. And then all of a sudden in Allegiant, we have this whole other side to him: He’s extremely insecure, self-doubting and at times needy. And I know this disappointed a lot of readers, but I was so glad Ross did this, again, I feel as though its one of the most accurate depictions of reality I’ve seen in a YA novel.
Additionally, I really enjoyed the plot. I know there has been a lot of dispute regarding plot inconsistencies, but I feel as though this, again, is a close representation of reality. There are no bad or good guys plainly stated in black or white in the real world. There is only gray, and sometimes there is good within the bad and bad within the good. This was definitely evident in the plot of Allegiant; with the supposedly ‘good guys’ turning into the ‘bad guys’, yet retaining aspects of sense and normality, and the ‘rebel group’ (Which pretty much compose of the good guys in all YA novels) turned out to be highly flawed, with their judgement being clouded by their extreme anger and desire not to be ‘genetically damaged’. As for the plot itself being ludicrous, I think that’s the point: to show the flawed reasoning of the establishment, the tendency of unapposed authority to assume absolute control, to ‘play god’. Of course, this could have been made much clearer on the author’s part; and the idea of genetic cleansing should have been better explained. This is one of the things I disliked about a book; I do understand that the reader has to grant the author a certain amount of leeway with regards to suspending disbelief and granting them their artistic license, but given that this was a book that was full of criticism of authority, I felt like the reader should have been given a better insight into how exactly this authority was being abused.
The book also dealt with a lot of themes like utilitarianism as opposed to deontology, which I believe was quite well explained. Of course, I’m not a philosophy expert, but I do recognize that the establishment tended to have a utilitarian approach to genetic damage. I think that this was the perfect opportunity to showcase how a damaged teenager would view the establishment’s approach when she lost so much because of it. I feel as though this was well explained, but could have been developed further: Tris raised a lot of relevant questions, but I feel as though it was out of character. Veronica Roth once wrote in an interview ‘I think a writer should be able to depict things to the reader that the narrator may not necessarily be able to see’, and I feel as though she fell short of the mark in trying to do so with this particular theme; I would think that Tris’ rationality would be so tainted by loss and anger that she would not have such a rational approach to the issues.
(Please do not carry on reading if you have not read the book: spoilers ahead!)
Lastly, (and I’m pretty sure this is the topic of most debate amongst Allegiant fans) is the issue of Tris’ death. I both loved and hated this part. I disliked the fact that Roth felt the obligation to kill off one of her characters to make her YA novel stand out. I also dislike the fact that Tris chose to end her own life. I believed that Tris personally should’ve prioritized not hurting Tobias over saving Caleb’s life. But I also think it fits with Tris’ character to have sacrificed herself; she didn’t think through this decision, and she assumed she had the ultimate authority over what was right and wrong. I do not like this decision, but I respect it.
So there you have it! My Allegiant review; happy reading!