Monday, 20 January 2014

Book Review: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth SPOILERS!!

Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 526
Format: Kindle ebook
Goodreads Rating: 3.64/5
My Rating: 7/10

Synopsis 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.


First things first, if you don't want this book or the others in the series spoiled, then pleased don't read this review, because it will contain major spoilers for basically the whole book. You have been warned.

Now where to begin? Honestly...I'm at a bit of a loss. Trying to work out what I think of this book is tough. It's probably one of the hardest reviews I've had to write, because I finished the book and immediately started wondering if I liked it or not. The problem is, I both loved and hated it.
Let's begin by talking about a few of the things that I loved. First off I loved that it was written in dual perspective. I'm a big fan of this style of writing, and I felt that it worked really well in this book, so that was great. Second, I liked the characters, both new and old, they were all portrayed really well and so that was great.
I loved the continuing relationship between Tobias and Tris, and I enjoyed that we got to see some disagreements and friction between them as well.
The writing style was brilliant just as in the first two books, and the pacing was spot on. So really there's a lot to love about this book.
However, there are also a lot of things that I didn't really like. Big things, like...well the plot. Don't get me wrong there was action, tension, romance, and it was great. However I kind of felt it dwindling for me as soon as they left the city and went outside the fences. You see, to me I just felt like it would have been a lot more compelling of a book if it focussed on the tensions within the city between the factionless and the divergent. When they spoke about splitting into two teams, one staying in the city to lead the rebellion, and the other to go outside the fence, I had kind of hoped that Tris and Tobias would be in separate teams, so that we could actually see both sides of what was happening. Instead we got small glimpses of what was happening inside the fence, while outside we got to learn more about the city and how the factions came to be in existence.
I have to say, the whole 'what's outside the fence' thing, was the biggest part of this book that I didn't like. As soon as they got outside and found out that there's this whole world outside, a world that seems fairly normal, with airports and normal things we see in our own world. I kind of felt disappointed. I mean I don't think I've ever read it before, but I just felt like the whole 'it's all an experiment that we're monitoring from the outside without the knowledge of the people inside' thing has been done, and for this series it felt like a bit of a let down.
Going outside the fence did allow us to meet some new people, and a lot of them were pretty interesting, and the dynamics outside were interesting too. Having the tensions rise between Tris and Tobias was good, and even though at times Tobias acted sort of stupid, you could see why he was making the choices he was making, so that didn't bother me too much. What bothered me was having this whole 'big brother is watching you' thing that was a bit too obvious.
When they went outside the fence I had thought that maybe it was all going to be some sort of experiment, but I'd hoped that it wasn't true. 
I honestly think that this series would have been better, had it been kept to the city and the whole outside the fence thing had been forgotten. I mean for me I think the third book would have been just as good had it been focussed on the actions of the Allegiant within the city.
Finally another part that I found both really good and really rubbish. I know that I can't have been the only one who was hoping for a happy ending. I think instinctively when you read a book you're hoping for a happy ending. So when Tris decides to take her brothers place and risk almost certain death, I was thinking that it would probably end with her resisting the serum and making it out alive and saving the day. Then I thought that it would actually make a really good, and less predictable, ending if she didn't survive...and then well she did resist the serum. The serum which cannot be resisted by anyone even the divergent, she somehow managed to resist without really any problems, not that it was ever really explained how she managed to resist this serum which is supposed to affect everyone, even her! So that was a bit weird, but anyway she survives and I start think ok it's going down the happy ending route, and then David's there and things go bad and she ends up saving the people in the city, and dying in the process at the hands of David.
Now my issue isn't with the lack of a happy ending, I actually thought that having Tris die was unpredictable, and interesting, and well written and emotional and just a great idea in terms of good writing. My issue, and you may not agree with me here, is with how she died. I just feel that it would have been a much better ending had she died from the serum. If she'd managed to get the suit on in time, made it to the room and let out the memory serum as planned, she could have saved the day with a self sacrificing act, which led to her death at the hands of the serum which is supposedly impossible to resist. I felt it would have been more emotional, and a fitting way for Tris to die. However I do get why it wasn't done this way. The purpose I suppose was so she could have that final conversation with David, but honestly could that not have come earlier, and then she could have taken her brothers place died from the serum. I just wasn't a fan of the 'yay she survived the serum...oh no she just got shot.' thing.
Ok so I know this has been a bit of a rant, but honestly this was a tough review because there were things I loved about this book, and things that I really didn't like. I loved the first two books in the series, and for me this was a bit of a disappointing final instalment.
Despite this I did love the series, and I did actually like this book as well, I just felt like it wasn't as good as the others, and as mentioned above, there were parts I didn't really like at all.
What did you think of the book? Do you agree with my thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

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