Author: Veronica Roth
Source: NetGalley ebook
After a week of reading the Divergent trilogy, I have finally finished Allegiant – the final book in the series. This one sees all the events of the previous two books come together to culminate in a dramatic and divisive finale. As this is a sequel, there is a chance of spoilers and, if you’re interested, you can find my review for Divergent here and Insurgent (the second book) here.
As a finale, it surprised me how different this book felt to the previous two. Not only does the perspective move from being solely written from Tris’s point of view to also include Tobias’ point of view, but the plot, tone and even the writing seemed different. After reading the three books back to back, it was actually quite jarring. That being said, this is an incredibly emotional book that you will end up thinking about long after you’ve finished it.
A recurring theme throughout this novel is ‘choice’. Everything that happens is due to choices that the characters make and the consequences of those choices. This theme is still very much prominent in this novel as characters not only have to decide on actions and how to proceed in their various goals, but also on more personal levels, such as whether to forgive and trust one another.
The plot of this book has two main strands. The first is the characters trying to find their place in the world – where they fit, how their present relates to their past, whether their genetics defines their identity. The second takes on the latter issue and expands on it in a wider manner, bringing in the issues of genetic ‘purity’ and combining it with city-scale experimentation. Both of these strands are pushed along by Tris and her friends as they, once again, chose where they stand and what to do about the issues and struggles they face. Unfortunately, while all this is going on, the faction vs factionless conflict of the last two books gets forgotten.
This book introduces even more characters – more so that I started to, once again, get mixed up with who was who and who came from where. The characters from the previous two books are still featured and I found it really interesting seeing them from two different perspectives, as they did come across differently depending on who was narrating that particular part of the story.
Getting to see inside Tobias’ head was an odd experience. Over the course of the previous two books, I had built up my own idea of what he was like and the thoughts going on in his head. This book had him as a completely different character to the one I had imagined and I’m not completely sure I liked it that much. The voice used in his chapters felt like someone else voicing what they thought he was thinking rather than what he was actually thinking. I also found it quite difficult to differentiate between the two perspectives at times and had to keep going back to see if it was Tris or Tobias.
Allegiant brings the series to its conclusion and, as such, it shows the world in all its light. Each book builds on the world, revealing more about how it’s structured bit by bit. Now that all has been revealed, I’m still not entirely sure it makes sense. The use of genetics as a driving force of this book was interesting, but despite us now being in the wider world, outside of the city, it still feels very contained. Higher ups are mentioned, but come the conclusion they’ve not shown any sign of caring about what has happened in this book, which just seems a little convenient. It also seems off that no-one from Amity, with all their fields and technology and food outside of the walls, had bumped into or encountered in any way anyone from the fringe. It just did not pan out as well as I thought it would, indeed parts of it (the motive, the serum, how Jeanine fit) just did not really make sense.
Allegiant is fast-paced, ambitious and thought-provoking. But, unfortunately for me, Allegiant just did not live up to my expectations. It felt rushed, out of character and just a bit pointless. I got to the end and just felt like ‘that’s it?’. How Tris’ storyline was resolved did not sit right with me – I thought it unnecessary and meaningless. While parts of this novel do work quite well and the concept as a whole was interesting, it just did not work particularly well for me. From what I understand Allegiant is either a book you like, or you don’t like. Sadly, I’m leaning more towards the latter category.