Thursday, December 26, 2013

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Book 3 explains the world in which Tris lives and answers many of my questions from the previous two books, clearing up confusing parts. This story reminded me of Margaret Haddix plot for "Running Out of Time" with an unaware population being experimented on by an outside government and a significant shift from historical to realistic genre. Roth's book felt like the focus shifted from dystopia to romance, exploring the theme of sacrifice. While I liked that Tris and Tobias's relationship finally moved in a forward direction, many of the chapters end on them kissing versus some tense moment and the action slowed down. Loose ends were tied up, but I wasn't very satisfied with the ending with so many characters getting killed off and felt let down with the direction the novel took in this final installment. I understand why it went that way to flesh out the theme of love and sacrifice but I lost interest in it. The repetition of tyrants showing up in each ruling party just got old and lost its freshness. Roth does a nice job with internal character development which was enough to keep me flipping the pages. And there is action. Maybe not as much, but there's definitely fighting. I know many students will like the trilogy, but I don't think it rises too much above the average young adult books out there. Book one was my favorite and I kind of wish I had stopped there.

Tris, Tobias, Uriah, Christina, Tori, Peter, and Caleb follow Elizabeth Prior's advice and leave the city outside the fence. They discover the remains of the government and piece together information on why their city and factions were created after people destroyed each other throughout the world. While they have more freedom outside the fence, they soon discover that it really isn't much different than inside the fence. Tris decides to do something about it with her friends, but it is a dangerous and risky plan. 

Spoiler Alert*
Roth adds Tobias's point of view and uses first person narration. I really prefer third person point of view because there are so many "I's" with the first and the alternating voices can sound alike at times, especially in the scenes that involve Tris and Tobias's sexual attraction for each other. I understand that the structure of the novel needed Tobias's thoughts in the plot, especially for the ending, and I liked a different point of view. I did notice that Tris always seems right in these books and I prefer my characters flawed. She always knows when someone is lying or always makes the right decision. When she martyr's herself it should make me feel more sad that this wise and special person died, but I felt manipulated by the storyline more than empathetic with the character. It didn't make her as authentic as she could have been if she'd made some mistakes. I prefer the character that grows into a better person, not the character that seems perfect most of the time. I struggle daily with being a better person and find I connect more with those conflicted characters. This is my bias. 

The theme of labeling people and oppression is explored but again it felt like a rehashing of the faction oppressions and nothing new. People in power want to blame others for problems in society. One thing that was different was the exploration of how people not only blame others but accept the limits others place on them in society. This actually made me think of the Asian culture that doesn't really believe that you can't do something because you lack talent. Instead they believe that you are not working hard enough at the task at hand to improve. I was actually thinking of sports and how Westerners can say they have no "natural talent" at a sport and therefore are no good at it. They've placed limits on themselves without trying. I know I do that with learning a foreign language saying "I'm too old" or some other lame excuse when in reality I really have no interest learning it or putting the mega amount of time required to learn it. 

I think Caleb's point of view would have been interesting. Perhaps the sacrifice would have been explored more in depth rather than the romance. She does tie in love and limitations with Tris and Tobias having each of them believe more in the other. Tris believes more in Tobias's worth than he and Tobias believes more in her strength than she. The two bring out the best in each other and their love grows as a result. If you like tragic love stories and heroes who save the world, then you'll enjoy this series.

3 Smileys

No comments:

Post a Comment