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Friday, March 14, 2014

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

Divergent made for a fast read, and as soon as I finished, I ordered the next two in the series.  

The book has a definite love/hate division among readers.  I think maybe the love faction came to the book without expectations and enjoyed the thrill of all of the action--and this is an action filled book.  Those who hate it may have heard all of the positive reviews and then been disappointed that it was not what they expected.  

Roth has created a world that doesn't quite work.  The Factions idea doesn't seem plausible to me.  The thing is, though, somehow she makes it work as long as you don't spend too much time analyzing it.  The physical world doesn't quite work either, especially the arrangement of a city that has different Factions living in completely different surroundings.  Any visualization of this world as a whole has to be purely from your own imagination, although Roth does give very brief descriptions of the areas occupied by the various Factions.  The overall view of the city-world doesn't really exist.

The Dauntless home ground, where most of the story is centered, has little detail for such a complicated place, but again Roth manages to keep this from interfering with the pace of the story.  It works, if you let it, because of the characters and the action.

I could let all of this slide because I was drawn into the story.  Part of my brain was perfectly happy to ignore the flaws.  The one that bothered me the most was that the Faction transfers went through such a short initiation.  They learned how to fight, shoot, handle knives, etc.  in too short a period of time.  Tris mentions building muscle in a week.  The transfers and initiates who survive the cuts become skilled athletes and crack shots within a month.   In a month or so, transfers from Factions that have no physical activity become super brave and can run, jump, fight, and handle weapons with the skill of soldiers.  

None of the above problems, and there are more, managed to keep me from enjoying the book.  It was exciting and entertaining and fun. 


Insurgent - Still exciting, but not as good as the first book.

Allegiant - Oh, dear.  First problem--the two previous books have been from Tris' first-person pov.  Now, there are frequent switches from Tobias to Tris...and the voice doesn't sound any different, so you have to be careful not slip back into thinking it is Tris speaking when it is Tobias.  A weak finish for several reasons.

Dystopian.  2011.  


  1. I am intrigued by this series because of the stir it creates. I'm finding a lot of YA nowadays seems to have very intense fan bases!

  2. guiltless - I certainly don't regret reading this series. I'm impressed that such a young novelist managed to write such a fun first novel. The two follow up books in the series were not nearly as good as the first.

  3. I saw a trailer for the movie and it looks fun (reminded me of Hunger Games) but I would like to read the book first. I like that you said it was fast paced. I seem to be reading a lot of slow books lately.

  4. iliana - I saw the trailer, too. Wasn't too impressed with the actor for the character of Four/Tobias, but I can't wait to see how the movie translates the story!

  5. I let myself read your review since I just finished writing my own--even though it won't post until after I see the movie and can add my impressions of that in.

    I really liked the first book and mostly the second book. I didn't notice any inconsistencies from reality until after I finished the books, which speaks well for the books, I think.

    The third book . . . What a mess that was! My brain couldn't stay out of that one, I'm afraid. I didn't mind the varying viewpoints, but the two characters did sound exactly the same after awhile. I had so many issues with that book overall.

    I am looking forward to seeing the movie. I probably shouldn't be the way my track record is going these days with books to movies. LOL

  6. Wendy - Loved the first one, too, and felt much the same as you about the second. But you nailed it, the third one was a mess. It almost didn't seem to be part of the series, so different was it.