Allegiant, by Veronica Roth

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Publication date – October 22, 2013

Summary: (Taken 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.

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.

Thoughts: Veronica Roth’s Divergent series comes to a close with the third and final novel, Allegiant, a book which comes in with a bang and leaves with a whimper. Not in the sense that the ending is disappointing, but, well, it’s more than a little sad, with a bittersweet feeling that you don’t find in too many YA books of that genre.

The city lies in chaos as the Factionless revolt and demand equal treatment, and this is bad because… Honestly, this is where I did have a problem with the book, because the reactions of many of the characters at this point seemed very “plight of the middle class.” Their secure positions in society were destabilized, and now those in command were demanding that everyone takes a share of the lousy work that was previously done by the Factionless. I can understand the anxiety and even anger at the world you knew tearing apart at the seams, but I found it very hard to feel much sympathy for anyone who was disgruntled at having to do dirty work that was previously done by the society’s outcasts. It felt a lot like anger at no longer being special, no longer having a Faction’s superiority to cling to, and the Allegiant, those loyal to the ideas of Factions and were thus fighting to restore the previous order, just made me angry.

The story was told from alternating viewpoints, both Tris and Tobias getting first-person time in the spotlight. The voices were similar but still distinct enough to tell them apart without much trouble, and I loved reading Tobias’s narrative because his thoughts flowed in a way similar to my own, expansive and thoughtful compared to Tris’s energetic emotionally-charged viewpoint. I’ve seen books do this where it really hasn’t worked, or where it seemed like they were trying to show two too-similar viewpoints with too-similar voices, and it just made a mess. This, happily, wasn’t the case here, and I think the different viewpoints added to the experience.

Nature versus nurture was possible the strong theme running through this book, with the issue of genetic damage enhancing one characteristic at the expense of another, and that being what led to the experiment in forming the Factions. It was an interesting idea to play with, especially in that there was no final determination as to which played a larger part in a character’s personality. Genetic predisposition combined with upbringing as well as the general essence of a person all combined, and those who tried to insist that one side or the other won out were pretty quickly shot down. I liked that, since there’s a tendency to try for hard-and-fast explanations in most futuristic fiction, and those rigid explanations rarely stand up to scrutiny.

Ultimately this was a powerful end to a powerful series, and I was glad to see it through even when my interest in dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction started to wane. If more books could be like this, I would be much more satisfied with YA genre books.

4 comments on “Allegiant, by Veronica Roth

  1. I’m on the fence about starting this trilogy–there’s a definite vogue in “dystopian YA” right now, and I’m not sure whether this is different enough from The Hunger Games, or Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, or Ally Condie’s Matched series. Not that I’ve had a chance to start Lu or Condie’s books yet, but…there seem to be so many similar aspects to all of them. Have you had a chance to read any of the Legend or the Matched books? Are my concerns understandable, or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

    • Haven’t read any of Condie or Lu’s books yet, so I can’t really tell if they’re particularly similar, but I definitely know what you mean about most dystopian stuff these days being so similar and derivative. There are a couple of core series that I’ve followed, but everything else I’ve read seems to be desperately trying to be “the next [whatever]” and falling short, and in the end it all just comes off as so derivative and boring that I’ve rapidly lost faith in this subgenre. So you’re not making mountains out of molehills with this issues, believe me!

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