Release Date: October 22nd 2013
Published By: Harper Collins Books
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Synopsis: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 review will be a little different to normal as both Kristy and I read Allegiant so there’s two reviews! Both are spoiler free.
What an explosive final novel to what has been a truly incredible trilogy. Before I go into Allegiant specifically, I feel it’s fitting to make some commentary on this series as a whole. Very rarely does a series connect so strongly with me emotionally. Veronica Roth is an incredible writer – she makes us feel for every single character in some capacity. Whether it’s that we love them, dislike them, feel annoyed by their choices and actions, feel hopeful, feel saddened – she makes us feel. I think apart from the incredible journey we go on, it’s this that has made Divergent fans such a passionate bunch.
There is a crazy amount of detail in the plot of Allegiant so I am going to try and do a really short summary of what it’s all about without giving anything away. But basically, Allegiant opens right up where Insurgent leaves us – with the factionless. Evelyn, the leader of the factionless is going a bit cray cray and tension is getting high. Tris is offered an opportunity by the Allegiant to explore outside of the limits. Tobias, Tris and the group end up leaving to go to the outside, where they join a The Bureau of Genetic Welfare, a group of Government scientists. Basically from this point of the book right through to the end an amazing amount of twists and turns happen, and so I am conscious of saying more but this might actually lead to spoilers. I really liked that this book was set outside the limits though… the change of setting was exciting for me.
Allegiant changed my mind about some characters that I felt pretty certain about previously. In fact, my opinion changed about so many characters, that I needed to take a break from the book at times to think it through. But Caleb, Tris, Tobias, Uriah, Zeke, Cara, Peter, Evelyn, Johanna, Christina and even Marcus all take us on a little bit of an emotional journey, and all in different directions. We also meet some new characters for the first time, who we’re not sure if we trust. So we’re skeptical, and then we think we trust them. Then we’re not sure that we should trust them again, and we’re constantly playing tug of war in a back and forth over how we should feel.
One thing I really enjoyed was the alternate perspectives of Tris and Tobias. I loved reading from Tobias’ perspective and whilst I liked his tough outer persona, we all know deep down that he’s a softie, and we definitely experience that vulnerable side to Tobias that we haven’t really seen in previous books. Particularly when he finds out he is Genetically Damaged – he really doesn’t handle this too well at all, questioning his self value and worth. Tris is right by his side giving him reassurance though which I loved.
Tris herself grows up a lot in Allegiant. Sure, she still says and does things that make me want to shake some sense into her sometimes, but I kinda like that in a protagonist sometimes. It’s refreshing not having such an agreeable main character at times, and Tris Prior certainly is not agreeable. However, I am proud of her in this novel. She makes some huge leaps and bounds in terms of coming to deal with issues that she wasn’t ready to deal with in Insurgent. In particular, her ability to pick her battles seems to get a little bit better… a little bit. And her ability to try and forgive others genuinely as well. She’s also showing that she places more value in her life and isn’t as prepared to risk it all as she was in Insurgent. But then the times she does put her life at risk show the reader that she’s coming from a place of being selfless by trying to save others instead of just being reckless which she was in Insurgent.
There’s a really shocking ending to this book that has torn the Divergent fan base in half from looking at Goodreads. I am actually okay with people absolutely hating Allegiant too for the controversial ending. I think the fact that there are fans out there that care so much for these characters means that Veronica Roth clearly did something very right. Whilst I think this book is amazing, I understand people’s disappointment in terms of the twist. That being said, the 1 star reviews are generally because people are reacting emotionally and not rationally (from observation purely). I loved that Veronica Roth went out on a limb and wrote the book how she felt it should have ended, and not written it to please a fan base. The honesty in which she writes, and the fact that she doesn’t compromise the storyline no matter how unpopular she knows it may be makes me respect her even more.
I am just going to jump straight into my feelings about the extremely controversial, and highly anticipated, final book in the Divergent series.
Allegiant to me is about bravery. Learning to trust, knowing where your loyalties lie, and knowing that everything is not black and white/right and wrong – that sometimes you have to pick the least best of the bad options available. It is about knowing when something is bigger, or more important, than yourself. It is about love, grief, forgiveness, strength, honour and courage.
I will admit that the fact that there is some major controversy surrounding Allegiant is something that really appealed to me. I like books that create so many passionate opinions, as that generally means one of two things; it was either very well written, or very badly written – and considering Divergent and Insurgent were well written, I assumed that it wasn’t the writing that either had people loving or hating the final in this huge series – and I was right. Like its predecessors, I found Allegiant to be well written – there was lots of angst, lots of action, lots of emotion, and yes, even those moments where I wanted to slap a character (mainly Tris). But all in all, I thought this was a great, and fitting, conclusion to a great trilogy.
I have heard people say that they didn’t like that this book was from both Tris’ and Four’s POV – but I actually liked it. But I can also see why Tobias/Four fans may not have liked it too much – you do see a completely different side to our male lead – and when I say different, I do mean softer. I guess being inside the tough-guy’s head does take away some of that bad- boy exterior – and I can see that for those who love him may not like having some of the sexy-confident-mysterious-boy shine stripped away. I personally loved learning about Tobias’ complexities – as we learn more about his past, about his fears, and his feelings for Tris, his parents, and himself. He showed vulnerability, but also remained courageous.
I found Allegiant to be generally well paced, with lots of twists and turns throughout the book. All sorts of twists actually, and I pretty much liked them all (even if I did find some predictable). These twists showed complexities in both character and plot development. The one thing I didn’t really like was that people just seemed to accept when they found out something that really is life-changing for them – it was just like “oh really, well… okay… cool”. That just didn’t quite sit right with me. Due to keeping this spoiler free, I can’t say more than that.
There were a few things that I really loved about this book – one being that Four really told Tris how it was – and personally I think that was long overdue. I also loved how Tris transformed – she finally found a way to live with, and even embrace, both her Abnegation and Dauntless sides – she remained the impulsive Tris that she has always been, but as a character she develops far more in this book. She went from the girl who was trying to prove a point, to a girl who knew what the point was.
And finally – I loved that ever-so-controversial thing. I understand why some people didn’t like it, but to me, it seemed fitting. It seemed like a circle was complete. (I can’t expand on that without giving away spoilers). This is a dystopian world, it is not a fairytale. There was just no way to give everyone a happy-ever-after and wrap it all up in a nice little bow – it is a crazy, broken and tormented world – and it deserved a fitting ending to reflect that world. To me, the ending of this book was not only logical, but also true to the storyline and the characters. Veronica Roth showed true bravery in Allegiant – and I respect her right and ability to be Dauntless.
A chat with Veronica Roth: