by Veronica Roth
Published on October 22, 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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 meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
When I reviewed Insurgent, I said, “It left me completely unsatisfied with the book and while I wasn’t eager to read Allegiant (book 3) after this novel, I felt the need to finish the series out. It can’t get much worse, right?” Well, I was wrong–oh so terribly wrong. Allegiant took a turn down the road of no return, and ended this series as the worst of the three, in my opinion. It wasn’t just the dual points of view, but the predictability I’ve come to expect from Roth’s books and the fact that I felt like this novel was a waste. I felt short-changed with the ending and it lost the momentum of the first two books. If you’ve been a loyal reader of the series, you’ll no doubt want to read Allegiant but if you’re just starting out and didn’t enjoy Divergent, I don’t recommend investing your time into this series.
Allegiant gives a look at the world outside the fence, a world which Tris and her friends reach fairly early on in the story. What caught me off guard before I even got to that point was that there were two different viewpoints going on, those of Tris and Tobias. Well let’s see, Insurgent made me dislike both of these characters so listening to not just one but both of their thoughts–sounds like so much fun. The dual points of view in a series that previously didn’t have it isn’t something I enjoy reading. I recently read The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead where this happens, but the difference between Heart and Allegiant is that Mead’s characters had distinct personalities that I may not have always liked, but didn’t drive me up a wall. There were times when I couldn’t tell Roth’s characters apart based on their points of view. That’s pretty bad when you’re reading the third and final book in a series and the characters sound the same, especially when written in first person. Writing aside, that wasn’t the biggest issue of this book.
Genes. This entire dystopian world is based around yet another faction/caste-like system of the genetically damaged (GD) and the genetically pure (GP). So what’s their solution? Let’s throw a bunch of people into these cities as part of a massive experiment and erase their memories so that eventually the people in the experiment can fix the “genetically damaged” parts of the human population with Divergence. The amount of illogical decisions that went into this makes my head spin. And now in the world, the GPs are “better” than the GDs. So Tris, Tobias, and the others basically traded one segregation system for a slightly different new one. Sounds great, right? If only it made an improvement. Instead, it turns Tris into a stronger character than she was in Insurgent, which is great because the depressed-Tris got on my nerves. but it changed Tobias who finds out he isn’t “pure” into a senseless idiot too caught up in his emotional turmoil to be of any use.
Now here’s the part where I have to be careful what I say to avoid too many spoilers. The ending of this book made me want to throw it against the wall, and I would have done so if I hadn’t been reading it on my Kindle. Back in Chicago, the faction and factionless are getting ready to face off in what could be the end of the entire city. Now the government can’t lose their precious experiment so they decide, “hey, let’s erase the memories of the entire city and avoid the conflict completely. We’ve done it before” (because that’s reassuring). Tris and her friends, of course, don’t like that idea and plan to enter the city to try and stop it while a few stay behind and instead wipe the memories of the entire Bureau compound. Tobias and his group get into the city, he convinces his mother to stop the fighting, and there is peace without ever needing to destroy the memories of the city’s occupants. Except Tris doesn’t know that and she and her group are still planning to break into a top secret Weapon Room in the Bureau to get to the memory serum. I won’t say any more other than Roth, you ruined everything with this ending. Regardless of what you may have been going for, this ending has turned me off from your books. A careless waste of a character that didn’t even work with the story (if it had, I wouldn’t have minded nearly as much).
To the followers of this series that enjoyed it, I wish you well in your reading endeavors regarding Allegiant. To those joining the Divergent series train late, don’t bother. After reading this book, I wouldn’t recommend it or any of the others (to avoid wasting time with the series) to anyone. Allegiant was a huge disappointment and seems to follow in the tradition of bad endings to dystopian trilogies. The only reason this book has received 2 stars and not 1 is because I reserve 1 star for books that I simply cannot finish and somehow, I forced myself to finish this one.