Allegiant

Allegiant cover courtesy of goodreads.comSo I figured I would round out the Divergent Trilogy in this week’s review. Remember: Here be spoilers!

At the end of Insurgent, Tris survives the execution set by Jeanine, the head of Erudite. She discovers that her brother betrayed her and that Peter, of all people, was some sort of double agent. Granted, an extremely selfish one but he saved her nonetheless. With the help of the factionless, the remaining Dauntless, Candor and even some Amity people overthrow Jeanine’s tyrannical government. And with that, they discover that their whole society was something of a lie.

Their city was founded by a group of unknown people and divided into factions to try and save humanity after some unknown war destroyed the majority of the population. They were supposed to help the Divergents when they appeared, not kill them as Jeanine and company were doing. Then the Divergents would be sent out into the world to help. With what, they don’t know yet.

After the upheaval of the factionless coup, Tris and Tobias are having a tough time in their relationship. I hesitate to call it a relationship because it seems like all they do is spend time together not talking. Not doing much of anything really but trying to find some alone time (though they never really do anything with that either). Its clear that neither of them really trust each other. They keep lying to each other about various things. It isn’t really healthy but then again, their whole society isn’t really healthy so there you go.

Anyway, after it becomes clear that the factionless government is becoming just as tyrannical, albeit in different ways, than the old one Tris, Tobias and a group calling themselves the Allegiant decide to do something. That something is a two fold plan. A small group will leave the city, just as one of the founders had explained to them all in a video recording. The rest of the Allegiant would stay and try to overthrow the factionless and reinstate the faction system.

Tris and Tobias are among the people heading out of the city. Included in their group are Tris’ Dauntless friends Christina and Uriah, Dauntless leader Tori, Peter, Caleb and an Erudite girl named Cara. Tori doesn’t make it out of the city but the rest of them do and they find out exactly what’s going on.

Their city is a giant sociological and genetic experiment. There was some sort of “purity war” many generations ago that destroyed much of the United States. In order to recover from this, the leaders of the time created these test cities. The war happened because of the belief that there were “genetically damaged” people who had made trouble (to put it lightly) and the people who were “genetically pure” were trying to fix those people in these tests. Its very Eugenics Wars from Star Trek.

Tris and the others find their world turned upside down with this new information. Tris (naturally) is one of the “genetically pure” people that these tests were trying to create. The others are “genetically damaged” and therefore not as valuable to these outside scientists. Which naturally leads them to be upset with their lot in life. It isn’t long before the Allegiant group finds their way into another civil war.

Things get resolved eventually, and I have to give Roth props for not giving a wholly happy ending to the trilogy. Despite that, I kind of found the ending unsatisfying. I think it would have been better off if she’d painted Tris as a little more selfish at the end than she was. I mean, the whole time in the books, Tris is constantly saying how selfish she is when she really, really isn’t. I think it would have been better if Tris had been selfish at the end, to show that she wasn’t this perfect, always right character. Not a bad read but could have been better. Rating: C+/B-

Insurgent

Courtesy of goodreads.comAhhhhhhh. New laptop. On with the resolution! Since I did Divergent last week, I decided to follow up with Veronica Roth’s Insurgent this week. This book is number two of three. Beware there likely be movie spoilers below. Yar.

Here we find protagonist Tris on the run from Erudite with Four (which I believe we now know as Tobias), Marcus Eaton, Peter (Erudite born Dauntless asshole) and her brother Caleb. They high tail it the Amity compound outside the city to regroup. They don’t end up staying long, as they attract trouble.

Knowing they would need help, Tris, Tobias and Caleb end up running from the Amity compound when some Erudite sympathizers come looking for them. They head for the Candor headquarters where they are arrested. From the footage that Erudite released, it looked like they were in charge of the whole bloody mess at the end of Divergent.

In order to prove their innocence, they undergo a truth serum. It forces them to admit their secrets, which proves they didn’t plan or run the Erudite campaign. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there and it puts a strain on not only Tris and Tobias’ budding relationship but Tris and her friend Christina as well.

The Erudite attack Candor not long after, injecting a bunch of people with a new long lasting serum. Tobias and the new Dauntless leaders decide they are no safer in Candor than they are back at Dauntless headquarters, so off they go back home. Meanwhile, it takes them a while but Tris and Tobias figure out that this serum allows Jeanine, the Erudite leader, to control people not only at a distance, but for a longer period of time. Jeanine promises to not do anything to those who are injected with the serum if the Divergent give themselves up.

The Dauntless Divergent are pretty much “no fucking way”. Except Tris. Tris leaves in the middle of the night and gives herself up to Erudite for testing. Naturally Tobias needs to come after her and the two of them are essentially tortured by Jeanine. We learn that Peter made it back to Erudite but to everyone’s surprise, Caleb turns out to be an Erudite sympathizer. He helped capture his sister.

And I’m going to end here since any more will give away the end of the book and the movie. So, I was a little more frustrated by Tris in this book than I was in Divergent. She has this self-sacrificing thing going for her that a lot of protagonists do but she doesn’t just think any of it through. If she just talked with someone, come up with a plan, trusted the people she claimed to trust, she might have been able to do more when she turned herself in. As it was, it was sheer luck that allowed her to (SPOILER) survive the situation.

Still, fairly solid book. I was interested enough to buy the final book in the trilogy Allegiant. Worth a read. Rating: B